Soon it will be time to get ready for that flood of election campaign mail. Most of us would just rather throw it all in the trashcan and be done with it. However, if you are for one side or the other this can be a valuable way to make that choice you make in the voting booth an informed one.
Election campaign mail is a tried and true method for getting information about a candidate out to the public. Even in this day and age of “Mass Media” the “Mass Mail Out” makes an impact on the ones that chose to take the time to read it, and in my opinion, this is why. So let us take some time to compare the two, “Mass Media” and “Mass Mail Out”.
“Mass Media” campaign posters, radio, TV, and computer pop-ups; from the beginning of the American way of elections, short slogans, jingles, and catch phases have been the way campaigners have drawn attention to their candidate. Even though the media has changed from posters, handbills, and campaign pins, which by the way have all become collectibles, the march of technology gave campaigners radio, television, and then computer pop-ups.
What all of this “Mass Media” have in common is they are short, and hopefully, to the point. Campaign Managers hope that the message will stick after being repeated and repeated again and again. What this type of media blitz lacks is substantive information, and amounts to mild brainwashing. The short and slanted messages show the candidate in the best light possible. Not your best source of substantive information about any particular Political Candidate.
The one slight exception is the “TV Talk Show”. Campaign Managers hope that by getting their candidate on TV, it will give that candidate positive public exposure. Do not be fooled, most of these appearances are carefully scripted. The script is what is known as a reactionary open-script. If you get asked “this” you say “this” type of script.
The “Mass Mail-out” can be split into at least two types. The first and most irritating is a true Mass Mail-out sent to every address. Much like “Cold-calling”, which uses computerized phone number-generation programs, also used by campaigners, this is just a printed form of the TV-spot.
The second is aimed at registered voters according to political party affiliation. This type is actually worth at least one good read. Why? This type of mail out contains a candidate’s promises and “political plank”. Using this information you, as a voter, can compare what the candidate says on TV and radio with what they put in writing. A candidate that changes what he says from time to time should not get a vote.