Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Taste the "Daisy:" Patton’s Petal Pushers

Guest Post
by Steve Finefrock
Hollywood Conservative Forum
FROM THE PHONE BOOTH: The Smallest Space in Hollywood


Tony Schwartz mastered his art of the resonance principle, given some esoteric elaboration in his 1976 book, “The Responsive Chord” – required reading for all on the Right who pretend to desire counterbalance to the Left’s many slippery techniques of winning the political combat on the electronic battleground. Combined with his later publication, “Media: The Second God” Schwartz reveals much of what made him so famous and heroic in the political-ad minds of the DNC in past decades.

Schwartz is ill now, his website essentially inactive, no longer booking speeches and consulting for his many fellows. Who is this warrior who should make us wary? He’s the intellectual godfather of the famous 1964 TV ad which has begotten a tiny taste of its technique into the mouth of Barack Obama last week. Dubya magically issued a bit of the petals of the “Daisy” commercial when he deftly noted in Israel that there are appeasers who are to be opposed.

Democrats went into high-gear to declare this an attack on them, Barack and liberalism in general. Yet, Dubya mentioned not a single domestic numbskull – his prime target was a target-rich world of European idiocy, but their American idiot-savants in domestic politics got the message. Dubya struck a resonant chord among liberals. As Schwartz did with the “Daisy” ad against Goldwater in 1964.

Without mentioning the GOP nominee, or the GOP, or even the presidential race per se until the final on-screen text, the most vicious and most effective political commercial in history ran only once during a 1964 movie-of-the-week on NBC, and generated enormous evening news coverage, which assumed the girl picking petals off a daisy, then seemingly blasted by an atomic mushroom cloud, was the likely future victim of Goldwater’s supposed extremism.

Schwartz had tapped into subconscious public anxieties already distributed aplenty by lying, scheming media who were then – as now – dedicated to distortions of any democrat opponent. Goldwater had extolled the accuracy of our missiles as capable of lobbing one “into the men’s room in the Kremlin” and thus branded by media commentators as advocating such an initiative. And so it went – as they tried similar media smears on Reagan two decades later. It didn’t work on Reagan so much, but for Goldwater’s candidacy Schwartz and the DNC tapped into existing anxieties about atomic dangers, at a time not long after the Cuban Missile Crisis had brought us so close to mushroom-filled nuclear war. [A crisis borne of a youthful, inexperienced president whom Barack so longs to emulate!]

Goldwater had made many feisty policy statements, suitable to a willing media’s cooperative distortion, and Schwartz relied on the ‘resonant chord’ in the public’s mind to smash the man’s already comatose candidacy. Fellow-travelers in this journey of joyous destruction of Goldwater included Bill Moyers, who confessed in a PBS documentary that the ad was perhaps a bit too much. Even current candidate Al Franken admits in the documentary, “Mr. Conservative” that indeed, yes, “that commercial was unfair” – many years later, when it, of course, makes no difference.

Now the resonant chord has given a tiny petal of retribution for the “Daisy” ad, to Barack and the DNC and Joe ‘plagiarism’ Biden. They recognized themselves in the Knesset comments by Dubya – and the media didn’t fail to confirm that accusation. Only conservative commentators were assertive in emphasizing the absence of Obama or any other democrat’s name, or of their beloved “Daisy” party. The resonant chord of Dubya’s words hit them where they knew they were vulnerable – they are appeasers, have been for some time: then against the Soviets, more recently for the so-called Palestinians, and continue to give resonant chords to any such characterizations.

It’s a small satisfaction, a tiny petal off a very large daisy chain of endless slams on conservative ideas, distortions as diabolical as that daisy plucked clean by that child achieved 44 years ago this September. But watching Obama squirm and squeal, and Biden curse, and the DNC officials squawk with indignation as that bit o’ resonant chord vibrated on their side of the political Rubicon, was a tiny hint of what is possible this November, if:

WE LEARN THEIR PLAYBOOK.

As I stated for the Heritage Foundation speech in September, we must all continually envision Patton’s eyeballing the North African desert carnage in “Patton” as he’s defeated Erwin Rommel’s tanks forces, the prior night having reviewed Rommel’s tank warfare text. “Rommel, you magnificent bastard” squawls George C. Scott, removing his binoculars in triumph, “I READ YOUR BOOK” – and grins large, knowing he learned how to defeat his opponent, at least in part, by adapting his opponent’s own methods.

Tony Schwartz’s work is doubtlessly enhanced since his books – both over two decades old, out of print and available only thru arduous interlibrary loan – but the subconscious TV-ad basics are still as he outlined them. There are certain truths which the public has absorbed from the public discussions, key words and phrases which the voters know deep in their subconscious to be associated with democrat daisies. And we should be petal pushers like Schwartz pushed petals up the derriere of Mr. Conservative in 1964.

Dubya gave us a tantalizing taste of the Daisy technique – he hit a responsive chord that stirred up the DNC like a nest of hornets. Guilty hornets. Who know the resonance when the chord was struck in the Knesset. If the well-worn appeasement shoe fits, you should be forced to wear it. You put a badly-fitting, distorted shoe on Goldwater; now, it’s your turn in the Daisy Barrel.

Dubya’s daisy was but a taste of what is possible with this coming contest, between the ‘very old’ Mac and the very-green Barack. Obama’s color is not black, or purple, but GREEN: it is his most important shade to note and emphasize. Every resonance can and should point to his associations, and to his Color Green. Not the color of Islam – which is green but so is that of Ireland. Nor the envy color, with envy being the DNC’s motivating principle in all their policy since LaFollette and FDR and LBJ and the rest.

His color is that of the greenhorn, whose values and principles encircle so many despicable Daisy principles that the RNC hopefully – and desperately I say ‘hopefully’ – can and will competently exploit. Turn to our advantage in endless TV ads, the responsive chord of recognizable qualities which the DNC has so richly earned for over five decades.

Shove a few petals down their narrow orifices. But, be subtle – as Dubya was at the Knesset. As they were with the “Daisy” ad 44 years ago on September 7th. As 9/11 of 2001 has meaning for the nation, 9/7 of 1964 and 2004 has meaning for conservatism. It was our Waterloo and Pearl Harbor and Alamo.

Time for payback – one petal at a time, shoved carefully and subtly and with Patton’s admonition. For without using this resonant chord, the vibrations for the country at large will shake this Vital Nation to its core. Take your choice, dear voters: an oldster with gray hair, or a green-as-grass numbskull with grace, and charm, and quite startlingly bizarre political views. Which views, when elaborated with recognizable resonance, will resonate with the voters as totally UNACCEPTABLE.

Eat petals, Democrats – if we can competently serve them with Schwartz’s methods and nuance, our petal pushers can victoriously declare on November 5th: BON APPETIT.

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