NLP-style techniques in US 2004 Election - NLP Article by Jonathan Altfeld

    <p align="justify">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Keep in mind, while I *do* have an opinion as to who I hope will win the election in November, I have no intention of pushing that opinion on my global ezine readership -- such would be the wrong forum for that opinion.</p>
    <p align="justify">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;This article is about the concept of the use of NLP in/during the election process.  And since American foreign policy seems to be a global concern, and it's also 'litmus test' or a primary dividing point for the two battling candidates, I thought a few balanced words on the use/abuse/misuse/lack-of-use of NLP in this election would be welcome by nearly everyone.</p>
    <p align="justify">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Let me start by jumping backwards about a month or so ago.  An article was written and published on a UK-based web news server over what the author felt was flagrant use of NLP for evil purposes by the likes of sitting-Vice-President Dick Cheney (when he indirectly implied, intended or otherwise, that a vote for Senator John Kerry was likely to lead to another terrorist attack).  Incidentally, while I didn't write that article, a chat transcript on <a target="new" href="">"NLP &amp; Ethics"</a> was mentioned towards the bottom of that article.  My site saw a huge amount of traffic in response.  And while I'm risking losing such traffic in the future, I thought the article was full of hype; essentially, little more than hogwash.  Hope I didn't just alienate one of my students there.</p>
    <p align="justify">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;More recently, there have been several discussions and articles in NLP circles &amp; mailing lists, exploring the likelihood or possibility of whether or not the candidates have been coached with NLP or not (or received training in NLP or not).</p>
    <p align="justify">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;I think a little common sense should prevail here.  First of all, effective persuasion and debate skills have been around thousands of years longer than NLP has.  NLP simply gives us a better way of describing certain kinds of communication, and also a better way of tracking great examples, distilling those examples down to the simplest processes behind the language, and then giving us an optimal way to learn those same processes.  Since NLP at its core is about modeling excellence, it doesn't matter that much whether or not NLP has been used in the current election.  Because if it was used, then it was simply used to provide (or arm) candidates with the best in influential language that has already come about &amp; taken place prior to the development of NLP.</p>
    <p align="justify">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;That said, if any of you have watched the American media recently, or happened to catch any of the debates, it's fair to say that both Kerry  and Bush have had top-notch coaching.  And I think when you're already a smart individual, and you've got a team of some of the best spin-masters around (public relations geniuses, image consultants, great researchers, and the USA's most savvy political advisers), then naturally, both men are likely to be close to, if not already at the -- top of their game. </p>
    <p align="justify">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Frankly it would come as no surprise to me if one or more of those coaches/consultants on either 'team' had taken NLP training.  Because NLP is about what works and how internal representations (perceptions) are formed.  And anyone interested in learning how to manipulate how perceptions are formed and what keeps them strong -- would likely have come across NLP material in one form or another. </p>
    <p align="justify">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Ultimately it doesn't really matter either way, whether or not NLP was used to help the candidates maximize their results during their debates &amp; such. What matters ultimately is whether or not whatever they did -- worked -- and then of course, who will win the election. </p>
    <p align="justify">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Lastly, NLP most definitely matters -- when/if you decide you want to be able to persuade people as well as will have... the winner.</p>
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