Reagan's political communication techniques have become the standard.
The efficacy of Reagan's communications approach was not lost on other politicians. His technique of using paid political advertising to communicate in a controlled symbolic and iconic manner has become virtually everybody's method.
The effect has hardly been to promote deep or rigorous political discourse.
Virtually everyone now complains about the lack of "substance" in political campaigns. Virtually everyone also complains about the lengths to which politicians will go to obtain campaign financing.
But hardly anyone has yet seen both problems as originating in the rise to dominance of passive-engagement political communications, with its non-disputable symbols supplanting more literalistic discussion.
Until this realization occurs, our chances of actually remedying the situation will remain remote.
(c) COPYRIGHT 1998 ROBERT WINTER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.