Wily winning: A manual of mutating political philosophy - August 11, 2008
By Joseph Randolph
You are making this campaign too difficult by listening to your "conscience" when you should be listening to your voters and their wants; remember, the voters elect us to office, so do not debate the dubiousness of your promises to the voters, nor the prompts from them that evoke your promises. Instead think of your future office as dependent upon voters and you getting them by making the voter dependent on you. Remember above all that you will get the office because of your skill of grandiose visions, posturing, feigning, and anything else required to make the expectations of the voter realized in you. So come off your high horse to a little political reality. That reality is that the shortest way to the office you aspire to is through the voter who will put you there. Present him with a list of what you will do for him, everything from taking care of the maternity bill to the mortgage payment to lawn seed and mortuary matters. Then he will flock to you, possibly with all his neighbors in tow. If you do a superb job, your exuberant voter-follower may put a sign up in his neighborhood that no citizens of the opponent's persuasion are welcome in his neighborhood. We already have yard signs telling trains to reroute themselves if they are carrying that planet-destroying coal through our towns; to contemplate the former is not therefore unthinkable. Remember, all things are political--even our front yards.
Of course the poorer among your voters we can always count on, because they always count on us, but remembering that, you must go out and create more of them because of it. Second, you must impugn the pinnacled citizens above them as responsible for the poverty below them. You contribute to the guilt of the guilty for their gargantuan gain by a constant harangue of charges that this tiny group is composed of parasites feeding off the members of society beneath them. You can use some of our old stock phrases. For example, that wealth is built on the backs of our lower classes, our seniors and our youth and everyone in between. And you have double advantage in the fact that the wealthy have so much wealth and at the same time constitute such a small group of people. Thus, you can impugn their exorbitant wealth for all others to envy with everybody except the rich coming to hate the rich. Even here we are sometimes so successful, that a handful of the rich will come out for us because we have been so successful with our message of wealth and success as evil. You need not worry over the votes of the other rich lost because you portray them as villainous, for they are a miniscule group. You lose one or two votes of the guilty for every hundred or two of the dispossessed gained.
Of course an even better bit of news is that the conditions are escalating for some time for a socialist revolution in our country, and certainly our national candidate in all but name and word has advocated measures prodding any good socialist to embrace him as light shining out of darkness. Of course our candidate does not drop that word--we still have a few years before we can use it in public places--though his detractors are using it about him. They of course cannot make it stick because he has camouflage around him. He therefore speaks code language, such as his use of our most current and laudatory phrase, "social justice." He in other words is a leveler with contempt for walls and social ladders and wealth. Our politicians could not have chosen a better among the lot, and he is sure to advance our agenda when elected.
You need not worry yourself with anything beyond what I have mentioned in this letter to get yourself elected; this is substance enough. The substance is that the voter puts you in office. What the voter wants is therefore what you promise him for his vote. If he doesn't know, tell him, and assume the perspective of a child who believes in the tooth fairy and Santa. With you crying his wishes for him, and he mouthing the words for you, he need but blab it so you can grab it--for him and thus his vote. Your lists of his wants can create more poor, the so-called poor who don't know they are poor, but more importantly those who think like the poor do about you as the giver from government. Indeed, they need to come away with the impression that you can give so much, that charity will no longer be needed, or, as amongst some of our European brethren, outlawed as a wrongful private competitor against government giving. The real poor need the necessaries. Guarantee them. The not-so-poor need more beyond the necessaries. Inform them of what they can be and guarantee them. The middle class needs even more. Guarantee it. The wealthy do not need anymore. Take what they have to give to the rest. So, talk about equality as if you favored it, and do with it as you want.
Everything else is style. Getting elected is as simple as the way you package yourself. I mean look at your model; he projects himself now as what he will be in the future. Of course his detractors marshal the charge of arrogance, but he is simply preparing the voters to vote for him. Our opposition has little notion of the voters. If our candidate acts a bit pretentious, as the Hollywoods do, just remember that your voters are apt to know Hollywood better than Washington. Therefore the comparison is to his gain. Thus, our candidate's opponent who thought the ad linking our candidate with the brainless Hollywoods detrimental will find in time that the presumed damaging ad will rebound to the popularity of our candidate. Thus, our assuming incumbent is showing his own savvy with voters by positioning himself with the people types they know best and admire most. If he acted like his voters, I mean typical, average, bland, yes and no, good and bad, black and white, they would have no liking for him and would have every reason to doubt him as a celebrity. If he portrays himself with grandiose confidence, as in a sense not one of them, perhaps even as a winged figure of sorts, but prepared to work for earthlings, then they have the candidate they want, indeed can worship. You have seen the godless media fawning over him; imagine the treatment the godly voter will bestow upon their god--needed votes to the office our candidate aspires! When he has it, and on inauguration day, they will bow all the way down to their belly for the bounty this candidate will bequeath to his followers his first day in office. The poet at the inauguration of our last gave the salutary line "Good Morning," for a welcome mat to that new office holder. This inauguration for this candidate will require much more than the new day motif; something like "The Iron Rice Bowl Awaits." We just have to find a poet who can write a line like that, but revised enough for our culinary tastes rather than that of our Asian socialist brethren.
Remember, again, getting elected is about giving the people what they want, but more pointedly stated, what they have been denied. This presents them not as humble beggars, but as demanding citizens. You simply steer their wants in the direction of wanting more. And then, as they start to do this, you step in front of them and fill out the utopia vision in ways they have not dreamed of--yet. You denounce your opponent as you dream for your voters. Then you let them know that their lack of such a dream was not for lack of their imagination. Rather, the lack was because of political opponents who loved money more than people and therefore never allowed the people to dream our dream of everything for everybody.
Joseph Randolph is a writer and academic who lives in Wisconsin.