Spin Speak: Losing Grip on Reality

Political spin, half truths, cleverly phrased statements, and strategic omissions are all part of political campaigning. Spin is to be expected and hopefully ignored. The line between spin and lying can often be blurred. But we have crossed the point at which political spin has become so absurd that it is now outright fiction.

The Obama and Clinton campaigns are no longer trying to favorably shape the news narrative; they are now creating a fantasy world. According to the campaigns, we live in a magical universe in which both are the underdog, the establishment, the insurgent, the frontrunner, and the strongest all at the same time. Here are the most recent delusions which have overwhelmed the two Democratic campaigns:

Barack Obama has had an incredible month with eight straight wins. He now leads in pledged delegates, total delegates, states won, popular vote (even counting MI and FL), and money raised. Obama campaign manager, David Plouffe, yesterday even claimed that it is now "next to impossible" for Hillary Clinton to win more pledged delegates. Yet the Obama campaign is still claiming he is not the frontrunner. When you are the candidate with the most EVERYTHING, you are no longer the underdog.

From Bill Clinton comes an equally delusional statement, so utterly detached from reality that it can only be described as a "fairy tale." In talking about his wife's campaign Bill Clinton claims that, "we've gotten plenty of delegates on a shoestring [budget]." Hillary Clinton has raised more than $120 million for her campaign! As of the last filing date, Hillary Clinton had raised more money than any other presidential candidate! There is nothing "shoestring" about her campaign!

Political spin this year has become almost metaphysical discourse. Words and ideals have lost relation to the facts. I think that the American Psychiatric Association needs to seriously examine if "spin speak" might qualify for inclusion in the DSM-IV list of mental disorder. The main cause of "spin speak": being part of a campaign that lasts for more than 365 days.

1 comment:

Rob said...

I will ask my med student friends about this Spin Speak.

I suspect they're all trying to remain the underdog in order to lower expectations. They look foolish if they claim frontrunner status and then lose (as Hillary experienced with her "inevitability").

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