Retro Propaganda for a Retro Ideology

Sarah Palin represents “old-fashioned” values. You may see that as a good thing (if you’re conservative) or a bad thing (if you’re liberal). But whatever side you’re on, we pretty much all agree that she’s peddling a return to a hazy golden era of American history before the big-government welfare state arrived on the scene and ruined (conservative) or fixed (liberal) everything.

What’s confusing is that she’s using ultra-modern media techniques to promulgate her retro message. She’s the queen of Twitter, Facebook, reality TV, soundbites and blogbursts.

It may feel appropriate when progressive groups use outrageous postmodern propaganda to promote a postmodern ideology — but the disconnect of Palin (and the movement she represents) using 21st-century technology to summon a bygone America has always left me a little unsettled.

Shouldn’t we be using retro propaganda techniques to promote a retro ideology?

My answer: Yes!

The medium is the message, people, and if you want to bring back the values of the past, you necessarily must do so by utilizing the media techniques of that same past.

In order to rectify this glaring omission in the conservative messaging arsenal, I have taken it upon myself to create the kind of propaganda that the Palin campaign (and she is running for president, no doubt about it) ought to be making:

(Click on the illustration [or here] to view a full-size version of the poster, suitable for framing or detailed admiration.)

This drawing is based on those classic “stairway to a better life” illustrations often found in early/mid-20th-century self-help books and magazine articles.

Print, link, distribute — backward to a better future!

18 Responses to “Retro Propaganda for a Retro Ideology”

  1. 1Bakunin on Nov 23, 2010 at 8:49 am:

    haha, yeah, you’d “somewhat reluctantly” support Palin… yeah right.

    What’s also funny and ironic is that during her term as Governor of Alaska (which decided to abandon to be a reality TV star), Palin did more “socialist” wealth redistributing then Obama ever has. But, I guess the right-wing echo-chamber loves myth making. So keep on believing that Palin is the pioneer savior of capitalism, that Obama is a Kenyan born Muslim socialist, and that Ronald Reagen created a smaller government.

  2. 2Ringo the Gringo on Nov 23, 2010 at 4:00 pm:

    Bakunin, I think it’s time for your pill.

  3. 3Scott on Nov 23, 2010 at 6:02 pm:

    Oh my, spinning wild yarns again, are we Bakunin? Which was Palin’s “redistributionist” move? The Alaska Gasline Inducement Act? Stealing from the poor to give to the rich, probably, in your mind. What Palin was trying to do there was bring competition to the gasline construction…making it more efficient….and raising the amount of revenue to the state from the mining of a resource that until her action was untapped. So she provided incentives to those who might build that pipeline. That isn’t redistribution. That is making an investment in order to cash in on future royalties. In business, this is done all of the time. I’ll give you a simple economics lesson, sir. Large Pharmacy chains make their money on sundries, not pills. So they bet on folks coming to them to spend on candy, chips, toys, make up, deodorant, etc. In order to get people in the door, they have to advertise, and often use an inducement, or “loss lead”, like milk for significantly less than you can buy it at the grocery store. Now, if they only sold milk, they’d go out of business because they sell it for lower than cost. But they get enough people in the door to buy all of that other “stuff” along with the milk to make it profitable. So, likewise, Palin was willing to provide $500 million in tax incentives (a loss lead) to a contractor to build this gasline so that three major owners of gas reserves would begin to pump it and Alaskans would benefit from the tax revenue…is this too tough for you? Invest now, reap rewards in the future? Meanwhile, she cut government (and a lot of Republicans didn’t like her for doing that). Now, here is Obama’s solution: spend ($3 Trillion and counting), tax (“let the tax cuts for the rich expire!!!! We need a VAT!!!!”), grow government (how many Czars do we have? And what exactly do they do?), choke business with regulation (Dodd-Frank, Cap & Trade), repeat. Which is more effective? (Hint: Not Obama’s model)

  4. 4Bakunin on Nov 24, 2010 at 6:44 am:

    The state that she governed has no income or sales tax. Instead, it imposes huge levies on the oil companies that lease its oil fields. The proceeds finance the government’s activities and enable it to issue a four-figure annual check to every man, woman, and child in the state. One of the reasons Palin has been a popular governor is that she added an extra twelve hundred dollars to this year’s check, bringing the per-person total to $3,269. A few weeks before she was nominated for Vice-President, she told a visiting journalist—Philip Gourevitch, of this magazine—that “we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs.”

