With the 2012 presidential election around the corner, every time we watch television, we are bombarded with ads for our presidential candidates. In these ads they go after each other for things they did or did not do. This leaves the voters more confused when it comes to make a decision on whom to vote for, and that’s what propaganda is. Propaganda distorts people’s point of view, by presenting facts selectively influencing people to believe information of a misleading nature.
In other words, it is a way of lying by omission because it presents half- truths to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information presented. Propaganda is a narrow selfish way to get people to accept ideas and beliefs, and it is presented on different levels. Propaganda is a technique that is use to persuade people to join in or do the same thing. This form of propaganda is commonly used by companies to increase their profits by increasing their sales.
For instance, there are weight loss companies that get celebrities to endorse their product, and through a testimonial make the consumer believe in false expectations. In the same context, propaganda is a way to produce positive feelings to the person for whom the product or message is intended. To illustrate, cosmetic companies use the customer emotions to their advantage claiming that their product will make you look 10 years younger. Due to the persuasive advertisement, they get people to purchase their product even though the skeptical nature of the product.
Another definition of propaganda is an idea that might be taken as a truth when repeated several times. However, this approach works best in situations where media sources are limited or controlled by the propagator. This concept has been use by powerful leaders’ trough history. According to Paul Joseph Goebbels a German politician, during the reign of Hitler, “The essence of propaganda consists in winning people over to an idea so sincerely, so vitally, that in the end they succumb to it completely and can never escape from it. Through the use of this principle Hitler and the Nazis managed to convince a large amount of soldiers and people to join their party.
A negative use of words to create an unfavorable opinion of the competition in the viewer’s mind is also known as propaganda. Election year is a very good time to see the media overflowing with information designed to change the opinion of people in a desired direction, this type of propaganda is designed specifically for the foolish, poorly-educated majority of the targeted population. The viewer is led to believe one candidate is better than another, although no real proof is offered.
For instance, in our upcoming elections, through the usage of all kinds of media, candidates are trying to convince voters as to why one or the other should be elected to be our next president. After viewing all the different concepts of propaganda, whether it is used to persuade, to change, or to manipulate a point of view; propaganda is the spreading of ideas, information, or rumors for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person. People need to be aware of the existence of propaganda in everyday life, to ensure that they make wise and rational decisions.