Interesting that it was in 1931 that the infant cereal ‘Pablum’ was introduced to U.S. families. A few years earlier Adolf Hitler made these comments (quoted in the fine book by Richard Evans ‘The Coming of the Third Reich’):
“All propaganda must be made popular and its intellectual level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is addressed to. Consequently, the greater the mass it is intended to reach, the lower its purely intellectual level will have to be… The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan.”
Adolf, if born some 50 years later, would have made a fine advertising executive! Matter of fact, if he was around nowadays, Hitler would be working (or running as a candidate) in one of the Two Party/One Party’s presidential campaigns. You see, dear readers, what Adolf hammered home in his analysis has always been the norm that our empire’s Fat Cats have exploited: Woodrow Wilson’s famous slogan in 1916- He kept us out of war. He didn’t did he? Herbert Hoover’s 1928- A Chicken in every pot and a car in every garage…one year before the biggest economic collapse in our history. Or his ‘infamous’ slogan in 1932, during the height of the Great Depression- We are turning the corner. FDR had his own hype for the masses during the same campaign in 1932: Happy Days are here again. At least he delivered a great deal in his ‘New Deal’. In the 1964 campaign, LBJ came out with one of the most famous of all slogans (and of course, in hindsight one of the most disingenuous ) about his opponent: Goldwater in ’64… underwater in ’65. In 1980 we had Ronald Reagan’s famous- Let’s Make America great again. I guess that Reagan had his Fat Cat super rich friends in mind when he drastically lowered the top tax brackets from 70% down to 28% during his eight years in office. He was so successful in his propaganda that in 1984 his campaign slogan was- It’s morning again in America. Of course, if you were a peasant in El Salvador or Honduras the slogan would be It’s MOURNING again in Central America after what those gangster regimes did to their people (priests and nuns included) with ‘aid and comfort’ by our empire.
In 1988 the ‘farce’ of it all was- Kinder, Gentler Nation by Poppy Bush’s campaign. No comment needed on that one. In 1992 we had Putting People First by Slick Willie Clinton. I guess he meant by ‘peopl ‘ the bankers and Military industrial Empire. His parting shot was of course to allow the repeal of the decades old and effective Glass -Steagall Act, opening up the door for the Wall Street gambling casino to serve steroids to their minions. More importantly, this repeal set the stage for the run-up to the subprime con job a few years later. In 2000 we had the Compassionate Conservatism slogan of Junior Bush. Don’t think the Iraqis and Afghans would call it that. The Bush/Cheney gang’s deplorable act of invading and occupying Iraq and Afghanistan is captured so well in the 2015 documentary “Only the Dead”. Watch it! The stench of what the Neo cons did will take perhaps decades for our nation to rid itself of… if ever. In 2008 there was the famous Change We Can Believe In and Yes We Can slogans and chants for the Obama campaign. He was correct: He continued the obscene Wall Street bailout, increased our military spending to record highs ( up to 56 % of our federal tax revenues in 2011 ), increased the use of killer drones to 10 times that of under the Bush/Cheney gang, and pushed a health care bill that gave away the store to the private insurers… to name but a few of a hundred disgraces.
This year, 2016, we have more of the same absurd rhetoric and propaganda aimed at the masses. Make America Great Again for Benito Trump, Courageous Conservatives for Ted Cruz, Fighting For Us for Hillary Clinton, A Future to Believe In for Bernie Sanders and Kasich for America for low key John Kasich (who hopes for a brokered convention as the ‘compromise’ nominee). With all of these candidates (including Sanders) the empire can breathe easy when it comes to our jackboot imprinted militarily throughout the world. The massive aforementioned military spending will never subside or be lowered to much more reasonable levels with the Two Party/One Party duopoly in power. They have many of our fine and decent American neighbors believing in their propaganda. Hitler was correct… then and now!!
Philip A Farruggio is a semi retired baby boomer born and bred in blue collar Brooklyn NYC. He is the son and grandson of Brooklyn longshoremen, and educated at ‘ free tuition ‘ Brooklyn College, class of ‘ 74. Philip has written over 300 columns since 2001 and his work is found on many fine progressive sites like World News Trust, Nation of Change, Information Clearinghouse, Intrepid Report, The Sleuth Journal, Dandelion Salad, Counterpunch and Dissident Voice. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org