Propaganda in Politics Paper

We recently talked about the uses of Persuasive Communication Techniques, including Propaganda, and how these techniques are often used by politicians/elected officials as an important part of their messaging as they seek to gain votes.

Your assignment is to choose one of the following people currently or recently running for the office of President of the United States, and write a paper about how they used one of the following techniques in their campaign. I want at least four examples of the technique you chose (you can use print or broadcast ads, Television commercials, or short interviews) included in your paper. Tell me if you think their approach was/is effective and why. What audience are they appealing to using the propaganda techniques listed below the candidates? The paper should be 3 pages, double spaced with standard margins. You do not need to cite the references or sources in a formal MLA format, but you must footnote the examples you are using and include your sources on a separate page at the end of your paper. The election will be over by the time you hand in your papers – it doesn’t matter who wins or loses the election for the purposes of this assignment…

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Choose one of these candidates: (in alphabetical order so they are not biased on my part…)

· Michael Bloomberg

· Joe Biden

· Tom Steyer

· Donald Trump

· Bernie Sanders

Propaganda Techniques- Advertising and PR messages use several techniques commonly associated with propaganda:

Plain folks (humble beginnings) – empathy for the average citizen. “I’m just like you – Jimmy Carter – a humble peanut farmer
Testimonial (expert or celebrity for credibility) – talks about the value of the product or person and the wisdom of your decision to use it or support the person
Bandwagon (“everyone” wants it, or the product or person has “overwhelming” support) – millions of Americans use it or support a person
Card-stacking (select key facts and data to build overwhelming case on one side of the issue, while concealing – hiding – the other side) – like guaranteeing a winning hand in poker
Transfer (associate the person, product or organization with something that has high status, visibility or credibility) – like the Olympics – you hope that people will associate their product with the excellence associated with the Olympics
Glittering generalities (associate a cause, product, or person with favorable abstractions such as freedom, justice, democracy and the American way)

If you choose broadcast ads/television or web commercials, you may talk about them in your paper, and include a link to the broadcast or website so I can review it. You may include a screen shot of the actual print ad at the end of your paper, if you use a print ad.

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