How important are norms?
Apparently important enough to resurrect/superimpose historical figures to make a point.
There’s been no shortage of commentary about the first GOP presidential debate, but what we haven’t heard is much discussion of the “focus group” that immediately followed the fireworks. We weren't so much intrigued by the opinions of the *cough* clearly diverse group of participants as we were the subtly implied endorsement of the vaguely familiar looking people in the background.
Some might say it's just art (doesn't every art lover have primary-colored Abe Lincoln wallpaper?). We might say it's a little more---creating the norm that this focus group is really representative of Americans and their opinions---it must be, they're backed by the gazes of former leaders of the Free World in the backdrop. And not just any leaders. Sure, we see the tiny heads in the back, but let's not ignore the giant mugs of Abe, George, and Ron in the front. Those are the big ones history tells us to admire--and admiration sure is a good way of swaying personal perception.
Call us crazy. Say we're overthinking. But imagine this same group in front of a blank background. Would it have as much power? Would they be as decidedly "American?"