Have you ever seen a TV commercial portraying a disastrous automobile accident, and then it reminds you to wear your seatbelts? Believe it or not, that's using a technique in propaganda called the fear appeal. Propaganda is more widespread than people imagine. Propaganda is being used to sell goods like the baby food you feed your child. There are many techniques that a propagandist can use to seduce you. Some of the best-known styles in propaganda are: Plain Folk, Name-Calling and Glittering Generality. Hidden in places and in ways you might not notice, these messages have been carefully designed to influence your opinions, emotions, attitudes, and behaviors. Most importantly, these messages have been designed to benefit someone, and that someone is President Bush.
Plain Folks is the method by which a speaker attempts to convince his audience that he and his ideas are good because they are "of the people," the "plain folks."
Politicians, labor leaders, businessmen, and even ministers and educators win our confidence by appearing to be people like ourselves. In elections, propaganda has played an important role in who was elected. Bill Clinton presents himself as an average American by eating at McDonalds. This really applies to the American public because many people eat at McDonalds. Bob Dole presents himself as an "all American boy" from the Heartland. In election years, candidates especially show their devotion to little children. Speakers go to country picnics; they go fishing; they show their belief in home and family. In short, propagandists would win our votes, business, or other support by showing that they're just as common as the rest of us.
Name-Calling is giving an idea a bad label to make us reject and condemn the idea without examining the evidence. Bad names have had a tremendously powerful role in...