Sunday, November 02, 2014

October "Midterm" Surprise : Ebola and Obama As Political Savior?

Fox "News" doing level best to throw election with bogus internal "poll" numbers; IF voters decide to participate VOTE FOR ANY DEPENDENT CANDIDATE as if your life and livelihood depends on it - because it DOES    

By Dallas Darling

In the realm of politics it is called framing, or the ability to alter reality and a voter's perception.(1) The way images are presented, campaigns conducted, and how messages are worded, usually determines the way the public identifies with a political narrative and then casts their ballots. President Barack Obama's October Surprise, his appearance as a political savior before the last major election, was a clear example of framing. Given the context of fear and hysteria over Ebola, he is in a position to do the same. He can still save the Senate from a Republican takeover and redeem fledgling Democratic contenders.

Be afraid… be VERY AFRAID
On October 31, 2012, just days before the presidential election, President Obama arrived in Atlantic City. He was greeted by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to visit areas hardest hit by superstorm Sandy. The storm had left a trail of devastation and killed several individuals. As people sifted through the wreckage and tried putting their lives back together, President Obama called for an outpouring of support and prayers. He also promised emergency aid worth millions of federal dollars. His framed appearance as a political savior and heroic rescuer decided the tied-up White House race.

A poll conducted right after President Obama trumped his leading rival, Mitt Romney, revealed 51 percent of voters decided the day of the election who to vote for. Another 73 percent said President Obama's visit to New Jersey was the most important factor in casting their vote.(2) It also helped that Governor Christie, a Republican and prominent supporter of Romney, also a Republican, praised and anointed President Obama. President Obama's high profile as political savior worked, leaving Romney awkwardly on the sidelines. Market societies not only produce impulsive shoppers but impulsive voters.

Political framing is a set of ideas, conditions, or assumptions that determine how something will be perceived. One type of framing is "frame of reference", or the relationship between the proposed frame and a larger belief system. Another is "relevance of the frame to the realities of participants."(3)  Americans love mythical saviors and heroic rescuers, having internalized them through the mass media. Since Americans live what they see in the media, practically in every room of their homes, including places of business, restaurants, doctors offices, etc..., they have also internalized Ebola hysteria.

As Commander-in-Rescuer, President Obama can again position himself as a political savior. He has already flown Ebola victims to the U.S. where they were treated and cured. The photo-op with the nurse from Dallas who contracted the hemorrhagic disease and was cured resonated with many. 

This, and his appointment of an Ebola Czar and War On Ebola, just might avert a midterm Democratic disaster. Forget the trillion dollar bailouts for banks and corporations. Disregard the declining middle class and increase in poverty. Never mind the stagnant wages. The "image" is what counts. It is a get-out-the-vote issue.

Governor Christie, who appeared a little too bipartisan in 2012, is also creating a new frame of reference. He too is dancing with political opportunism. By declaring New Jersey will enforce a 21-day quarantine for medical workers returning from west Africa, he distanced himself from President Obama. Such a move will help him pander to a conservative base which he needs to win. With the power of political framing, it is no longer Election Day but Manipulation Day, Alternate Reality Day, and Pay-Per-Vote Day. Candidates with the most money and influential images carry the day.

Fox "News" frauds and shills doing their damnedest to confuse, obfuscate, propagate panic

To keep control of a Democratic Senate and counter a Republican led House, President Obama desperately needs a Midterm October Surprise. Since fear of disease leads to the disease of fear,(4) vulnerable voters will be anticipating some type of political savior. They will choose a messianic candidate even if that candidate makes false promises. Call it irrational but in an image-oriented society people vote their feelings instead of the facts. Emotions tug at the heart and pull the levers. But then what does one expect when candidates have similar brand names and are flawed.

Voters have very few choices.

Both political framing and natural disasters have ways of influencing unnatural elections. Consequently, if President Obama does not position himself as a political savior, another one is waiting in the wings. More than likely, she will galvanize Democrats in 2016 and sweep the presidential elections.

Dallas Darling (

Dallas Darling is the author of Politics 501: An A-Z Readingon Conscientious Political Thought and Action, Some NationsAbove God: 52 Weekly Reflections On Modern-DayImperialism, Militarism, And Consumerism in the Context ofJohn's Apocalyptic Vision, and The Other Side Of Christianity: Reflections on Faith, Politics, Spirituality, History, and Peace. He is a correspondent for You can read more of Dallas' writings at and


(1) Hadnagy, Christopher. Social Engineering: The Art ofHuman Hacking. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley Publishing, Inc.,2011., p. 215.

(2) Did hurricane sandy get Obamareelected? 11/11/2012.

(3) Hadnagy, Christopher. Social Engineering: The Art of Human Hacking., p. 220, 221.

(4) Biddle, Wayne. A Field Guide To Germs. New York, New York: Anchor Books, 2002., p. 16.

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