Monday, March 25, 2013

The "Cool Factor" And Barack Obama

      There have literally been hundreds of millions of words written and spoken in analysis of last November's election. Many theories have been advanced as to why Barack Obama won and Mitt Romney lost, some of which have made valid points and others of which border on conspiracy theory. But I believe the reason Barack Obama won re-election is the same reason teenagers buy music that they ultimately abandon in a few years, it is the "cool factor." People will give up their money, time and labor, and in the case of Barack Obama's re-election, their liberty, in order to be thought of by their fellow human beings as cool.
     Marketing gurus have known for a long time that if they can convince people that something is cool, and not having it is uncool, the public can be convinced to buy anything. No one wants to feel that they are the outsider, looking in. This human phenomenon is especially present in the young teenage physique, which with the juvenilization of America that has been implemented for the last few decades, explains the actions of people who are chronologically adult but emotionally teenagers.
     The music industry has used the "cool factor" to sell their product to successive generations of teenagers for the last 60 years. I use to think, when I was young and foolish, that hit music sold because it spoke to people's souls and was important. But top 40 music sells because it has successfully been marketed to the music-buying public using the "cool factor." Unfortunately, this method that has been used for decades by music industry marketers, has now made its way into the hands of political charlatans who sell candidates based on the "cool factor" and not the candidate's ideas or accomplishments.
     Which brings us full circle to Barack Obama. The blatancy of the "cool factor" being used to sell the public on Barack Obama was evident, not only in the war room of his campaign, but the media as well. I have been awestruck the last four plus years with the number of times I have heard Barack Obama referred to as "cool." As if he were the latest iPhone offering from Apple or the horribly disfigured musical styling of Beyonce. It is a sad commentary on where we are as a nation that Barack Obama, supposed leader of the free world, has been referred to as cool many more times than he has been referred to as presidential during his tenure. The marketing gurus must have focus grouped presidential, and found with today's juvenile voters, it didn't test as well as cool. But just remember, all you seekers of the cool thing, what is cool generally is not what is best, in music as well as politics.

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