In politics, opinions of people are the most important factors to consider. It is the people who decide whether their needs as citizens are being provided. Thus, it is essential for politicians to attain the vote of the people most importantly in the elections. Elections are one of the most important events in a country. It is a day that people choose and exercise their right to decide on the individuals whom the people find responsible and capable of addressing all the problems and needs of state.
During times of elections, campaigns are very critical and excruciating most especially in the part of the campaign managers who creates schemes to persuade people that their candidates are the best. One of the best ways to promote a candidate is through advertisements. Due to innovation of technology and media, advertising had become a breeze. Various internet sites that promote video sharing and viewing became a home for varying electoral candidates who were routing for presidency. In the website Living Room Candidate, numerous videos presenting video advertisements which had been publicized during the elections are available. In order to create an analysis regarding the campaign materials utilized a video will be studied in order to see the most important factors which is the content, the actual video presentation and the highlights of the perspectives in which were utilized in order to gain support from the people.
In the video which came from the campaign days of President Bush entitled “Pessimism”, were one of the few campaign ads to be presented to the public during the former president’s campaign against John Kerry. The whole campaign ad presents those good qualities of Americans. The ability of the American people to work in various fields of work is directly presented through the actors they have utilized. With out hearing the sounds of the video, blue collared workers were the ones highlighted and given focus. Thus, a viewer may immediately assume that it calls for the attention most blue collar job workers. In the continuing scenes of the video, the masses were often the people who directly pointed out by the ad. Given that the highlights presents housing, education, jobs as well as the military strength that former President Bush’s administration had pursued, he is directly stating that his view are important to the masses of America.
In terms of his facial expression, the former president Bush seemed to have just one kind of look— a smiling face which implies that we very willing to help the American people because he believes in the abilities of the American people. When he was actually saying the words “optimistic about America and the people of America” his tone became sweet and loving as if he was talking to his daughters. That tone was very important; it was somehow expressing the side of the president that stated his love and passion for America and its people.
Looking at the commercial, there is somehow inequality in terms of the chosen commercial models. It is very noticeable that there is only one African American in the whole 30 seconds of the ad and no Hispanic or Asian actors. In assumption, it could also be said that republicans do not target the votes of other ethnicities in the United States therefore disregarding other audiences available. In addition, the youth is not given any attention. Although the benefits of education are also provided to them, no actor was close to the age of thirteen. Again this video disregards the young voters of America.
The musical scoring of the video’s theme is generally soothing however, it sounded like commercials in shopping channels that sells jewelries. Although, it could be understood that the music utilized is for the purpose capturing the attention of the votes. In the end the main concept of the video is to present that George Bush Jr. cares for America and for the people while John Kerry is stating that America is in the verge of a Great Depression. Bush Jr.’s campaign utilized the negativity of John Kerry’s statement regarding the economy while making Bush Jr. the optimistic man for America.
Republicans as wells Democrats had long been the major political parties in United States. These groups are often head to head with each other whenever the election time comes. Most people during the election are asking each other whether they are blue or red which represents the democrats and the republicans. Although there are other groups in the United States, the sustaining power of these groups have made it the two most powerful political groups.
In the six following videos of different candidates which are seen in Living Room Candidates where in video advertisements of the candidates who had already won and lost the elections. The videos within the website generally represent the problems of Americans regarding tax payments and the proper percentage of the tax that must be deducted to the people. For many years now, the issue of economic growth and individual financial stability of Americans. Most of the videos indicate that the taxes are too high that the government’s budget exceeds more than what is truly needed. The majority of the campaigns states that the taxes must be lowered in order for the economy to further rise.
In chapter two Bartels discusses the facts regarding these issues, of economics of the United States. He first discussed that the there had been a massive in equality of income for many decades, “Over two decades, the income gap has steadily increased between the richest Americans, who owns homes and stocks and got big tax breaks and those at the middle and bottom of the pay scale, whose paychecks buy less” (ctd. in Bartels 2008 p. 29). Therefore, the unequal salaries of the people had become an issue to the American politics. Such issue does not only affect the people but the economy of the whole state. Given that the rich are the ones given big tax breaks, they have more spending power than the middle and lower classes moreover, lessening the possibility of the economy to rise.
In the six videos that I have watched, I chose the video with the title “Second”, “The Plan” and “2.2 trillion.” These three videos will be evaluated in terms of the message, the content and how the campaign materials strengthen its perspective regarding the issues with taxes and economy.
