Expect McCain to "Prime" the Russian Bear
Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Nisbet studies the role of communication and advocacy in policymaking and public affairs, focusing on debates over over climate change, energy, and sustainability. Among awards and recognition, Nisbet has been a Visiting Shorenstein Fellow on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Health Policy Investigator at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Google Science Communication Fellow. In 2011, the editors at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism."
Rewind 1992: Bush's public approval shifted as the public turned its attention from war to the economy.
As tensions with a newly aggressive Russia escalate, the return of America's Cold War enemy heavily favors McCain's election chances. Here's the reason: The issues that are most salient in voters minds are often the issues by which they are most likely to judge candidates. Political psychologists call this process "priming." The classic example of this priming effect at work was George H.W. Bush's approval ratings during the later half of his presidency (graph above, stu-dies). During the first Gulf War with national security as the salient issue, President Bush was evaluated chiefly based on these terms. Yet as soon as the war was over, media attention turned sharply to focus on the faltering economy, and as this issue took precedent in voters' minds, his approval ratings plummeted.
In 2008, given their respective backgrounds, if the economy remains the overwhelmingly dominant issue, then the interpretative playing field favors Obama. If national security becomes salient, then things shift strongly in favor of McCain. Yet it gets potentially even more one-sided for McCain. The Arizona Senator has even figured out a way to turn the saliency of the economy in his favor, successfully redefining the economy as about gas prices (solution=drilling) rather than housing foreclosures, jobs, and the credit crisis.
On the McCain front, expect themes of strength and experience to pick up in his television ads and campaign rhetoric, with the campaign likely pulling off the shelf battle tested Cold War metaphors.
Indeed these strategies helped propel both the candidacy of Ronald Reagan as well as that of George W. Bush in 2004. See below the now classic advertisement from 1984 using the metaphor of a "bear in the woods" to emphasize with voters the need for a strong leader to take on the Soviet Union. Also see a similar strategy used in the second ad below from 2004, with the metaphor of "wolves in the woods" used to signify the need for a strong leader in the face of a terrorist threat.
No, the Syrian civil war is not over. But it might be soon. Time for a recap
- The War in Syria has dropped off the radar, but it's not over (yet)
- This 1-minute video shows how the fronts have moved – and stabilised – over the past 22 months
- Watching this video may leave you both better informed, and slightly queasy: does war need a generic rock soundtrack?
Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.
Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco!
Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.
- To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
- Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
- There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
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