The Reality of Perception
Can President Obama Change The Way America Sees Itself?
There is an old saying in politics: perception is reality. It is this old adage that forces politicians to give speeches at schools, wear jeans while helping out Habitat for Humanity and eat Cheesesteaks on the Fourth of July. The reality is that the politicians do not care about most of these issues, but the picture is used as proof that they do, in fact, care. These pictures are shown in the newspapers or sent to voters and the perception becomes a reality.
With a 24 hour news cycle and the numerous outlets for news, the reality of perception has even a bigger role. Take for instance, the current economic crisis. Yes, there are many people suffering right now. People are losing their homes, jobs, savings and these personal nightmares are constantly displayed on the numerous news channels. One cannot escape these heart wrenching stories and the public becomes afraid it will happen to them.
Over the past few months, the media has done nothing but tell Americans how horrible the economy is and how no end is in sight. It covers the newsstand, the lead story on the news and is mentioned in every "ticker" that scrolls across the television.
With the swearing in of Barak Obama in January, the message the news outlets release to the public is different. They now speak of hope. Could it be that now this perception can become a reality? Is this why two million people descended upon Washington DC to stand in the cold and watch a single moment in history?
Hopefully, this new perception of hope and interest in public service can become America's new reality. I believe the market is based on perception. I believe consumer confidence is based on perception. If the market believes something good is about to happen, it rises. When people have faith in the economy, they spend. Perhaps with enough good feelings being brought over the airwaves, we can begin to move in the right direction. At the very least, we can perceive that we are. At the very least, we can believe in a place called Hope.
Thanks for reading.