Become an Educated Consumer in the Market of Political Rhetoric

Blog / Become an Educated Consumer in the Market of Political Rhetoric

It’s hard to watch the news these days without being overcome with emotions. So many people are struggling in so many ways. What is truly painful, however, is to watch life-altering situations that affect us all become political volleyballs being lobbed back and forth to gain partisan points. But that’s what’s intended—to enflame our emotions and drive us to react emotionally.

In marketing—we try to make an emotional connection that influences a desired outcome. And in reality, politics is marketing.

In certain forms of marketing, particularly in politics, it seems some of us are forgetting to educate ourselves. In today’s marketplace, we rely on reviews. We read through what people have experienced, what they think, and what they believe, before making a purchasing decision. We should be setting aside the emotional drivers of “I want” or “I need” to do our homework, gather factual information, and make an informed rather than an emotional decision. Have you ever been guilty of taking what an advertiser says at face value and making a bad purchasing decision? The same can be true of letting our emotions dictate our thoughts around political wedge issues. When it comes to politics, the “advertisers” still have the ability to lead us to their conclusions by playing on our emotions, and we are often susceptible to their tactics.

That isn’t to say that emotions aren’t justified. Emotions are real, involuntary reactions to circumstances and situations around us. But they are often limited by our own knowledge and experiences. Emotions can distract us from seeing facts objectively. They may cause us to seek out only the information that supports our existing thoughts and beliefs instead of considering others. Emotions can limit our willingness to question whether we have all of the relevant data to make an informed decision. When ideas and beliefs come from a defensive position, it’s nearly impossible to consider other perspectives, look for common ground, build trust, and make the decisions that create real change—change that can create a more stable, safe, and unifying environment for everyone.

So next time you’re confronted with a challenging message how can you keep from making a snap decision?

Set aside your assumptions, look past the sensationalism, and take the time to educate yourself. Seek out reliable sources—experts in the field—not just talking heads. Be skeptical of opinions that simply serve a political agenda. Look for experts with nothing to gain, listen to people who have first-hand experience, and put yourself in the shoes of someone experiencing the situation from a different perspective than your own and then draw your own conclusions. Be willing to challenge your own beliefs and be open to the idea that change, while difficult, can create amazing new opportunities.