Politicians know in order to influence the masses, or better yet, sway the masses, they must find a way to get to the public’s level and speak in a way they understand. This is by no means illegal, sinister, or even unethical. However, it can be somewhat described as using propaganda.
A Netflix series titled “How to Be a Tyrant” lists ways to garner support from the public. One of those methods includes using celebrities or provocative images to promote an agenda. (Full disclosure – in no way should readers believe this writer is calling President Joe Biden a tyrant or is pursuing that end.)
However, leaders of the world have learned how to harness information and disseminate it in a manner that promotes an agenda, even if it’s a positive one. President Barack Obama utilized an ad in which a young man in plaid pajamas was pictured with the caption: “Wear pajamas. Drink hot chocolate. Talk about healthcare.” This ad became known as the “pajama boy” campaign, which many said targeted millennials in the hopes of garnering support for the Affordable Care Act.
Yet, even the most nefarious leaders of history have utilized images and advertisements, even videos, in order to promote a message.
President Joe Biden’s group of young workforce in the White House have persuaded him to draft an “Influencer Army” in order to promote a number of issues. Forbes.com reports that, during the height of the pandemic, Biden’s administration “authorized thousand-dollar cash payments” for those influencers who would use their platform to push the audience to get vaccinated. Members of the administration (some say White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki leads the push, but this is unconfirmed) allegedly approached one seventeen-year-old, Ellie Zeiler, and asked her to participate.
Rob Flaherty, White House digital strategy director, described TikTok as “a critically important source for updates and reaching millions of people online.”
However, this information only appears to tell a partial-truth. That’s when information is no longer the truth, but propaganda.
While Biden’s administration is to be applauded for its ingenious method of reaching the masses, full disclosure should be a priority. Yes, the Russian invasion did cause a spike in gas prices, but it does not account for the surge in 2021 alone. The American people, even the youngest of voters, deserve both sides of an issue so they can make their own conclusions without the influence of, well, influencers.