With Huckabee, It's the Guitar, Stupid!
In the 1984 presidential election pitting the charismatic Ronald Reagan against the plodding Walter Mondale, polls showed that a majority of Americans when asked specifically about their policy preferences favored Mondale's positions over Reagan's. Yet Reagan ended up winning in a landslide.
The reason was that Reagan's radical stands on taxes, the economy, and social issues were eclipsed by the penumbra of the former actor's personality and charisma. Likeability and perceived character became the deciding selection criteria for Americans over the issues.
This tendency by voters to overlook issue positions and go with the candidate they would rather share a beer with is at play in Mike Huckabee's electoral rise. As Andrew Sullivan quips in a blog header, "It's the guitar, stupid!"
In other words, although Huckabee holds Stone Age views on reproductive health, Islam, gays, morality, and the origins of the universe, for many voters these beliefs are over-shadowed by his court jester personality and guitar-playing political showmanship. As Le Monde attempts to explain to their French readers:
The guitar is a fundamental element of his strategy. It permits him to reassure those who would never imagine voting for a Baptist from the Bible Belt (southern states where evangelical Protestants are very present).
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Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
- Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
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