Beneath the spin has never been more meaningful than it has become during this political season, because it’s beginning to look like Hillary Clinton has taken it’s meaning to a new and very insidious level. After her comment regarding Robert Kennedy’s assassination, I began to consider all the “gaffes” that both she and Bill have been involved in during this campaign, and I’ve found strong evidence that points to the possibility that Hillary has been engaged in the practice of subliminal messaging throughout this campaign. If this is indeed the case, it makes her latest misstatement much more serious than many of us would like to believe.
Subliminal messaging involves sending messages to the subconscious mind that are not picked up on a conscious level. This technique is often used in advertising-sometimes overtly, but at other times very covertly. An example of the overt use of subliminal messaging in advertising is to have a beautiful woman caressing a new car that’s being advertised for sale. Having the woman there, caressing the car sends a subliminal message to the subconscious of perspective male buyers that if they buy this car, it will draw beautiful women to them. Another example of overt subliminal advertising is in the use of Michael Jordan to advertise tennis shoes. It sends the message that if you buy these tennis shoes, it will help you to play basketball like Michael Jordan. Neither is necessarily true, but the beauty of subliminal messaging is since the message goes directly to the subconscious, it circumvents the scrutiny of logical thought.
That’s what makes the use of covert subliminal messaging so ominous. I remember studying one case in college involving a group of moviegoers who were subjected to the technique. In that case, while the group was watching a movie, one frame of a juicy and delicious-looking, cheeseburger was spliced into the reel. the moviegoers never even noticed it on a conscious level, but the subconscious doesn’t miss a thing. Later, when they became hungry “out of the blue” and flocked to the concession stand, they never realized that they’d been manipulated.
This technique can also be applied in a political context. But instead of one frame in a reel during a movie, it becomes one word in a sentence, a paragraph, or even an entire speech. I suspect very seriously that this technique was being employed when Bill Clinton mentioned “Jesse Jackson” while discussing an Obama win in the South Carolina primary. By doing so, it was Bill’s intent to implant a subliminal message in the mind of the voter associating all of Jesse Jackson’s baggage, or perceived baggage, on the back of Barack Obama. The beauty of such a strategy is that it doesn’t matter what the context, as long as the statement is graphic, and mentioned while discussing Obama, it serves to implant itself in the mind of the voter.
Another example of subliminal messaging at work was in Bill’s post-Iowa remark that, “This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.” He said that during a time when the Clintons thought that they still had a chance of getting the Black vote, so by implanting “fairy tale” in the mind of Black voters, it sent the message that they were wasting their vote, because Obama’s candidacy was a fantasy.
Hillary’s comment regarding John McCain having more experience than Obama is another example of this type of manipulation at work. Hillary said, “He’s [McCain] never been the president, but he will put forth his lifetime of experience. I will put forth my lifetime of experience. Senator Obama will put forth a speech he made in 2002.”
In this case, Hillary was trying to implant two messages. First, by saying, “He’s never been president, but…” She was attempting to implant the subliminal message that she had been president. Then, by aligning McCain and herself on the one hand, and Obama on the other, and saying Obama only had a speech, she was contrasting the White experience with the presidency, against that of a Black man—and then dismissing Obama by saying all he could bring to the table was a speech.
That was the primary reason that no one could figure out why Hillary had aligned herself with the Republican candidate-it had to do with race, clear and simple. Notice her phrasing—McCain “will put forth his lifetime of experience. I will put forth my lifetime of experience.” She emphasized, and then re-emphasized the word “lifetime”. So she wasn’t talking about governmental experience, or even legislative experience—she was talking about White experience. So the message she was actually trying to implant was, What experience could a Black man possibly have that would prepare him to be president?
Then on May 8th she went there again when she said, “Sen. Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, White Americans, is weakening again, and how Whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.” The reason she stuttered after the first comma was because on her first attempt, she forgot to implant the word “White.” The message? Vote White.
In addition, the implication of her remarks left the message that White people are the only one’s who work hard. So the subliminal message is, if many Black people are poor, yet, don’t work hard to remedy that condition, what does that say about them—and through extension, what does it say about Obama?
Now we come to her latest “gaffe” about the assassination of Robert Kennedy. She claims that her words are being taken out of context, but she could have made the very same point by using other examples. In fact, that would have been the prudent and compassionate thing to do considering Sen. Ted Kennedy’s condition, and what the Kennedy family was already going through. But for some reason, Hillary deemed it absolutely necessary to implant the word “assassination.”
And this was clearly not an issue that hadn’t been considered within the Clinton camp. On May 11th while appearing on Meet The Press, Hillary’s campaign chairman, Terry McAuliffe, made the same kind of statement to Tim Russert. He said that in order for Hillary to win the nomination “something big” would have to happen. Then Russett asked, “An act of God, or something catastrophic?,” and he said, “Yes, something big would have to happen—absolutely.”
So let there be no doubt about it, the Clintons know exactly what they’re saying—and it behooves us to listen very carefully to every word. Because these two desperate, and they want to get back into the White House bad—real bad.
Eric L. Wattree
Eric L. Wattree, Sr. n can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.