“The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”
– Hermann Goering (1893-1946)
I apologize for repeating the loathsome Herr Goering’s most famous quote, but the infamous Nazi leader could have gotten a job managing political campaigns this year. Actually, he has.
His techniques are in play all around us.
Sell fear and you’ll make a profit, guaranteed. Just look at the U.S. military budget.
A successful Nevada politician once told me his permanent campaign strategy: “People react to threats.”
Remember King Saul in the Old Testament? He became King of Israel by popular acclamation because “Saul stood head and shoulders above any other man.”
Politicians who go the furthest are often big impressive guys, preferably former football heroes, defenders of the realm.
I got nothing but heat in 2006 when I stated the painfully obvious in a TV news interview. There are three areas of American life where we want daddy to tuck us in and tell us everything’s going to be OK. They are president, governor (not U.S. senator) and network news anchor.
The legendary Walter Cronkite dominated network evening news because even after reporting murder and mayhem, his grandfatherly visage calmed and comforted you.
I thus predicted that perky Katie Couric would fail to win big ratings for Cronkite’s old show. Time proved me correct.
I also forecast that Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., would defeat State Sen. Dina Titus, D-Las Vegas, for governor. Why?
Jim the Dim looked like one. Dina, 90 pounds soakin’ wet with a Georgia accent, simply did not.
The over-riding them of this year’s elections can be found in an old IBM slogan: “Simple solutions to complex problems.” Translation: Tell people what they want to hear, that daddy will protect them and make everything alright in the morning.
So who you gonna vote for, the candidate holding a seminar on cracking the whip to control the herd? Or the guy who says turn ‘em loose?
As the Temptations once sang, “Vote for me and I’ll set you free. Rap on, brother, rap on.”
HALL OF FAME BLUES. The past year has been rough for César Chávez Nevada Labor Hall of Famers. Now comes word about Sam Lumpe of Sheet Metal Workers Local 26/AFL-CIO.
I’ve known Sam for over 30 years. You never met a more hard-working guy. He calls himself a “tin bender,” but his word is gold.
Send Sam cards to cheer him up at Park Place Assisted Living, Grey House, 2305 Ives Court, Reno NV 89503.
MARX BROTHERS FOREVER. “The Democrat-controlled liberal mainstream media is LYING, claiming that the Republican Party is divided at our own Republican National Convention,” wrote the National Republican Senatorial Committee to me in an e-mail.
As Chico Marx once said when caught red-handed, “Who are you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?”
Be well. Raise hell. / Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 47-year Nevadan and editor of NevadaLabor.com/ E-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org> Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.