Thursday, September 27, 2012

Link: The Invention of Political Consulting

 

American Chronicles The Lie Factory How politics became a business. by September 24, 2012. The New Yorker  http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/09/24/120924fa_fact_lepore#ixzz27glFMw4Q  

[Excerpted] Political consulting is often thought of as an offshoot of the advertising industry, but closer to the truth is that the advertising industry began as a form of political consulting. As the political scientist Stanley Kelley once explained, when modern advertising began, the big clients were just as interested in advancing a political agenda as a commercial one. 
 
Monopolies like Standard Oil and DuPont looked bad: they looked greedy and ruthless and, in the case of DuPont, which made munitions, sinister. They therefore hired advertising firms to sell the public on the idea of the large corporation, and, not incidentally, to advance pro-business legislation.
It’s this kind of thing that Sinclair was talking about when he said that American history was a battle between business and democracy, and, “So far,” he wrote, “Big Business has won every skirmish.” 
 
… No single development has altered the workings of American democracy in the last century so much as political consulting, an industry unknown before Campaigns, Inc. In the middle decades of the twentieth century, political consultants replaced party bosses as the wielders of political power gained not by votes but by money. 
 
Whitaker and Baxter were the first people to make politics a business. “Every voter, a consumer” was the mantra of a latter-day consulting firm, but that idea came from Campaigns, Inc. Political management is now a diversified, multibillion-dollar industry of managers, speechwriters, pollsters, and advertisers who play a role in everything from this year’s Presidential race to the campaigns of the candidates for your local school committee....
Read more http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/09/24/120924fa_fact_lepore#ixzz27gk97iT9


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