  5. 5Scott on Nov 24, 2010 at 2:49 pm:

    Well then, let’s have a look at this, piece by piece. I live in a no sales tax state. Not feeling the socialism. They make up for that with high income tax. Florida is a no income tax state, but they make up for it with sales tax and other taxes. I do believe this is the perogative of the state legislature’s. Let me play liberal with a liberal: “how are Alaskans going to pay for bridges and roads, schools and police?” Now consider that Alaska is not exactly a HUGE state in terms of population. So income tax (especially if there is a fair number of native people, and I do believe there is) is likely useless…and those fishermen (independents, many) aren’t going to be very reliable with paying their taxes if they are paid under the table for their catch. Sales tax, true, could generate some money, but since they have a disproportionate amount of natural energy resources, why NOT use that as the state’s income source? Every state in the union uses energy taxes on their retail products. And indeed, Alaskans do share the wealth when the taxes occur on the energy companies. Just like Nebraskans share the wealth derived from income taxes. Or New Yorkers. Or Californians. You are picking and choosing outrage because it is Sarah Palin. Relax….there is nothing different being done in Alaska that isn’t being done already in the lower 48. The source of income is different because of its location, that’s all. Now if I were king tomorrow, I’d eliminate the federal government and those taxes…and cut all states off the federal teat. I’d also be labeled a fascist pig, but that is how it SHOULD be. I do believe we’ve passed the point of no return. But under that scenario, Alaska would be far more self sufficient than other states because of their energy resources.

  6. 6Bakunin on Nov 25, 2010 at 6:31 am:

    So we’ve come to a point, Scott, that you agree that the government (be it state or federal) has some role in to play in the economy, now we just have to haggle about how much government should be intruding on the free market. You seem to think that Government ownership of the land to rent out to corporation in order to take profits from companies while redistributing that money to citizens is justified. How about state government regulating the insurance industry in order to allow more citizens ability to receive health-care?

    So how far are you willing to go? Slippy slope from ownership of land to total expropriation of all the means of production! Maybe Scott is really a sekret Komunist! WHO IS thE PuPPEt MaSTer!?

  7. 7Scott on Nov 25, 2010 at 7:06 am:

    No, no, no sir. I agree to no such thing. I said if I were king tomorrow I’d eliminate the federal government. Sarah Palin, on the other hand, is taking the bull by the horns with the Gasline Act and putting out an inducement to have private industry take a resource (that only Alaska has in great quantity) that they aren’t currently mining to profit from it…and reduce the burden on the people of Alaska (and the rest of America) to be independent. This is a bold move by a governor, most of whom are deeply invested in the federal government doling out money to them for any number of bogus projects and boondoggles. She seeks INDEPENDENCE. The liberal states, like New Jersey, New York, California (the usual suspects) are greatly dependent on the federal government for so many things. For instance, Chris Christie just shut down a giant infrastructure project that involved interstate transportation between New York and New Jersey. Corzine put the wheels in motion knowing full well it wasn’t funded. Didn’t matter to him, though, because he figured someone would work the fed to pay for some of it (I think we are on the hook for 30%), and in his infinite liberal wisdom continued forward thinking that raising taxes (on an already over taxed state population), turnpike and parkway tolls, etc…he’d get the money needed to pay for his tunnel. Now, this was clearly a payoff to the unions who would be receiving the work…so those constituents were happy. Nobody else was. Christie saw the light and shut it down. FYI, New York wasn’t paying for ANY of it, so the burden was a bit lopsided. Dependence on the federal government is the motto of these liberal states…and unfortunately, many “red” states are participating in farm subsidies, etc. So Palin is merely creating independence from a natural resource so that she can pay for bridges and highways and buildings without resorting to income tax, higher property taxes, sales tax, VAT, etc. The beneficiaries were all Alaskans…not really a socialist idea, if you, as a liberal, agree that the role of government is to aid the private sector with infrastructure, and as a conservative, I am fine with that. This concept has been abused over the past few decades, however, and now big daddy (federal government) is paying for any number of things it shouldn’t be, essentially redistributing wealth from taxpayers in Illinois to pay for infrastructure in Delaware, or Florida, or fill in your state here. Healthcare is a GREAT example, and I am so glad you brought that up. Perhaps you can explain to me how it is that student loans (now required to be doled out exclusively by the fed) relate to healthcare? That was in the law…the government take over of a private industry. And help me understand why I need to pay a higher premium (as a non-smoker) to allow fools who insist on puffing their way to cancer to have “healthcare”? Or those who weigh 350 pounds? Or meth heads? Or AIDs patients who got buggered by everything and anything back in the day without use of condoms? OR DUI people who smashed into concrete abutments rendering themselves inavid? Why should I pay for their indiscretion? I certainly understand paying for the military and their medical needs; I have NO problem with that. But others who are irresponsible? Unfortunate? And of course, liberals tend to ignore socialized medicine in other countries where it exists…the waiting lines and lack of care, all of this is ignored because for some odd reason, they believe that healthcare for all is a RIGHT. None consider who pays (like John Corzine, example above). So thank you, Bakunin, for bringing up some very valid points.

