Friday, December 3, 2010

We Vote With Our Heart, Not Our Head

Several centuries ago at some sales training seminar that I attended, sales and marketing guru Chuck Mefford (now CEO of Lighthouse Communications) said “buying decisions are made emotionally and defended logically.” Of course, Chuck was trying to teach us how to sell radio ads (or, in my case, manage the people who did the actual selling), but the statement has always stuck with me.

For many people, the decision to do things….whether it’s something big like buying a car or house, or something small like taking a vacation or which restaurant to dine at…is made with the heart, and defended with the head. It’s more likely that you drive a Ford or Chevy because your dad drove a Ford or Chevy than that your decision was made based on research.

So when I read my friend Dave Zweifel’s rant in the Cap Times Wednesday, it brought a smile to my face. Dave is annoyed that so many people voted “against their best interests” in November – citing the majority of senior citizens who voted for Republicans, even though it’s the party with the plan to privatize Social Security and make huge changes to Medicare. And Dave notes – as I have confirmed MANY times over in conversations with friends and acquaintances – that two-thirds of voters incorrectly believe their taxes have gone up under President Obama, and that the number of illegal immigrants is not climbing, but in fact is about a million fewer this year than in prior years.

Dave points out that the TV advertising by the Republicans worked. He says they convinced people that down was up and up was down. And, acknowledges that the Democrats did a miserable job of telling their side of the story. Most of us know by now that there’s so much “negative” political advertising for one simple reason: it works. Voters are sheep. They’ll believe anything.

I think what happened in November was, a lot of us were tired of the same-old-same-old from our politicians, so we simply voted against them. This, I believe, is one of those situations that Chuck Mefford would say was made emotionally, and is being defended logically. It’s obvious the Washington crowd didn’t get the message, so it’s going to happen again in a couple years.


  1. Umnnnn....

    WHICH ads suggested that Obama had raised taxes?

    WHICH ads suggested that illegal immigration was up?

    Zweifel's analysis is factually deficient. What at least THIS voter understood is that SPENDING was/is out of control, along with deficits/national debt.

    To Hell with MY taxes. I have children, and grandchildren.

    And Mr. Zweifel's tax-prattle is directly contrary to the reality in Doylet's Wisconsin, where taxes, fees, AND deficits went up along with spending, simultaneously.

  2. After the heart's purchase, the head defends the decision by fending off something called cognitive dissonance, the mental equivalent of dyspepsia, which oftentimes sets in when one simultaneously holds two contradictory ideas.

    You buy a new car, then suddenly notice a lot of folks seem to be driving the same model. The mind regards this as strong affirmation of your decision, even if the drive shaft falls off two blocks from the showroom. "Yeah, but it's really a good car ... everybody's got one!"

    You'll find the same sort of logic in, for example, the caviling of a hidebound me-first curmudgeon who hopes to justify trading in his interests for the illusion of a government that offers winked, plaid-jacket promises confirming his prejudices.