This is the kind of man perfectly ready to be turned into a brand, made into a symbol, an idol and an icon. But brands tell us more about how their creators see us, than how we see them. The brand is a ‘wire mother’, a collection of symbols that are meant to draw forth emotional reactions from us and create an attachment to inanimate objects. The brand manipulates our ideas of who we are and want to be in order to incorporate itself into our self-image, to be the parasite in our worldview. To identify the brand as aspirational and link it to our own aspirations.
The idea that an election would cease to be about issues and become entirely an exercise in selling a product, sight unseen, the proverbial pig in a poke covered over with the symbols of capitalism might have seemed unduly alarmist once, but 2008 was our pig in a poke election. A man who had virtually no experience in national government was elevated to the highest office in the land because a fortune was spent on making voters feel good about voting for him. Not based on the issues, but based entirely on externals.
Obama did not have an aspirational candidacy, he had an aspirational brand. A brand that people wanted to be a part of, because it made them feel good about themselves. And so we learned that there is indeed something worse than Bread and Circuses. An electorate that votes on that is at least somewhat capable of using self-interest to make judgments, but one that votes for the brand that feels good has abandoned even the vestiges of reason and self-interest. Such people are no longer exercising their power over government, instead they have become customers, buying a product that they have no say in how it gets made or what goes in there. Not because they need it, but because they have been programmed to feel good when buying it.