  8. 8Bakunin on Nov 26, 2010 at 12:55 pm:

    Here’s an idea: try using more paragraph breaks and less run-on sentences when trying to make a valid point. Right now all I see is a giant ranty block of text that I frankly don’t have the time to dissect.

    So, Scott, you have no problem with socialism at state level, but do have a problem with socialism at federal level? Remember, we are not talking about infrastructure. We are talking about the government owning land, renting it to a private company, and then taking that rent and redistributing it to citizens. If you truly believed in capitalism, then you would want the company to own private property and reap all wealth without sharing any to the plebs.

    Let’s not forget that Alaska is not economically independent from the federal government. in 2009 Alaska’s landed $227 million in earmarks, (although this is down in 2010 to $87 Million). Palin hasn’t been against these earmarks, as during her campaign for Governor, Palin was a vocal supporter of the Gravina Island Bridge project (the famous “bridge to nowhere”). Alaska at one point as No.1 per capita recipients of earmarks (of course this can probably be explained due to state demographics).

    Curiouser and curiouser…I’m beginning to think that Sarah Palin is a secret communist… From her support of federal government earmarks, to her support for collectivization of the land, that one of her top aides is on George Soros’ payroll, and her most recent comments about “Gotta stand with our North Korean allies”, it’s all adding up! Look behind the curtain!

  9. 9SPayne on Nov 26, 2010 at 2:20 pm:

    Bakunin, I think he’s saying yes to strong state/local gov’t, no to strong federal gov’t.
    It’s what the original Republicans, like Thomas Jefferson, wanted.

  10. 10SPayne on Nov 26, 2010 at 2:22 pm:

    “Gotta stand with our North Korean allies”
    And one of your guys said, “Well, the constitution is wrong.”
    Misspoke or misquoted.

  11. 11Scott on Nov 26, 2010 at 3:18 pm:

    [Right now all I see is a giant ranty block of text that I frankly don’t have the time to dissect.] Translation: I don’t have a valid answer. What you do have is more snarky silliness. Let me know when you are ready to be serious. Thank you SPayne, for boiling it down for those who don’t think.

  12. 12Bakunin on Nov 27, 2010 at 11:38 am:

    Scott: [Right now all I see is a giant ranty block of text that I frankly don’t have the time to dissect.] Translation: I don’t have a valid answer.What you do have is more snarky silliness.Let me know when you are ready to be serious.Thank you SPayne, for boiling it down for those who don’t think.

    We where having a discussion on socialism and it’s application. You choose to ramble on like a drunken sea captain about the particularities of the health care bill that have nothing really to do with our earlier discussion nor do I support. Not only that, but I also addressed some of the “points” you made anyways. How about you stay on topic, make intelligent points and not rant like a crazy person.

    SPayne: Bakunin, I think he’s saying yes to strong state/local gov’t, no to strong federal gov’t.
    It’s what the original Republicans, like Thomas Jefferson, wanted.

    The question of debate can be boiled down to is “is socialism good?”. In the above image, zombie protrays “socialism” as bad, and that Palin as the savior of America, free markets and capitalism, even while enacting socialistic policies at state level. If “socialism is bad” then it is bad at all levels of government, including state and local government. If Scott supports “strong state/local govn’t” then he is supporting socialist “state/local govn’t” in the context of the discussion we where/are having.

