Steve Corbin

America’s future rests with independent and swing voters

Steve Corbin is emeritus professor of marketing at the University of Northern Iowa and a freelance writer who receives no remuneration, funding, or endorsement from any for-profit business, nonprofit organization, political action committee, or political party.

It’s well known that on September 17, 1796, America’s first president warned citizens about the negative impact political parties could have on the country. In his farewell address, George Washington predicted that politicians and their party of preference could become “unprincipled.”

The divisiveness our political parties and their operative sons and daughters have purposely brought upon America is disheartening and shameful.

With the 2022 midterm elections only two months away, the negative partisanship ads have already begun. It’s a sad state of affairs we have to endure disinformation, misinformation, and political shenanigans every two years.

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Problems with 988 crisis hotline start-up

Steve Corbin is emeritus professor of marketing at the University of Northern Iowa and a freelance writer who receives no remuneration, funding, or endorsement from any for-profit business, nonprofit organization, political action committee, or political party.

Most people have memorized their Social Security number, cell phone number, anniversary, birthday and the 911 emergency medical, fire and police protection services number. On July 16, the number “988” became an easy-to-remember crisis hotline number we should log into our memory bank.

Anyone who needs support for a suicidal, mental health, substance use crisis, or other emotional issue can dial or text 988. The nationwide set-up should strengthen and expand the existing Lifeline system, which is a national network of more than 200 local, independent and state-funded crisis centers.

Both the new 988 hotline number and the previous ten-digit number (800-273-8255) will remain in operation, providing 24/7 free and confidential support for people in distress.

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Conspiracy theories are undermining democracy

Steve Corbin is emeritus professor of marketing at the University of Northern Iowa and a freelance writer who receives no remuneration, funding, or endorsement from any for-profit business, nonprofit organization, political action committee, or political party.

A lot of outlandish, hard-to-believe conspiracy theories are witnessed during one’s lifetime. Most thoughts come and go away with no residual effect. But, in today’s politically divisive times, many conspiracy theories are causing long-term damaging effects.

Many people who watched Oliver Stone’s 1991 movie “JFK” believed there was a government orchestrated conspiracy to assassinate President Kennedy. Despite the movie’s many inaccuracies, its plot was confirmation to those believers who had a predisposed anti-government attitude.

University of Miami political science professor Joseph Uscinski—considered the country’s foremost expert on conspiracy theories—contends the disinformation (deliberately deceptive) and misinformation (incorrect or misleading) statements don’t persuade people. Rather, it gives them “exactly what they already believed.”

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Hypocrisy of America's political parties

Steve Corbin is emeritus professor of marketing at the University of Northern Iowa and a freelance writer who receives no remuneration, funding, or endorsement from any for-profit business, nonprofit organization, political action committee, or political party.

Hypocrisy (noun); behavior that contradicts what one claims to believe or feel; synonyms include insincerity, piousness (Merriam-Webster).

The behavior of today’s mainstream political parties often meets the definition of hypocrisy; one would be hard pressed to deny that they sometimes attempt to hoodwink Americans.

Some people believe every syllable uttered by their party of preference, only to find out they’ve been duped once again. The marketing principle of caveat emptor (let the buyer beware before purchasing a product) applies to many GOP and Democratic Party dogma statements.

Let’s examine some political party double-talk.

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Think tanks and political parties are America’s toxins

Steve Corbin is emeritus professor of marketing at the University of Northern Iowa and freelance writer who receives no remuneration, funding, or endorsement from any for-profit business, nonprofit organization, political action committee, or political party.

Astute individuals read information from multiple sources, research material up one side and down the other and develop their own opinions versus following the dictum of others like lemmings. As political divisiveness becomes more intense, “think tanks” are gaining more attention as news sources.

Think tanks broker ideas on topics such as social policy, politics, economics and culture. America’s oldest think tank was founded by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1910; today we have about 2,000 similar institutions.

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A contrast of presidents

Steve Corbin is emeritus professor of marketing at the University of Northern Iowa and freelance writer who receives no remuneration, funding, or endorsement from any for-profit business, nonprofit organization, political action committee, or political party.

“Today in History” compiled by the Associated Press is my favorite daily newspaper column. The cogent lessons allow me to recall – with surprise – many historical events but usually I learn new facts.

The posting on March 20, recalling 2014 and 2018 events plus a March 20, 2022 article speaks volumes:

-March 20, 2014: “President Barack Obama ordered economic sanctions against nearly two dozen members of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle and a major bank that provided them support, raising the stakes in an East-West showdown over Ukraine.”

-March 20, 2018: “In a phone call to Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump offered congratulations on Putin’s re-election victory; a senior official said Trump had been warned in briefing materials that he should not congratulate Putin.”

-March 20, 2022: “President Biden has called Mr. Putin a war criminal. . . . (Biden) must declare that the sanctions crippling Russia will remain in full force, with no exit ramps, as long as Mr. Putin remains in power” (Wall Street Journal).

What a contrast of presidents!

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