Citing specific examples from Playboy, Vogue, and Cosmopolitan magazines, Professor Key explains the ways in which the media uses sex and violence to manipulate human action. — Google Books

Given his obvious incompetence, why do so many of us approve of President Trump? Misogyny, racism, xenophobia seem insufficient explanations. Ignorance alone can’t be enough. Could we be brainwashed?

In “Subliminal Seduction,” author Wilson Bryan Key explains how advertisers use fleeting images to influence opinion. Key claims that advertising images aren’t accidental — clouds, liquids, reflections include subtle images designed to influence the audience.

Political advertising frequently uses images, sometimes what appear to be photographs, altered to frighten or sow distrust. While doubtless effective, ordinary advertising can’t be expected to excuse or hide corruption and incompetence. Perhaps we had better take a more careful look at political advertising to discern how our opinions are manipulated.

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9 Responses to Brainwashed

  1. I’m sure there’s plenty of subliminal (and surreptitious) brainwashing going on but I also think there are some issues that are make or break for a lot of Trump’s base. They’re willing to put up with his faults in order to have his support on certain issues. As I type this, a “Save Roe” advertisement is the right of this box. I got a mailing for the supposedly non-partisan Faith & Freedom Coalition. They have a sample ballot for a Senate seat with the candidates being Jane Doe, Democrat, and John Smith, Republican. It then shows their vote on/support for some issues, i.e., Religious Freedom Restoration Act, abortion on demand, taxpayer funding of abortion, repeal Obamacare, balanced budget amendment, confirm Neil Gorsuch to US Supreme Court, amnesty for illegal aliens, school choice. It looks like some helpful information on the ballot but non-partisan? I don’t think so.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. josephurban says:

    Are Trump supporters brainwashed? Short answer: NO You need a car to be car washed and a face to be face washed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. whungerford says:

    I got a survey and fundraising letter in the mail from the National Republican Campaign Committee. The fourth question on the survey is “Do you support Republican efforts in the House to cut spending, balance the budget, and reduce the national debt? The question suggests that there were Republican efforts in the House to “cut spending, balance the budget, and reduce the national debt.” I am not aware of any; some Republicans surely favored reduced spending for things they dislike. As for balancing the budget and reducing debt, Republican efforts took the opposite direction. Still, the idea that Republicans are fiscally responsible may transcend reality.


  4. Arthur Ahrens says:

    10+ years of seeing Trump on The Apprentice certainly had an effect on the electorate.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. whungerford says:

    I am puzzled, Arthur. What effect do you think The Apprentice had? Is the effect the same now as four years ago?


  6. Arthur Ahrens says:

    I think that The Apprentice exposed the American people to an efficient, rational, competent, mature, fearless, successful businessman. That’s what people believed Trump to be as the result of years of indoctrination by the tv show.
    They’ve now had four years of Actual Trump, who has proven to be the complete opposite of the TV construction.
    So I think the effect is diminished somewhat.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. whungerford says:

    Per Arthur Ahrens, this sign can be found at the corner of Wetmore Road and Emerson Road, just off Italy Hill Road, in Branchport.


  8. josephurban says:

    Trump, (like Reagan and Schwartsenegger) got “name recognition” from their acting careers. People knew the name. Oh, yah, I heard of him. guess I’ll vote for him. For some reason the failures, criminality and vulgarity of Trump did not matter to them. Go figure. Maybe that is why the founders, in their wisdom, severely limited who could choose the president? They didn’t want a bunch of dummies voting.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. whungerford says:

    Yes, but the founder’s assumption that the wealthy would do right for the country, or that state legislators would choose wisely has proven overly optimistic.


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