MAGA! MAGA! MAGA!
By Philip Drucker
Propaganda has been around for a long time. There is little to no doubt that cavemen, for whatever their reasons, food, water, fire, shelter, prestige, used some form of "storytelling" to convince the other members of the tribe that their view, however lacking in even the most basic of empirical logic, was not only "correct", but also, the thing to do. Or, more accurately the thing that must be done, or else (fill in the blank).
Let's say that for whatever reason, malignant narcissism perhaps, you decided it would be in your best interest to become the leader of the lost tribe of the MAGA. Their most prominent features being the wearing of Red Hats and an unusually high propensity for self-delusion and mass hysteria.
How would you convince your fellow clan (Klan?) members you were not only the man, but the only one who could "fix" whatever was supposedly broken by those who came before you? This even though you knew from the beginning you didn't have the skill set, brains, brawn, good looks, sexual prowess, temperament or even a pinky full of the required empathy for your comrades in animal skins to get the job done, but along the way for as far as you could take it, you could get what YOU wanted?
You'd lie, right? But about what? I mean, knowing what you want and are willing to do to get it is the easy part. The hard part is convincing your potential followers to accept your benevolent reign and ostensibly under the best-case scenario, the house of MAGA, even though it is well known your two sons in the line of succession are idiots, to say the least.
Getting there might not be too difficult. Promise anything, deliver nothing is still to this day the classic MO of despotic tyrannical fascists everywhere. The trains never did run on time, did they? But here's the tricky part. How do you keep your now adoring public, aka rubes (rubles?), on the hook once they realize they are being asked to give up even their most basic rights while getting nothing in return?
Why, you'd invent propaganda, wouldn't you? Imagine there's no morality higher than your own selfish wants and needs. It's easy, if you try. And if you are a card-carrying member of the Homo Trumpiens, you'll try. It's in your blood.
My definition of propaganda is a simple one. The purposeful, organized, ruthless, relentless and repetitive process of creating an alternative (facts) driven universe for the singular purpose of attaining power via perception, without the slightest concern for reality.
Let's say you got elected or at least clubbed your way into the Big White Cave at the top of the hill. You promised a saber tooth (you are the bravest of the brave remember?) in every pot and mastodon in every garage (as if they had garages in those days). Time to deliver. But you can't. You know you can't. Because nothing you said was true. What to do? How about, we invent some specific propaganda techniques? A little diversion, perversion, even conversion perhaps? Let's see what we got in the little black box of dirty tool pool tricks.
First, I'd go soft. Try a little sugar before salt in the wound. Always keeping in mind that simple is better, I'd go for an US and THEM, as in, us, as in everybody is doing it and if we keep doing it, whatever it is, maybe drinking tainted swamp water and calling it Kool-Aid (is that were it came from?) or, maybe Cruel-Aid, with a bleach chaser optional, our inevitable victory is assured.
Drink! Drink! Drink! Malaria? Shmalaria! Take whatever concoctions I own stock in. (Note to self: Remember to invent stock options. Sounds almost too good to be true.) I'll get tested for the virus, you? Just keep drinking. That's all you have to do. Today this is known as the "Bandwagon" effect. Get on or get off. Sounds a bit like prostitution, doesn't it?
Feeling a bit sick? Don't wanna wear your mask? I mean, drink what I said will fix what ills ya? Well then, if you are not one of US, clearly shown by your lack of commitment to the herd, you must be one of THEM. That's THEM, as in not US and that is all we need to know.
And we all know, for no other reason except I used any number of racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and religiously intolerant stereotype as truth, if US fail, you are now a big, huuuuuge part of the problem. You commie, socialist, freedom loving save the dinosaurs, limit our rights to own as many clubs as we like, liberal troublemaker you.
Today, these techniques are referred to as divide and conquer, black and white analogies, tribalism, name-calling and stereotyping. The animal rights activists who favor sensible limits on the as yet to be invented 2nd Amendment rights? Democrats.
Still, the daily mud tablets are catching on and exposing some of your more dastardly deeds. What to do? Why, you invent another lie, but this time, bigger. The bigger the better. The Big Lie. And do I have a whopper for you! I'm going to invent, get this, religion! As in a story about what happens, if you are good, after this life. And, even better, a tall-tale about the "Big Dragon Slayer in the Sky." With a beard. And a fiery temper. But he loves you and me, but not them. I like it! Authority figure and celebrity endorsement all in one.
For as all will soon see, he's on my side. If you are not...you won't get to float up buck naked into the blue yonder to be in a state of (dis)grace with US. For eternity. An eternity of blissful ignorance and blind servitude. MAGA! (Make the Afterlife Great Again!)
And you? The non-believer? You are going to the other place. Yes, a deep, dark, horrible place in Florida. With bedbugs. I think I'll call it, Mar-a-Lago. Yes, that sounds bad doesn't it? Chilling, foreboding, haunted by a ghost or two from and scary as Melania without her make-up on. In other words, perfect.
But that's enough work for one day. I think I'll go invent golf now. That and KFC. It's lunchtime and I'm not in the mood for red meat. I'll invent that later.
Namaste. Be that inner spark of life you have always wanted to be.