Bending the Arc of History
August 07, 2011
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Today's New York Times has a must read article by Drew Westen titled "What Happened to Obama." It is a poignant take on the gap between our expectations of brand Obama and what is actually being delivered. It is an abject lesson in what happens when brand expectations and delivery are misaligned, and how storytelling, so critical to brand delivery, can also work to a brand's detriment when it is misaligned with promises made.
"But the arc of history does not bend toward justice through capitulation cast as compromise. It does not bend when 400 people control more of the wealth than 150 million of their fellow Americans. It does not bed when the average middle-class family has seen its income stagnate over the last 30 years while the riches 1 percent has seen its income rise astronomically. It does not bend when we cut the fixed incomes of our parents and grandparents so hedge fund managers can keep their 15 percent tax rats. it does not bend when only one side in negotiations between workers and their bosses is allowed representation. And it does not bend when, as political scientists have shown, it is the opinions of the wealthy that predict the votes of the Senate. The arc of history can bend only so far before it breaks."