March 6, 2009

Defining Viability Historically: Political Image Part 1

The best way to explain political image, at this point, is to first explain what image is in general. The image that we create of a person is created, as Dan Nimmo stated, “a subjective representation of something previously perceived.”

 You may have, for example, after meeting an old friend for the first time in years noticed that her hands shook as she reached for her sunglasses in the restaurant to help her head ache, and thought that she may have a really bad night. When she orders a marmosa with gin, you start to get the suspicion that she is a heavy drinker. And upon finishing three ginmosas and not ordering anything for brunch, you have assuredly have constructed an image of her. Your friend may in fact not be an alcoholic, she may have just lost a loved one and this is apart of her grieving process. Even if you gained that knowledge latter on, it will take some convincing to believe that she is not a lush. Although this may be a some what straight forward example, the picture gets murkier when applied to political candidates. 

Political image has a component of objectivity that a personal image may not have; the popular press. If you have a certain opinion of a candidate and read an article or watch any cable news show, your subjective interpretation of a candidate will either be validated or molded. It is justified in as much as the producer of this news/analysis/opinion exists outside of you (hopefully) and has some authority over your own. 

No comments: