Wily winning: A manual of mutating political philosophy – September 22, 2008
By Joseph Randolph
Of course you can benefit from all the talk about going "green" these days! The bounty of this issue alone is enough to assure you victory, if handled correctly. Handle it correctly and in a timely manner, because the election is just around the corner. But first I must instruct you, again, in how to deal with your "popular" opponent and quickly since by the tone of your letter, it seems that even you may vote for your opponent instead of yourself. You should have noticed that your opponent is not green, though according to research submitted to me, she comes from the rural barrenness of wide open nothingness. The rural rustics do not romanticize their environment because they know the difficulties of prying out a living from it, and thus are rarely zealously green; our urban voters, who vastly outnumber them, loathe their own lack of greenery and are therefore romanticizing green idiots who vote for us. Must I tell you again to go with the most voters?
You have to have one thing uppermost in your mind about this election: to win it. Therefore, what it takes to win is what you must do within the provisions of law, but also without if circumstances permit. The candidate you are running against is of course important, but still ultimately beside the point of winning; the point is to win no matter who the opponent. Given the goal of winning, adjustments may become necessary because of the variables any opponent presents: none, however formidable or intimidating they may seem, are insurmountable. Even if god were running as the opposition candidate, we would still present opposition to the opposition candidate and furthermore, expect to win. Take a lesson from the messianic persona of our national candidate—one must think and campaign in the spirit when the office you aspire to offers great riches.
Normally, capitalize on the weaknesses of your opponent, and if she has none—though of course she does, which therefore means you have not yet found them—nevertheless in the meantime, invent some, and sell them to the public. If the list of her failures fails to turn her voters into your voters, then you have miserably failed to show her weaknesses sufficient to unseat her popularity with the public; therefore invent stronger charges against her. If someone does not choke at the table from the spoonful of food provided, obviously you need to increase the quantity to get their attention. And remember, small untruths scarcely turn an ear anymore; you must go for the big stuff. Voters don't hear the miniscule these days. Mere infidelity will not do—not being green will do. In our business you cannot think small. Thinking on that order will give you a small amount of votes on Election Day, and you can go back to bed instead of to a big office.
Because you need to put more into an ear these days to turn it, you must carefully broker your criticism of your opponent. Make it of significant size for catastrophic effect. If you merely but incessantly criticize her with tissue paper complaints, she and her adoring public will grow tired of listening to such droning and will sense too that you fear her by not being able to leave her alone. If she is constantly tagged in your speeches, and yet you have nothing significantly damaging on her, your criticism of her will damage you. Therefore, criticize her very infrequently, but when you do, introduce your criticism with a load of devastating information on her, and then go back to your own political platform of everything for most every voter except the rich, for our free press will now pick up your load and complete the damage to your opponent for you.
Nevertheless, even though the press at large is in league with us, we can hardly expect them to do all of our digging for us, (though of course there are constant offers) for then they shall be caught on our side of the fence. Thus the need to take our press to the site where you found the dirt and where the grave for your opponent's political aspirations has been uncovered by you. The job of the press, which they will of course relish, will be to dig the hole even deeper for your opponent for her defeat and thus your victory. Such an exchange manifests the exquisite nature of the symbiotic relationship our candidates have with the press and the press with us.One day of course we will come out and make it all legal by marrying. Now we are only too glad to use the whore that prostitutes herself for us: a willing accomplice who even offers to do our pleasure when we are not asking.
For the bombshell needed to attract sufficient voter attention some research is needed. That is, you must have your people digging in the dirt round the clock until something so significant is found so as to turn the voting upside down in your favor. If you cannot find anything damaging enough to enable our partner press to pounce on our joint opponent, you have only one recourse left. You will have to take it.
You must sell your voting public on the belief that no commoner can run a government as complex as we have made it. It is only simpletons who want to make government simpler. Therefore no brawn nor bravery nor brunette can take the place of the required specialist to run colossal government. The common sense of commoners therefore comes to nonsense when applied to the complexities of high office. Undoubtedly, a candidate who resonates with the ignorant public will be ignorant like the people who like them. You must therefore show the public just how ignorant their darling candidate is, without intimating too strongly that followers have the vices of those they follow.
As I said some time ago, you do not need the ignorant rural and small town voters, but more to the point now and more importantly you must convince your voters that the country does not need candidates that come from such parts either. The possibility of a country hack running government is indeed terrifying, because it presents us with the scenario that a mere rural small town publican could end up as a head of state. You must therefore portray her viciously: as something of a Pharisee, or better a puritan to start with, with all the dark and dank images such words connote.
No commoner must be allowed to scale any such heights as that required for the work of government; they must be kept down on the farm with their animals for company they can keep. The election of one of their kind would serve as the severest rebuke to professional politicians of our sort and would constitute a sort of takeover of the farm by the animals.Worse, a country bumpkin would be running our country—our country—a modern, secular, and urban country conversant more with civilization than fields, but now in jeopardy by someone who trucks with more with rain and hay and harvest and fishing and seasons than diplomacy. This is why you must pollute the assumed purity of such a candidate not just by dirt, but by the charge of incompetence for thinking they can run such an office as ours. Only professionals can do what we do; the Jeffersonian idea adored by some of our own was wrong. Keep these rural small town know-nothings away from political office.
Joseph Randolph is a writer and academic who lives in Wisconsin.