Many years ago I learned the management philosophy of the “radio station WII-FM”: “What’s In It For Me?” People view issues in terms of their own situation. They tend to have an interest, listen, and accept a message when they perceive benefit to themselves.
This very much applies to the elections.
Daily, I am bombarded with propaganda in the mail, propaganda in my emails, propaganda on my TV, and propaganda on my phone. If the answer to WII-FM is not readily apparent, their message translates more into a negative as opposed to a supportive perception. When I hear a candidate talk, when I see their advertisements, when I listen to their media surrogates, I am left with a void that echoes my question, WII-FM, “What’s in it for me?”
Rolling out obsolete politicians with their zealous devotion to the corruption of the political parties does very little to sway my vote for your candidate. As a matter of fact, it probably has the opposite effect; I begin to question a candidate’s message and foundation as so weak the party needs a washed up figure to prop up candidates to support the party and not me? The worn out comments recycled from the past political party conventions years ago leads me to ask “What’s in it for me?”
Recently, we witnessed a bitter conflict in the Senate over confirmation of a nomine as a justice to Supreme Court. How blatantly obvious was the fanatical devotion to the political parties and attempts to lay the groundwork for future presidential aspirations that members of the Senate displayed during the months of this event. Do they really expect to win my loyalty to trust them with governing this country while on national TV they were consumed with 16 year olds joking about flatulence? Instead, I again have to ask “What’s in it for me?”
I watched once more the FBI become a political piñata with charge and countercharge about an investigation from the same partisan politicians, which had demanded the FBI investigate, when their narrative was clouded with facts and I ask “What’s in it for me?”
The culmination of this nominating vote was met with partisan comments pledging impeachment and investigations which led me to ask “What’s in it for me?”
Do the politicians expect that the display of anarchy they demonstrated, reinforced, and encouraged in these last few weeks would win my vote for escalating levels of disruption to the orderly process of governing? I look at this pandemonium with the credible pledge for more and ask “What’s in it for me?”
In this age of instant access to the visual media, politicians dwell on their staged performances. It is even joked that there are some who have never missed an opportunity to stand in front of a camera. But as these melodramatic theatrics are persistently showcased by their media proxies, I listen to the communiqué struggling to answer the question, “What’s in it for me?”
We in America hold our vote near and dear to us. I am constantly assailed by candidates soliciting my vote with their propaganda trying to indoctrinate me. But they spend more time telling me what their party is going to do to bestow more power on them, how they will throw the government — my government, your government — into chaos and what I can do for them and their political party rather than “What’s in it for me.”
Before I commit my vote to any candidate, before I commit my vote on any issue, I must continue to ask the question “What’s in it for me?”
John M. DeMaggio retired after 30 years of service as a Captain from the U.S. Naval Reserve Intelligence Program. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Forensic Science from John Jay College and a Master’s of Science from Whiting School of Engineering, Johns Hopkins University. Privately consulting in counterterrorism, forensic science, and investigations, he also conducts international counterterrorism training, having retired as a Special Agent in Charge and serving as Co-chairman, Investigative Support and Forensic Subgroup, TSWG, developing interagency counterterrorism technology. He is also an op-ed contributor for The Hill. He previously published “Mitigation of Terrorist Effects on Victims’ Motivation” in U.S. Army Counterinsurgency Center Colloquium. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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