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View Diary: What do Republicans have to lose? Everything! (33 comments)

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  •  The televised broadcast of gun-toting voters head (2+ / 0-)
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    Emerson, JeffW

    The televised broadcast of gun-toting voters heading out to their respective political rallies were all too common last summer. Alaska, Texas, Kentucky and Arizona each had their moments of violence and rage, all focussed on their nemesis, The Left Wing Radical. A woman had her head stomped. We witnessed it on Youtube. The fact of commonplace occurance has had its influence.  

    I wonder how the producers of violent television justify their claims that their show, their rhetoric, has "no influence" in the marketplace?  We get commercials every ten minutes which try to influence so successfully that the Super Bowl is watched for the commercials as much as the football.

    I have finished reading a book called, "Influence" by Robert Cialdini (Google for his videos) in which the author provides the scientific basis for such influence. As an example, if I shout something, then point to the sky, many eyes will also reach skyward. That is the "social proof" of my actions. There were people to see and hear, and they did in fact, look up.

    It is considered dangerous to shout in a theater, "Fire!" The social proof of that danger is that the exits are always too small for the numbers of movie-goers stampeding for their lives.

    Social Proof is television's own phenomenon. If a performer has a "costume failure" and exposes her breast, we have in the immediate aftermath of reaction (in the violent, yet sentimental USA) a demonstration of  the visible reach televised power, and domination over the psyche of its audience. It is "Social Proof," that proves the power of that influence, in that moment of breach. The fact that audiences buy cars and pharmaceuticals from the same broadcast medium is worth many billions.

    We can try to diminish this, say that it is not true, but it is a scientifically-proven fact. Social Proof is all we need to make a decision to copy what we see on TV. Protesters in the civil rights era got more courage from watching the story happen elsewhere, and went out and marched again, they had the Social Proof that others wanted change as well.

    What gives the haters, the Sarah Palins or Glenn Becks anyplace to hide, with the shooting that took place on January 7th in Tuscon? Their rhetoric and their rallies have created sufficient Social Proof to remove for their own audiences any shame for, or restraint from, brandishing weapons in public. They saw it on TV.

    We all create social proof, and via that, we hope to influence each other, it's the human way. Violence has no place in this broken down democracy.

    Moderation in everything, especially moderation.

    by CF Perez on Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:02:38 AM PST

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