Sunday, August 04, 2013

In the Macomb Daily, a county newspaper in the northeast suburbs of Detroit, blogger Chad Selweski has an article on two Republican politicians who seem to have good luck in raising money. The title is "Macomb lawmakers rake in the campaign cash."

It's an informative article and I have no qualms with any of the facts presented. But I did notice the way the facts were presented. First let me say I've read many articles by Mr. Selweski and he does like to use metaphors. But metaphors can be used for purposes other than colorful writing. Sometimes they are used to slant facts in a certain way.

For example, the phrase 'raking in' can be a propaganda technique that I call image mongering. The idea is to bypass the reader's reasoning mind and appeal to his emotions. It does this by invoking the image of a person raking leaves from his lawn. The leaves just fell on his lawn through no effort of his. All he has to do now is rake them in. This implies that his leaves were unearned and thus undeserved. This in turn is meant to invoke in the reader an emotional response which could range from disgust to contempt to disrespect etc. The hope by such propagandists is that the emotional response will translate into an action by the reader that is favorable to the writer. This action could be anything on the order of 'don't vote for these guys' to 'vote for someone else' or to just implant in the reader's mind something like 'republicans don't earn their way' or 'are not trustworthy' etc. The favorable possibilities are almost endless.

This metaphor 'raking in' is often used by the left to demonize big business, banks and Wall Street as an evil from which only the leftist intellectuals and politicians can save us. Don't fall for it.

Now I'm not saying Mr. Selweski is using this metaphor deliberately in this way. He may not be. He may have this 'unearned money' sense regarding all politicians. So I will set this article aside and see if he uses the 'unearned money implication' in the future when referring to Democratic politicians. We'll see.