Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Global warming and its effects.

If there are any global-warming deniers still lingering out there this photograph of Karl Rove should put their doubts to rest. Karl Rove's face, though it shows no beads of sweat, is actually melting into his body.

Many have remarked that Rove is a marketing genius--the mastermind behind the Bush and the Republican (or radical right) ass-cendancy. I'm not buying that. Rove was just another politico playing on, capitalizing on the fears of the public. He follows in the ignoble tradition of Father Coughlin, Sen. Joseph McCarthy and, yes, Joseph Goebbels, all men who took primal fears and turned them into political hay.

In The Paranoid Style in American Politics and Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, Columbia prof Richard Hofstadter described American society as a whole as extremely provincial. Any ideas (or people) outside the mainstream were alien and to be shunned. Hofstadter saw a direct link from the Salem witch trials in the 17th century down to the McCarthyism of his era. If Hofstadter had written in this decade as opposed to the 60s, he would have written about terrorist-inspired paranoia rather than communist-inspired fear. If you read The Paranoid Style, in fact, and substitute Muslim for Communist, you'll get the point.

I don't think there was any genius in Rove. Just a willingness abandon all ethics. Rove used the same tactics as direct marketers who sell miracle weight-loss products or wart removers or vacuum cleaners that can remove pet hair from high-pile carpeting. Appeal to the sad, lonely, scared and needy with promises of Elysia and you'll never go wrong.

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