09 July 2014

A Post-Apocalyptic Politics

Here's an odd relic from 1982. Mail order apocrypha

It plays to the worst fears of certain people, the sort of thing that would probably drive some to self-medicate. Before asking for your money, it first assures you that catastrophy! is imminent.

Of course now this sort of panic-mongering is no longer used by people selling the secrets of UFOnauts. Now it is used by politicians who convince people that Obama won't let you have your money or that Republicans won't let you have sex. (Which may be the simplest explanation for why the young disproportionately vote Democratic and the old vote disproportionately for Republicans. We all put more value on what we now have than what we aspire to.) 

Of course if the two sides didn't use a good dose of fear, turnout would be in the single-digits. In truth, policy that makes a real difference is kind of boring to most people and takes considerably longer to play out than a 0-0 World Cup tie or even a baseball game. Before you can sell them on your policies, it helps to sell them on the apocalypse. 

But who knows? Maybe in 30 years today's political debate will look as dated to folks as this does to us. ("Oh sure," say the apocalyptic political junkies. "He accuses us of apocalyptic politics. What about his pollyanna politics? He'll change his tune when catastrophy! strikes.")

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