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Costumes and masks in politics - *TUTORIAL*

Costume and masks in politics - *TUTORIAL*

Your response to his approach will be entirely different than your response would be to [B]an activist that approaches you wearing a mask of Obama as the Joker from the Batman movie. The problem is that these jokers seem to be the ones out front at the aforementioned events.[/B]


The tactics of the left, but also the right can be very effective. as to the "Joker" mask, I never really liked that. Think basic psychology. That it's Obama as the Joker, that sends a message in and of itself. It says Obama is the bad guy. But this isn't an individual you want approaching you and interacting with you. Really, the Joker looks like a psychopath - someone you want to give wide berth to.

Guy Fawkes masks were more effective. In the movie, he was the "good guy", even though he was the "terrorist". Really, the wise underdog fighting tyranny. Completely different message. He looks like a character someone you wouldn't mind interacting with.

Remember that guy in the dolphin suit? He got interviewed by national media everywhere he showed up. He looked completely friendly and non-hostile. Kids would even like him - he looks like someone that would be wandering around Disneyland.

There was the picture of the guy that showed up at a protest with a sign that was a gallows and a pic of his congress critter hung, and the people that peacefully showed up at town halls openly carrying guns. Kind of in the middle - people distanced themselves, the former example was considered in very bad taste, while the latter was backed up as exercising rights. Both sent a VERY CLEAR message - CRYSTAL CLEAR! In these cases, there is also some alienation and it verges on hostile. Closer to the Joker example.

The guy dressing up as Thomas Paine that has been on Glen Beck would be another positive example.

What the above all have in common in that they are all very effective national media bait. You know, if you want to be noticed - be different!

Now we have some problems... The first is intended audience - and it varies a bit, but in general someone using masks or costumes shouldn't be there for the local audience. They should be there as bait for the media and the wider audience. That means you let them approach you. Masked or unusual people walking up and getting in your face is likely to induce a fight or flight reaction - not what you want.

The second problem is presentation and message. In most cases where this tactic has been used, the person didn't present themselves well and wasn't prepared. Mr. Dolphin suite was a Mitt Romney supporter, kind of mumbled and didn't really have a message. If the person starts railing incoherently about black helicopters, 9/11 and the international banking conspiracy - yes - that will seriously discredit the group or side he's on.

To be effective, the person doing this should be a good speaker. They should be very familiar with the issue at hand and have their facts straight. They should be prepared and able to deliver their message in anything from 30 seconds to 5 minutes and be able to wing it if asked questions, and direct the topic to what they want to talk about. Think like you were a lobbyist You need to be convincing and sell your view in 5-15 minutes. Prepare, practice, rehearse. You want to deliver a message that is NOT talking points or jargon phrases put out by one of the political parties - that just screams "I'm a partisan lemming". You want to say something different. You also want to become a subject matter expert of what you are talking about. In costume or not, like at these town hall meeting - if you fire off some alarmist points you received in some e-mail, you are likely to cause yourself to be dismissed and blown off. On the other hand, if you've actually read the bill, taken notes, researched it further and studied the issue you should have no problem finding something different to say. If you can quote exactly what the bill says and the impact this will have,, citing sections, this will give you instant credibility. In the context of the current health care debate, some examples:

In 1967 congress predicted Medicare would cost $12 B in 1990, it actually cost 110 B - why should we trust Congress to lower medical costs?

A common medical test used to cost $12 in office, but government regulation caused that to be sent out. Now it costs $70 and takes 3 days to get the results.

Congress is supposed to handle oversight of government, but like all these Czars, this health committee will dictate to insurance agencies what will be covered in the available plans, meaning rationing, and they will be accountable to no one!

It's not a matter of "unplugging grandma", it's a matter of her never getting plugged in in the first place! This bill is full of provisions that limit care, while not lowering costs, further, we have no idea how much it will cost individuals - in effect a tax, much of it hidden, nor do we know what policies this committee will come up with, but we do know that the Obama's health and ethics advisers are proponents of withholding care from the very young, the elderly and the disabled.

The administration is being incredibly deceptive with this bill, we have contradictory claims about what is now in it, the latest version available is over a month old, it phases in negative aspects over a decade, amendments have been blocked from consideration and if it's like recent legislation the final bill will be introduced at the last minute, no one will have time to read it before it's passed and it's rapid passage will be justified as there is a "crisis".

This bill is over over 1,000 pages. It's contents have been explained on 5 slides. It's what's between those bullet points and the fine print that should scare you.

In short, the use of costumes, masks and mascot suites can be very effective, if used appropriately. But remember - they are just the bail. It's the presentation and message that matter.


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