The video “Second” was a campaign as which was utilized in the presidential campaign of Clinton against Bush Sr. and Perot. The video in comparison with others is very short and detailed. Although the presidential campaign is against who opponents, the ad is directly pointing out the mistake of the Bush Sr. with regards to his promises of having a lower tax for the people. However instead of providing lower taxes, he increased it which resulted to breaking the promise he made. Another element that was very noticeable was the negative attack that Clinton’s camp has done which was narrated with a very heavy musical background that affects the emotions of the viewers. Personally, I feel disturbed when I was listening and watching the video for the reason that I felt that promises are not kept. After such scene, I was calmed by the fact that Clinton appeared with a smile and a vibrant aura unlike Bush Sr.’s statement regarding tax. Thus, the statements presented by different camps mounted feelings to the viewer.
Another video is “The Plan” which was used in 1996 by Dole against Clinton. The gist of the video is again addressing the problem that taxes are too high that Americans are suffering from it. Although it is true, the problem is highlighted more than it should be. In video, Dole directly was stating the problem of the country. With his robust voice slowly capturing the eyes of his listeners, he could grab the attention of people even without musical background. The most important matter in this video is how it was taken. In critiquing this video, the musical background could be recognized as “president like” because it presents class and honor. Thus, there is an immediate representation that Dole is practicing to be a president during that ad. Following the words stated by Dole against the high taxes was the promise that he would lower the taxes. In detail, the video presents how much a family would be able to save years and other benefits they could get in order to have a much desirable lifestyle. The people presented in the video are mostly those masses. There is not representation of the wealthiest people or the middle class that are also an important factor in the society and economy. In the end of the video, it is highlighted that “families could keep more of what they earn” which immediately promises economic growth for American families.
The last video is the “2.2 Trillion” which was created for the presidential campaign of Bush Jr. against Gore. Unlike the other videos, the main candidates are not seen in the video only a clear voice narrating the whole scenario of the projected plans of Gore which could possibly happen if Gore will be supported by the people. Immediately, when people two graphs which presents two very different things creates a mounting feeling of worry regarding the possible circumstances that would be faced by the country if Gore will sit in the position. Hence, the video’s interest is to alarm people that the plan of Gore will not be beneficial for the people. Even though there is no additional caption with regards to Bush Jr.’s economic plan, there is an immediate reaction that Bush might provide a better economic plan for the United States.
In the statements given by Bartels in his book, he stated that different presidents that represent Republicans as the presidents are more inclined to provide economic growth for the affluent families while, Democrats are much likely to create economic growth with the middle class and poor families. Such statements are true due to the fact that during the presidency of the Bush Sr., he was able to raise the taxes in various commodities available for the people. “Second” which presented such data states that the government was profiting much compared to the people who should be benefiting from the money they are earning. Thus, more tax from the people, the poorer they become due to the percentage of tax being deducted. One the other hand, more democratic parties is leading to the growth of the poor and the middle wage income earners. However, if the videos will be studied, mostly all the videos aspire to have a mass audience that will convince all the social classes to vote for them.
In terms of the inequality many of the economists have proclaimed that the causes of the unequal wages in the society of could be blamed through the inequality. Most often than not, the “demographic shifts, globalization, and technological change” However, in the view point of Bartels, the partisan policy choices do not directly affect the inequality of people. It is seen in the statistics and studies, that the inequality had been present in even before the era of globalization had come. Thus, it is not only the factor if the Republicans or the Democrats are in the presidential position. (Bartels, 2008)
In the end, the ads have presented the perspectives of the candidates during the time of their campaign. The ads are all creatively done in order to persuade many votes and viewers in America that they are the better choice than their opponents. In addition, the past presidency also becomes the greatest factor that could lead the win or the lost of a candidate for the reason that the present leader would be the basis of the process of ruling of the candidate in the same party.
In conclusion, the media is a big factor in making promoting a candidate for office. However, it is still the people who will be responsible in choosing who they want to place as the president of America. Again, it is not the party of the candidate that is responsible for the inequality of the people but it is depending on the circumstances that will and is occurring during those time.
Bartels, L. M. (2008). Unequal Democracy. New Jersey: Princeton University.
Clinton-Gore Creative Team (Producer). (1992). Second, Clinton/Gore ’92 Committee. Retrieval March 19, 2009 from http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/1992/second.
Cold Harbor Films. (Producer). (2000). $2.2 Trillion, Republican National Committee. Retrieval March 19, 2009 from www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/2000/22-trillion.
Maverick Media (Producer). (2004). Pessimism, Bush-Cheney ’04, Inc., Retrieval March 19, 2009 from www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/2004/pessimism.
The Living Room Candidate: Presidential Campaign Commercials 1952-2008.(1996) The Plan, Dole Kemp ’96, Retrieval March 19, 2009 from, www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/1996/the-plan.
 See: http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/2004/pessimism