The Old “Fainting Woman” Ploy

The political theatre uses some very old tricks to connect audiences to candidates – and now we see new media exposing some of these old canards. It’s a pity – check out this video compilation. Old style politics being used to encourage change.

The good news is here, where new media capabilities are used to really bring out intense and positive emotions and a sense of belonging. It’s worth spending some time here at Dipdive’s mosaic compilation of supporters using the Yes We Can video – an amazing use of media!

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5 thoughts on “The Old “Fainting Woman” Ploy

  1. Well, I don’t know, maybe these highlights document incredible coincidences. Where there are crowds, there is lack of oxygen, and there will be fainters!

    Or maybe fainters follow Obama. It has happened to other people in history who were inspiring speakers. Hungry people followed Jesus, for example, and he had to feed four thousand and five thousand in one fell gefilte, er, with fishes and loaves. There are no videos from then to watch, but some of the same people probably showed up, and their stomachs probably growled from one event to another. And we know the sick showed up where he appeared as well, and some walked away, and some were healed.

    The reaction from the critics of the day? “Why do you eat with sinners and wine-bibbers?”

    Not that I’m comparing a campaign rally with the Beatitudes, mind you.

  2. Thanks Wahidiyya – I really liked the comment – good for balance. Besides, I know from when I was interested in getting into politics that the campaign theatre is just a nightmare of handlers and techniques. I took a weekend course a few years ago: Women’s Campaign School – for women of all persuasions – to see if it would be right for me. I thought of city politics, and maybe starting with Parks Board or School Board, which are a good way to work for the public good. But the machinations behind the scenes were too much for me to cope with. Then when I was spokesperson for the Stadium issue here in our neighbourhood I knew in my heart of hearts I just couldn’t do more of that. Press releases were written for me by the PR firm (which I approved) and released to the media, then the media called me and I had to deliver the 3 point message. Yikes and yuck. I wasn’t cut out for that kind of thing, actually. Plus in a heated environment the introvert in me comes forward, and I retreat into my shell – not very effective.

  3. Thanks for your reply, Nancy, and Carol, your experience with politics on a local level in Canada suggests some comments that relate to an item recently in the news, the departure from Obama’s campaign of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, a now retiring pastor at the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago who was acting as an adviser.

    Obama will make a speech in Philadelphia tomorrow regarding the place of “racial rhetoric” in the current political campaign here in the U.S. that has mushroomed from this controversy. Regarding the Rev. Jeremiah Wright controversy, I have to agree with Sen. Obama, who last said that be expected the video footage of Pastor Wright will be used against him. He also said he should not be held up as responsible for Pastor Wright’s statements or be subject to “guilt by association.”

    Looking at the website http://www.adherents.com/adh_presidents.html
    for some clues how other potential leaders handled their church affiliation, I note that the United States has had a disproportionate amount of Unitarians as President (John Adams, subject of a current HBO series; John Quincy Adams; Millard Fillmore; and William Howard Taft). I wonder if we do not need a Unitarian-Universalist in office for four years to “reboot” the national discussion. If nothing else, we could adapt Unitarian-Universalist jokes from the Minnesota Public Radio website for “A Prairie Home Companion,” such as, “the President’s motorcade consisted of several Volvo station wagons driven just shy of the speed limit.”

    But this is a frivolous aside, because not only is this election bringing out our national struggle with racial issues and gender issues again, it is bringing forth our struggles with the place of religion in politics, and First Amendment issues, such as “free speech,” “freedom of religion,” or more specifically, the prohibition against establishment of a state-sponsored religion, or, separation of church and state. One item I note on the CNN.com website tonight is, “Many still can’t name Obama’s religion.”

    Pastor Wright was exercising his freedom of speech from a venue of religion, but he was an individual doing so, I assume. In the Christian scriptures, if I recall correctly, a minister or pastor is responsible for the flock or the assembly of believers, and there are admonitions about being a “stumbling-block” to the followers. I do not recall it being the other way around, except in the sense that both hope and despair are shared, and if there are differences, followers would seek to resolve it individually, or, if that does not work, with mediating witnesses.

    Ultimately, we have to agree that, as Obama is not responsible for Pastor Wright’s comments, as a member of the church who the latter served as shepherd, or for Minister Farrakhan’s comments, as a recipient of a tacit endorsement, neither can we make McCain responsible for Pat Robertson’s comments, or Jerry Falwell’s comments, or John Hagee’s or Ron Parsley’s, or whomever’s. We cannot ultimately make Hillary Clinton responsible for comments that may have or might come forth from Jesse Jackson, after he served as counselor to Bill Clinton after the Lewinsky scandal, or in a more secular sense, for Geraldine Ferraro’s comments recently. As voters, we may have to just go to our own interreligious faiths and search for the bedrock qualities that seem to have formed their faiths, not the words of someone who has influenced them or praised them or condemned them.

    Not to seem to equate each candidate to a major religious figure of the last 2,000 years, but each candidate, like Jesus of Nazareth (of which one disciple responded, “what good can come out of Nazareth?”), might have to ask, “Who do you say that I am?”

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