It's the age of action, a commercial proclaims as a man drives his old pick up truck along, towing a horse trailer. The commercial talks about how he knows what to do, how he doesn't get upset, as the truck gets stuck. He leads his horses out of the trailer, hooks them up to the truck and pulls his stuck free. They're selling one of the male performance enhancers, Cialis or something.
Think about that imagery. He's an older guy, in decent shape, good lucking because, well, ugly people aren't allowed in commercials. It's the law. His old truck breaks down but he can think and adapt. But...what's the catalyst to that thinking and adapting? Why, it's that pill. That's the answer to the unspoken question in this commercial about this age of action, take this pill and you'll be a person of solutions and actions.
Take a pill and you'll solve your problems.
That's not a new angle or approach, it's an old, false solution masquerading as a new ad campaign. We've had "The Valley of the Dolls", "Satisfaction," and "Mother's Little Helper" around for half a century. Last century's last decade saw more parents demanding Ritalin for their little Heathers and Jasons, to help them focus on tests and get better grades.
Take a pill. Solve your problems.
I have a friend who hasn't taken his pill. He hasn't found the right pill because he doesn't know his problem. His problem is apparent to others. This is about a fund-raising dinner and a celebration. Misreading the situation, he developed a vision and refused to listen to others who began telling him, your vision is ill-conceived. His vision included $75 a head tickets for the dinner, insisting the good townspeople have the money and can pay that, not hearing the rest tell him that no, most people can't afford that money. You're going to fall short on your ticket sales. He thought he would have salmon for the meat eaters, along with a vegetation option, as this is a progressive group. He ignored others telling him that salmon wasn't a good idea. Salmon is expensive and not everyone likes salmon.
Since he didn't take his pill, the solutions are being forced on him. Ticket sales are down, even though other groups are subsidizing some. Chicken has replaced the salmon on the final menu; the money isn't there for the salmon.
We have a world like my friend, refusing to adapt. Gentle pressures are mounting. The POTUS election campaign offers empirical evidence, with the debates sharpening focus. Bloggers on the left have been having great fun with Romney 'debating himself', offering video clips from previously in the year where he says one thing, and then counters himself in the debate by offering a completely different version of his position.
He knows what he's doing. The result is that the election and debate is not about the actual issues, but about more of the same under Obama, and generating the fear that you won't have any change. Obama didn't cause the problems; he inherited them from George Bush. All of that can be factually, empircally proven through cold, hard data, even though many are having fun playing 'let's pretend' and berry picking their 'facts'.
Romney understands this. The campaign has become an election about image. Romney is offering himself as the pill. He has no solution; he told his donors that in the secret recording. 'Just do nothing and it will take care of itself. The 47% will always be the 47% and they will never elect me but I have a shot with the rest, especially the largest party.'
The largest party are the undecideds. They're larger than the other two parties. Romney figured that out. To win his nomination, he had to become the pill for his base. That's what he became: he told the hard right, dominated by the Tea Party faction, exactly what they wanted to hear to win their grudging support. Once he had their support, he took their nomination. Now he's moving his position back toward the center, to win the Undecideds. One key element of the Undecideds are that they don't pay close attention. They're usually not part of the left or right blogosphere. All those videos about what he's said before, the actions he's taken, et cetera? That's the meal ticket for the professional press and the bloggers but the Undecideds are little aware of it. The Undecideds are looking for their pill.
Romney isn't the first to employ this. His campaign is actually Obama's 2008 campaign all over again. Obama embraced the left and progressives and offered change you can believe in. Boy, they wanted to believe. They found their pill in Obama and took it. Once he had their support, he campaigned for the Undecideds, moving his position toward the center. It worked and he won. Then he governed from center right.
The left and progressives were disappointed and even outraged. Their pill wasn't relieving their symptoms and delivering the age of action they expected. Obama fatigue set in quickly.
But funny...it's so funny...Obama's campaign was just George Bush's campaign from 2000. There's a video circulating from that, as well, showing how Bush won the right by saying one matter during the nomination vote, and then another during the election fight. Bush knew he was a pill.
Likewise, the right's pill didn't work. They refused to acknowledge that and rallied around him in 2004, gritting their teeth because they wanted to maintain power. Yet, the worse of Bush's Presidency happened in the second term. The first term's problems had mounted. He sold himself as the pill, not the solution, and so, when those problems, so predictable and clear, happened, the pill could not deliver.
We're seeing the same in Obama. He's having trouble gaining the left's support. They took that pill before. It didn't work and they don't want to take it again. Yet, the only other pill is...Romney.
Blue pill, red pill, "The Matrix" postulated. Which reality do you want? Except that movie claimed a difference in the two realities.
In our reality, the political system has come to depend on the pill, and the pill's effectiveness is based on its ad campaign. Take this pill, and you'll have action. The Eagles told us about taking those pills in "Life in the Fast Lane."
"They knew all the right people, they took all the right pills."
The song didn't end well. "Call the doctor, I think I'm gonna crash, the doctor says he's coming, but he gotta pay in cash."
That's the problem every time with depending on the pills. Sooner or later, the side effects take you down.
Especially when you've confused taking a pill with taking action.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com