Slogans and Labels

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We are more inclined to read slogans than labels. We like sound-bites rather than information. We’re drawn to quick wins rather than long-term solutions.

During the US Election campaign, some Trump supporters bought hats bearing the slogan “Make America Great Again”.  Reports suggested that some of the hats available online had labels stating they were made in China. These may have not been official Trump merchandise, and there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with hats made in China. But, if you believe buying domestic products is an important aspect of making your nation great again, it’s important to check the label, as well as read the slogan.

Politics has always favoured slogans. And all too often, the electorate vote for the soundbite, not caring about the truth behind it. It seems that, as long as it fits on a cap, t-shirt, or can be plastered in massive letters on the side of a bus, many people don’t care about the truth behind the slogan. In fact some commentators have gone so far as to say that we are living in a “post-truth era”. (Another “sound-bite”, I guess).

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Are We Losing Trust in Trust?

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Our trust has been broken so many times that we no longer trust “trust”. What do I mean by that? Well, if someone says “trust me”, we’re becoming more inclined to respond sceptically or defensively.

The tele-sales rep tells us “I’m not trying to sell you anything!” because if they said they were trying to sell us something then we would not trust a word they said. Even though we don’t trust that they are not trying to sell us something… because we know that they are!

Politicians have broken our trust so many times that we no longer trust them. As a result there’s a surge in popularity for “rookie” candidates – the person who’s new to politics, the person without political experience. One reason, perhaps, that so many are finding Donald Trump an appealing candidate for the US Presidency.

Businesses have broken our trust. They’ve lied to us too many times. Banks have fixed rates, sold us products and services we didn’t want, weren’t eligible for, or didn’t even know we were buying.

Newspaper companies hacked phones… TV shows rigged telephone votes… the list of examples goes on and on…

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