By Marta Mossburg
The Hendricks County Flyer
Tue Dec 11, 2012, 05:09 PM EST
President Obama will never be "our Lord and Savior" as actor Jamie Foxx recently said. But he is god-like at making people see him as a transformational figure.
If Republicans want to win, they should study why people see Obama as a messiah and emulate the tactics he uses that are so powerful artists paint him as Christ crucified and hope embodied.
Ultimately, it comes down to branding, which Republicans are about as good at as unsuccessful Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin is at explaining "legitimate rape."A computer program created by a child could be designing most Republican advertisements and campaign material given that the party's motif for the past 50 years has been the same: flags and eagles combined with a candidate's name.
Other conservative-libertarian symbols probably alienate more people than they attract. The Gadsden flag, for example, depicts a coiled, hissing rattlesnake underscored by "Don't tread on me." It may have been a perfect symbol for American Revolutionaries and embody the tea party's distrust of government. But times have changed - a lot.
For starters, America is a lot more urban and pop culture is paramount. Young people are mostly ignorant of American history, see the Constitution as a "living" document, and are not moved by symbols of our past. In fact, they likely see them as relics of a slave-holding, oppressive society.
Art critic Jed Perl wrote in the Dec. 6 issue of The New Republic that the popularity of Andy Warhol, whose advertising-inspired loud prints of celebrities and consumables that fetch millions at auction, reveals the new America. "Warholism is the dominant ism of our day, grounded as it is in the assumption that popular culture trumps all other culture, and that all culture must become popular culture in order to succeed ..."
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An NPR broadcast examines the question of how communities can better prepare for tornadoes like the one that struck Moore, Okla. on Monday. The broadcast features commentary from Michael Fitzgerald, who reported a five-part disaster series for the CNHI News Service.
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Part I: Are We Prepared? | Part II: Disaster Dollars Part III: Lessons Learned | Part IV: Warning Signs Part V: The Big One
Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.
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