Cliche and Boilerplate in Election 2016

This post was not going to be about the election. I went to the website “Elite Daily”, thinking there has to be some good cliches in there, based on the posts I find on my Facebook from that website. What I found, though, is an article that directed me to this picture of a Starbucks ad in the Wall Street Journal: https://twitter.com/janestreet/status/712980946933444608/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

This Starbucks ad, confusingly, was a call to people’s morals regarding the upcoming presidential election with a GOTV plug tacked on at the end. Additionally, it was teeming with cliche. It referred to America as a “nation, lost” and requested that we remember the “common bonds that hold us together.” Then, an entire paragraph (this ad was a short novel) was devoted to remind us of the people in the cliched personas that should give us hope in America: the teacher fighting for students’ potential, the volunteer who mentors the youth, the nurse who respects the elderly…

I do not think cliches always obscure meaning necessarily–they are just old, tired, and boring to read. Nothing that has been read hundreds of times is going to be fresh to the reader and draw them in. It is a lazy way to convey meaning. On the other hand, boiler plate is more boring. It is sometimes necessary, as we discussed in class.

However, one place that the amount of boilerplate used is not necessary is the elections. Hannah referred to the use of boiler plate in the platform descriptions for CSG election candidates. This problem is true for candidates for the President of the United States as well. When I look at Hillary Clinton’s web page on the “Issues,” I see things like “Our democracy should work for everyone” and “end the era of mass incarceration.” However, when I try to investigate how she intends to do these things, the action plan is vague and the policies are obscured.

One thought to “Cliche and Boilerplate in Election 2016”

  1. Clare,

    I agree with you, politicians love to use boilerplates. In my post, I talk about Trump in the AIPAC conference. I have noticed that Hillary Clinton constantly is using boilerplates to support herself, using vague terms like justice, democracy, etc. I follow similar views as you, and this was a very well thought-out post.

Leave a Reply