Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Harper Hate-Mongering

The latest attack ad, this one against newly-appointed Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau, serves as a timely reminder of the Harper government's seemingly endless capacity for hateful and divisive propaganda. In this, I make an all-too obvious observation. But I have, for some time, wondered about the audience for those ads, and searching my blog archive, I don't think I have commented upon this aspect previously.

No matter which Conservative attack ad one chooses, and there have been many, it seems that a standard template for the imagery and the narration predominates, both always out of context and derisive in tone. Designed to inspire fear, resentment and mockery towards their targets, they reveal something very significant about their collective architect, the Harper regime: a morally bankrupt and debased view of the electorate.

I have often wondered whether the target audience, the general electorate, has ever stopped to think about the implications of having a government that regards them as little more than Pavlovian dogs, deficient in intellect, general awareness, and sensibility, poised to respond to the latest offering from their 'master'. Consider the ad against Justin Trudeau, which I posted yesterday. There is a kind of carnival music playing in the background, suggestive of frivolity and lightness, the image they are trying to instill of Trudeau in the viewer's mind. The Liberal leader is shown doing a kind of striptease and behaving in an exaggerated, almost effeminate way. Cue the contempt.

The other ad released yesterday listed Trudeau's experience as a camp counsellor, rafting instructor and drama teacher for two years, the later delivered with particular derision (the message: a real leader has contempt for the arts). While its message is blunt and obvious, that very bluntness makes the intended audience manipulation more than obvious, something that Canadian citizens should be offended, outraged, and disturbed by, inasmuch as it is a bald admission that power is the regime's only raison d'etre.

And yet we are told that attack ads are very effective. I can only hope that more and more people begin to exercise their innate critical faculties and see these ads for what they really are: a blatant expression of contempt for the voters of Canada.

2 comments:

  1. The attack ads have always said more about Stephen Harper than his targets, Lorne.

    They all underscore the same thing: although Harper likes to claim that his opponents are "unfit to govern" the ads make it abundantly clear that -- like the paranoid Richard Nixon -- it is Harper who is unfit to govern.

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    1. Well-said, Owen. My sentiments exactly.

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