The above title is from an article posted by Matthew Sheffield over at National Review — and it’s a topic I’ve written about often over the years. In fact, I even used the words “industrial complex” in a series of articles (I’ve linked them below).
There is no better example of the failure of that “industrial complex” than in Illinois, where tens of millions of dollars are spent every election cycle in a state that could easily be turned red — if only more people actually saw/heard the message (words to eyes, sound to ears).
But alas, consultants make money by using methods that are proven failures — direct mail (of various types), radio and TV ads. They are all poorly constructed so they actually do not produce results. This begs the question, why in the world do big donors continue, over and over again, to fund failed consultants and their failed strategies? I answer that in another series of articles also linked below.
Here is Matthew Sheffield at National Review:
Republican consultants continue to thrive despite continued failures.
Steve Jobs, the late co-founder of Apple, was famously criticized for his ability to convince others to believe anything he said through a combination of hyperbole and bravado. One Apple employee called the effect a “reality distortion field” in 1981 and the term has persisted ever since.
It’s quite clear by now that conservative philanthropists and grassroots donors have been living in a reality distortion field as well: the creation of a cadre of political consultants who have failed repeatedly at their jobs and yet manage not only to survive but thrive.
The ineffectiveness of television advertising and junk mail at actually changing people’s minds has been known for some time in academia and yet if I had to wager, I would bet that most conservative donors, small or large, have never even heard of any of the studies which have proven this.
The sad reality of conservative and libertarian politics is that the generous people who donate their hard-earned cash have been fleeced for years by greedy, incompetent people who have manipulated the system to profit regardless of the policy or electoral outcomes.
First set of articles:
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