Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Secrets Well-Kept

"Come hear the Green Party presidential candidate that the corporate media won't tell you about."

They aren't, it seems, the only ones.

The Stein-Honkala ticket is the fifth of eight on the Washington State ballot this year, and it's likely that many Washington voters had never seen the name before. By the same token, I wouldn't be surprised if this is the first time that you're seeing the name. According to Green Party orthodoxy, it's because The Media, owned and controlled by the Corporations, are deliberately avoiding any mention of Stein's candidacy.

But I first found out about Stein some weeks back, from a website devoted to the elections. And this is the first item that I have seen posted by her supporters. A decent sized garage sale inspires more outreach. And that's part of the issue that political alternatives have in the United States. They have, for the most part, outsourced their public relations efforts to a mass media that's devoted mainly to celebrity and conflict. Because that's what generates readers, listeners and viewers. (Ralph Nader, despite having the same snowball's chance in Hell of being elected President of the United States as any other "third-party" candidate can interject himself into a fair number of news cycles because he already had a decent amount of name recognition before moving into politics, and then a virtuous cycle ensues.) Good media types may state that there is a difference between the interests of the public and the public interest, but catering to the public interest doesn't pay the bills in the way that catering to the interests of the public does.

In the end, the people who support the Green Party are going to have to take some responsibility for the Stein-Honkala ticket's lack of visibility. When you want people to know something, you have to take it upon yourself to tell them, rather than leaving that to others, and then complaining. Or, as the saying goes, "If you want something done right, do it yourself." The followers of Lydon LaRouche, with their "President Obama as Hilter" shtick, manage to keep themselves enough in the public eye that many people can tell you they've seen them, even if they don't know exactly who they are. While I'm not advocating that the Green Party sink to the level of the LaRouchies, surely they can mount a more active and effective public outreach campaign than posting flyers outside of a Seattle bookstore.

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