Just recently we heard President Obama address the nation regarding his position on troop deployment in Afghanistan. His position was “no more free lunch” and he will send 30,000+ re-enforcement troops to Afghanistan. He then added that we will also set a deadline to pull all our troops out by June of 2011. He also left a little wiggle room for possibly changing his decision in 2011.
The Democratic party then marched in footstep strongly approving the publicized deadline to pull all troops out and bring them home. The media reported this and the public reacted, both good and bad.
Was This Message Expedient?
The word expedient means: appropriate to a purpose, serving to promote one’s interest, based on or marked by a concern for self-interest rather than principle, something that is a means to an end, something contrived or used to meet an urgent need. In other words if the market sentiment on issues changes then it becomes expedient for one to change their media to match their self interest.
Did the politicians change their message to match their needs or ours? Lets look at previous positions on related issues.
Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada) said in Jan, 2005: “As far as setting a timeline…. that’s not a wise decision, because it only empowers those that don’t want us there.”
Senator Joe Biden (D-Delaware) said in June 2005″A deadline for pulling out will only encourage our enemies to wait us out. It would be Lebanon 1985, and God knows where it goes from there.”
Then Senator Hillary Clinton (D-New York at the time) said in Sept 2005: “I don’t think it’s smart to set a date for withdrawal. I don’t think you should ever telegraph your intentions to the enemy so they can await you”.
Then Senator Barack Obama said in June of 2005: “A hard fast, arbitrary deadline for withdrawal offers our commanders in the field and our diplomats in the region insufficient flexibility for implementing any strategy”
Market Sentiment Can Change But What About Principles?
A principle is a fundamental doctrine or tenet; a distinctive ruling opinion. A principle is the sum or range of what has been perceived, discovered, or learned. Knowledge can change our beliefs over time because new knowledge reflects new discoveries and thus principles can improve with knowledge.
In the past media reached us through limited channels of distribution. Today the channels of distribution grow daily. Additionally past media was produced by the few and today media is produced by the many. All media is now being indexed, categorized and stored in “search engines”. These search engines represent the “universal library” that everyone has access to, at least most everyone.
Market sentiment is now being shaped, formed and influenced by the many rather than the few. Sentiment changes when new knowledge is propagated to the market. Our on-line and off-line conversations reflect our individual principles or beliefs. If we change what we believe then our communications to the market need to reflect the new knowledge we’ve gained which changed our beliefs. By sharing what we’ve learned and why it changed our beliefs we are fundamentally serving the greater good of the market.
If we propagate content based on expediency,(read the definition again), we are only telling the market that our intent is aimed solely at our interest vs. the markets interest. Self interest is now transparent and does not reflect the values the marketplace seeks.
Value in today’s marketplace is fueled by the knowledge we’ve gained and shared. Serving the interest of the marketplace is different than serving self interest.