Monday, September 22, 2008

How Hope and Change Look in Iran

What do you get when you vote for slogans? What do you get when you vote for image over substance? Hope and change, no more business as usual are all very good, but what are the specifics? Papa Doc, Adolf Hitler and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were all freely elected. Both Ahmadinejad and Hitler won with less than a third of the vote In both their respective elections, parliamentary horse trading could have resulted in a less injurious alternative.

It is interesting to watch the struggle for the human heart and mind on a mass level. Candidates are marketed in the same way clothing and cosmetics are marketed, complete with identifying the various markets and attempting to achieve market saturation.

I am showing with this posting a commercial done by a man who won his election struggle. He followed up his attractive sloganeering with union busting, pandering to corrupt clergy and brutal suppression of ethnic minorities. His commercials, so full of populist pandering evoke a world that is a stark contrast to life in his country after several years under his rule.

The video with this posting is an actual Ahmadinejad campaign commercial with English subtitles. Let it be a warning to turn down the volume on the loud music, slogans and fancy packaging. Let it be a warning to look instead at the fine print. Ahmadinejad fooled enough people long enough to win his election. Are we any smarter?

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