The fact that no one knows who Jeffrey Allan Wagner is, is no surprise. Yet, his recent ad for the mayoral race in the city of Minneapolis is turning heads with some calling it a disgrace and others labeling it one of the best political ads ever created.
So while I will let you watch it for yourself and decide for yourself what you think of it, it does beg the interesting question; is a half naked man standing in a lake really the answer to the medias control over people's opinions during elections?
I think that for many of us the answer is clearly, no. Since while most everyone agrees that the media has a clear role to play in elections and their outcomes, this is only the case because of the vast majority of North Americans who don't think for themselves or understand political theory. Those North Americans who before going to the voting booth, turn on the TV or simply ask a friend, to find out who they should vote for. A process that is quick, painless and involves no more thinking than is necessary. I mean it's already hard enough having to remember a person's name, especially when you have never met them and know nothing about them, right? So while it is true that the media can create bias and control the headlines and the North American people's topics of conversation. This is only the case because a majority of us have chosen to turn our brains off and stop thinking for ourselves; and most dangerous of all, taught ourselves to stop asking questions. Since we don't want to bother or offend other people, and besides Google will always have the answer, right?
So what's driving this ad featuring a half naked man into the North American experience, besides the fact that it is unique. It is because for the vast majority of North Americans, especially of my generation, we look at this ad and say, "see, now there is someone real to vote for." This is especially true of my generation, for we love reality TV and think it is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Yet, I have a news flash for you, it is still scripted and edited TV. Yes it might have a little more drugs, sex, violence and swearing than your average TV show [which while I personally don't understand the appeal I know many in my generation who do], but it is still within a controlled setting of a pre-recorded and edited show. Yet, because this man looks like a person straight off the set of Survivor, Amazing Race or Jersey Shore, he appeals to people.
In other words this ploy is nothing new and has been used by the media, TV and even politicians since forever. In fact, politicians, while not going quite as far as this man did by showing off their birthday suit to such an extent, well except for maybe this guy...
- Benito Mussolini -
So while I understand that Mr. Wagner's ad is unique and trying to be out of the mainstream, in reality and in point of fact it is not; and thus Jeffrey Allan Wagner is sadly not the solution to politics in North America. This is because it is not how a man chooses to present himself that makes him real or fake, a good politician or a bad corrupted one. It is their actions, as well as their new innovative ideas or their fresh understanding and clear grasp of those ideas that have been shown stand the test of time, simply because they work well. Ideas that were missing in Mr. Wagner's ad.
Since everything Mr. Wagner stated was what he wouldn't do, all of which would get him fired from the gig anyway. In fact, there was no mention of what he stood for, or what he would do for the people of Minneapolis whom he would be representing as Mayor. Stating simply that if you made him mayor it would show the children that anyone can do it, and that no one, not even the media or citizens with money, can stand in their way if they want something bad enough. To which I reply, that the destruction of another great American city by a mayor that doesn't know what he is doing, is too high a price to pay to inspire the children.
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