And if I told you that the Obama Administration got nothing done in the past 18 months, you would almost accept that as fact, right?
The national media and politicians have been harping the fact that perception is our reality. But is that true? That is a complicated question, with an even more complicated answer.
Based on the links above, one cannot say that the United States is the best economy in the world, and be supported with facts. Also, if one was to say that Obama has done nothing, that person is only showcasing their limited view and understanding of governance.
But those opinions are popular. And due to the popularity, the Democrats suffered a defeat that, with better preparation, could have been avoided.
The Deal with Perception
On one end, perception is our society’s reality. People trust what other people trust, and will repeat certain thoughts and opinions once it has gone through a vetting process the communications world likes to call “social proofing.” If 10 people believe it, and each of their 10 friends believe it, then it must be true.
The problem I have with perception, is the matter of perspective. Since there can be multiple perspectives, and those perspectives can birth different perceptions, then which is the right one? Because unfortunately, sometimes the perspective with the most votes won’t necessarily have the most facts. And that is a dangerous situation to be in.
As communications professionals, we must keep a pulse on perception as well as reality. Because if we look at the facts stated above, the United States is the 8th best economy in the world (and declining), and the 24th freest (in the press) in the world. The majority of the world are not democracies. Also, Obama has done more programs, broken more barriers, then most presidents in modern history. That is not perception, that is fact. Ask the common 8th grade literate American however, and they will have a different narrative.
Why is that the case? I’m not sure. The incentive of knowing reality- knowledge- I would think should trump ignorance. However, if that knowledge erases what the ignorance gives them -happiness- I can see why actually knowing facts is unappealing.
Any thoughts on this?