In the modern world everything is for sale and has a price tag on it. You can buy anything if you have the means. Most importantly you can buy silence for a price. You can even attempt to buy a favourable judgement in a court of law. Governments practise deception. Businessmen do it very frequently on some alibi or the other. Politics is synonymous with manipulation.
To make a commodity appear to be what it is not, is the magic practised by an ace salesman. He has to use every tool in his bag to achieve this. He has to make the price appear reasonable. He has to describe its performance in superlative terms. The final outcome will depend on the extent of competition among similar products or services in the market, their price range, ready availability, packaging, reputation of the brand, ad spend etc. This is the most common scenario. It is a no holds barred game
Selling is a complex activity and so is politics. Both are a function of a large number of variables. Selling is essentially a transaction involving two parties and requires meeting of minds. The seller needs to decide that he wants to sell his product or service and the buyer must genuinely desire that he needs the product or service and both the parties must agree on the price. Ideally, except in a distress sale no seller will part with the product unless he is satisfied that he is getting a price that is at least marginally above the cost or value of the product in his hand. The buyer too (except when in a desperate need like corona vaccine) must be convinced that the price paid by him is at least marginally lower than the value of the product to be acquired. Thus, the product has 2 differing values in the eyes of the two parties.
This condition is not easily satisfied. This is where incentive, promotion offers, discount and deception start in an effort to break the barrier. If the product or service is unique and indispensable there is no special need to apply special pressures to push it. The so-called salesperson has only the simple job of describing the genuine features of his wares to a prospective customer. Customers will queue up to buy it.
However, this is very rarely the case. If either uniqueness or indispensability of the product is lacking it generates competition. The salesman steps in to push it by hook or by crook. Another risk is a surprise competitor lurking in the dark to pose a threat. Then the salesperson steps in with his expertise in exaggerating the product’s plus points. He deftly conceals its weaknesses as well.
Similarly, in politics, the politician or political salesman aims at selling an idea to the public. But the price is not stated in monetary terms. The commodity sought to be sold is a bundle of promises and assurances. The platform for display of the commodity is the party ideology. It could be a win- win/lose-lose/ win-lose or lose-win proposition for the two parties.
Political parties profess their concern for the common man, but their eye is on their own coffers, power, and prosperity. The common man becomes an incidental beneficiary, if at all. The camouflaging package is labelled ‘public good’. The bigger a political party’s coffer, the more its strength to bribe (more politely described as welfare measures, tax concessions, support to minorities and weaker sections etc.) voters directly and indirectly. Coffers are replenished by making and fulfilling promises to big businesses to boost their revenues by imaginative legislations and policies to overcome the hurdle of existing safeguards for the common man.
Truth, if anything, is an obstruction to politics and sales. When politics enters the scene, truth goes into hiding. Truth is too upright and has to be bent or cleverly hidden to facilitate politics and the profession of a salesperson. If the entire truth is exposed, it could cause serious embarrassment to a successful politician or salesperson.