2016 politics has revealed a candidate using methods of oratory to make himself a hero in the public’s eye. This storyline is easily plotted from two sources: Joseph Campbell’s How-to books and Adolph Hitler’s Mein Kampf.
Mein Kampf is one of the worst written books by anyone. Heinrich Boell, the German novelist, tells of exercises a school teacher mandated: Rewrite Mein Kampf. In class students reduced the book to one-third its length while preserving its hate and abortional shrills. Historians, politicians and literary persons have spotted one bit of brilliance in Mein. The Mad Mustacher knew how to sway the common people with oratory. A favorite line was, “Making Germany great again.” Mein is an excellent how-to book about persuasive, swaying oratory.
Chose issues or people and say outrageous, impolite, anti-social cliches about each one. Rich guys, bad people, and bad situations, mention them all. Talk like Kim Jong Un, North Korean Leader. When he speaks, he has to threaten war, this year a Sacred War. Claim the words spoken represent reality. Repeat, repeat, repeat, like a broken record; utter childish impulses and label anyone. Accuse anyone who disagrees is opposed to the truth. Hide behind the American flag. Anyone running for President wants the USA to be great in the future, not great once again. Personally attack anyone who mentions inconsistencies, dishonesties and depredations, always the fault and and shame of the orator but now the problem of all Americans. Monopolize the news media, always hot for dispute but lacking independent criticism and fairness, an acceptable result: Push the Orator’s name and recently used cliches. Everyone must follow the new trail.
Americans have never fallen for so simple a tactic as oratory and cliches. They want substance, beyond what they have learned from talk shows: They crave understanding in candidates beyond the use of cliches. The Constitution itself has a Preamble of cliches, but the remainder is meat and potatoes, which must be known, consumed and digested. Will the American people again chose someone in experience who is so uncomfortable and sensitive that he is frozen in office? Will the American people choose someone with a mind oriented to cliches? Or do Americans want someone appreciating the balance of faces affecting political power and who is capable of working within that system and producing results?
The Germans believed the oratory, and that it was communicated by a savior, the Mad Mustacher. He never got more than a third of the vote. Coming to power he dismantled structures of democratic government and quickly made Germany a totalitarian society. That would never happen in the United States. Americans own too many guns.
But some Americans and one group of broadcasters believe the Savior has arrived in the 2016 campaign. Late in 2015 newbie-broadcaster objected to the Savior being labelled a clown. Again and again the show guest repeated “clown,” and the newbie-broadcaster said, “He is not a clown.” On another show a guest said the appeal of the Savior was understandable but the messages were hogwash and shams. The program host decried none of it was hogwash or a sham. Preferably Americans would understand if the show hosts asked the reasons or facts behind the clown, hogwash/sham conclusions. Those broadcasters did not. Americans learned nothing.
What is the source to the incompetent existence allowing journalists and politicians to survive? Joseph Campbell. Let’s the the record straight. Campbell’s learned from Mein Kampf, the Nazis, German philosophy and the Germans. All his books were published after World War Two. Campbell knew Nazis and fascism were not marketable. He said his books had everything to do with myths. Anyone historically knowledgable know the Nazis were big myth resurrectors, and looking for myth, Old Joe C. copied Nazi ideology.
All right, I concede Americans live in an age of myths – Harry Potter, Star Wars, Vampires and the Undead. It’s a scary world, but don’t be deceived.
Old Joe C. was an academic who believed he had discovered a how-to-write-a-compelling story. Hero, make the protagonist a hero. The reader and movie audiences will fawn over him. Old Joe listed the ingredients [elements]. [steps], [manifestations], [parts], [units] and discussed many of them. Other writers have picked up these lists which comprise their interpretation of Old Joe’s work. It is therefore easy to conclude that Old Joe’s books are not well-written (because a lot of other authors make much more money explaining Old Joe myths things).
From the standpoint of literature Old Joe’s work is pure crap. However less refined and less rigorous media like movies and TV, have accept Joe’s methods. The quality and the quantity of each has declined. More frequently the audience is presented with characters in impossibly human situations, parakeets running wild, and deep sea adventures which end in outer space. The players are supposed to work through each scenario: A myth! How does a favorite actors handle it? It does not matter. It’s a myth! Don’t make it real, the myths of reality TV shows.
The American audience has lost the idea and the appreciation that forms of art in TV and movies can reflect human existence on Earth. What is offered to Americans? Rote and routine from Old Joe’s myth’s, hero, savior, everyone will be all right if one follows blindly because no one can ever see a Savior let alone understand speech of an orator, now a mad tyrant.
Indeed, the 2016 campaign one candidate presents his myth fitting Old Joe’s compendium: There have been no claims of his being born in a manger or found floating among the bulrushes. But suppressing underlings and deriding the poor is his stamp, and his greed, extravagance and profligacy are trump cards he loves to play.
Some hero elements used in 2016 are off Old Joe’s list, but indoctrinated, ignorant audiences are ready to overlook oversights and incongruent addenda: Producing far more harm and hardship to thousands of people than the orator has ever had himself. Making misjudgments that cost thousands of people employment. Having a sense of entitlement and privilege feeding the most extreme forms of narcissism and opportunism. A physical inability to portray himself as a human being, but as a piece of plaster of paris statuary on display at a Carnival. An unwillingness to expose himself to danger, hoping surrogates will carry that lead. An imprudent mouth not controlled by temper, judgment or reason. Lies, deceptions and tergiversations are primary communications.
The public relations make for an incoherent, uncogent campaign. Pick an issue out of the blue, and sky is the only common connection it has to Americans. Many of the comments are ill advised, infantile, ignorant or poorly put – make up the words, which ever words meet whim. Sentences don’t have to make sense, just bombastic, revealing emotion, irrationality and the intuition matching that of an ape, pounding the chest, hitting the ground and truly wondering what to do next.
This is 2016, time for Americans to get beyond the oratory, and search for a human being who understands issues beyond cliches.