Politics, Policy & Media it's all connected.

TagDonald Trump

Fake News & Imagined Realities

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Having been away for a week, a fortuitous selection of holiday reading lead me to some insights on the fake news phenomenon and its impact on the recent US election.  Let me list these out, before exploring them in more detail: A unique quality of humans is our ability to create imagined realities. Many things that are fundamental to society are fictional constructs. Therefore humans were always...

Gary Hart and why Trump was inevitable.

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We’re all going to have to seriously question the system for selecting our national leaders, for it reduces the press of this nation to hunters and Presidential candidates to being hunted. In an episode of the excellent Axe-Files podcast featuring the equally excellent Matt Bai, the Gary Hary scandal and Bai’s book on it were discussed. Having only a passing familiarity with the...

Trump vs. everyone

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Originally written for socialmedia.lk A great example of how social media has changed politics is taking place in America with the battle over how Obama’s healthcare policies are to be changed under the new administration. President-elect Donald Trump is setting the stage for a potential clash with his fellow Republicans when it comes to the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act...

Voters & Prospect Theory: Trump Lessons Part 3

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This concept from Behavioral Economics is important in understanding why Trump won. Simply put, prospect theory posits that individuals are risk averse when facing favourable prospects but are more accepting of risks when faced with losses. In the case of the US elections, a significant number of voters had negative feelings about their current situation and their long-term prospects. They also...

Ideology: Trump Lessons Part 2

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The press takes him literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally. This was a great line from an article in The Atlantic and Trump’s billionaire backer Peter Thiel said much the same thing  I think one thing that should be distinguished here is that the media is always taking Trump literally. It never takes him seriously, but it always takes him...

Trump Lessons Part 1: picking your battles

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The problem from a political campaigning perspective with the type of handwringing articles we’ve seen about Trump’s sexism and racism is that they focus on the wrong thing. This happens in Sri Lankan politics too. In the latter, there is a tendency in some circles to focus on the wrong aspects of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s popularity and vote base. While it’s true that most if...

Strict fathers, Trump and Appachchi

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These articles quoting George Lakoff, one of the great thoughts leaders on political communication, about the influence moral frameworks and perceptions of parenting have on voters were very intriguing. He describes the two models as “strict father” and “nurturant parent.” In the former, he says, “the father knows best, the father knows right from wrong, and the job...

Authenticity and Framing

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This post about the repackaging of Hilary Clinton (in a manner similar to that of the sitcom character Leslie Knope) struck a cord with me; particularly in the context of authenticity and framing. She was preening and privileged, removed from the experience of normal people. She was too used to power and money to understand anyone but Washington insiders. She was so focused on her own career that...

Media disintermediation and priming in politics.

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Having posted earlier on the way agenda setting and priming have functioned in the US Presidential Primaries, I thought it useful to take a look at how social media affects this process, focusing on the impact of owned media. My interest in this was also stimulated by listening to a number of podcasts and having read articles that seemed bemused about why the largely negative press coverage of...

Priming and political messaging

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In other words, it’s not enough for an ad simply to be clever or have good visuals. It also has to connect with the audience at a time when voters are primed to pay attention to the message. The use of “primed” in this article caught my attention. It ties into an earlier post about “agenda setting” in political communication. I wrote there about the media’s role in agenda setting for Trump...

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