    SPayne: “Gotta stand with our North Korean allies”
    And one of your guys said, “Well, the constitution is wrong.”
    Misspoke or misquoted.

    first things first, He’s not “one of my guys”. I’ve made it perfectly clear on this website that I do not support either the republicans or democrats. With I think I probably have more disdain for the republicans (mostly due to there reactionary and regressive social policies) I have nothing in common with the Obama and the democrats.

    Second, misspeaking is different from misquoting. Palin clearly said “stand with our North Korean allies”. While she misspoke, it’s up to you the reason why (My opinion: she is seriously confused about the difference between North and South Korea).

    THIRD, there’s nothing wrong with thinking the Constitution is wrong. That document has never been perfect. It once counted blacks as only a fraction of a citizen and denied voting rights to those without property and women. I think it’s also clear that in the context of the statement he was giving, he was talking about interpretation of the constitution (that is, he is arguing that there is nothing in the constitution that says “money is free speech”. He’s wrong, mind you, as “freedom of speech” has been interpreted for close to 100 years to include symbolic speech (like burning the flag, wearing an armband, etc) and I think that campaign donations can be within those realms.)

    as for “snarky silliness”. I throw that in because the modern right has become a self parody. How is my “snarky silliness” any different then what Glenn Beck, hero of the tea party, saying on a nightly basis about Obama?

  13. 13Scott on Nov 28, 2010 at 7:49 am:

    Bakunin: Dispense with the crass commentary. Of course my “rant” had to do with socialism. Obamacare IS socialism. Personified. Your words: [We where having a discussion on socialism and it’s application. ] I addressed the problem with socialism. You side stepped and were rude and snide, common markers of a coward. I’ll discuss the proper role of government if you will refrain from being a typical cowardly lib (and bogus anarchist).

    About Glenn Beck: he is a bit strange, and from my perspective, over the top, but if I had to thoughtfully consider a viewpoint, I’ll choose Glenn Beck over Keith Olbermann any day of the week. Talk about a self parady! Those in glass houses shall not cast stones.

    Krauhammer has an excellent commentary from this week about the left’s perception of Sarah Palin that is applicable to Zombie’s piece. You should check it out. The soundbite from that message is: Conservatism is bigger than Sarah Palin. Not too many on the left really understand that. This past election was all the evidence that is needed.

  14. 14Bakunin on Nov 28, 2010 at 3:45 pm:

    Scott: See, your already learning!

    So, as you said that you support strong state/local government, I’m sure you would have no problem with the provisions withing the Obama health bill to be enacted at state level, correct? If “Obamacare” is “socialism”, but you are in favor of socialistic policies at state level, then you are in favor of “Obamacare” at state level. Of course, that would be the Massachusetts health care reform enacted by Mitt Romney. I guess when a democrat does it at federal level it’s socialism, and when a republican does it at state level its capitalism.

    Again, I make no excuses for Keith Olbermann. All network news is bullshit and shouldn’t be trusted. That being said, I think that Bill Maher analysis is right on: “When Jon announced his rally, he said the national conversation was dominated by people on the Right who believe Obama’s a Socialist and people on the Left who believe 9/11’s an inside job, but I can’t name any Democratic leaders who think 9/11’s an inside job [of course, a Fox News Business commentator recently came out as a 9/11 truther]. But Republican leaders who think Obama’s a Socialist…all of them. …. Keith Olbermann is right when he says he’s not the equivalent of Glenn Beck. One reports facts the other one is very close to playing with his poop.”

    Krauhammer used to be one of the best and most rational of political commentators, but like most of the right-wing has shifted positions further and further outside the realms of sanity as Obama Derangement Syndrome kicked into full gear. The fact is we are currently discussing Palin. Her views are the majority of views within the tea party and as such within the conservative movement. Those who speak out against those views or are not as “ideologically pure” as Palin (fiscal conservatives who trust the science of AGW, socially liberal fiscal conservatives, pragmatic conservatives who reach across the isle) are being purged as we speak.

  15. 15Scott on Nov 28, 2010 at 5:04 pm:

    [So, as you said that you support strong state/local government, I’m sure you would have no problem with the provisions withing the Obama health bill to be enacted at state level, correct?] I said I believe in the elimination of the federal government, and I said I have no problem with Sarah Palin using an inducement ($500,000,000 in tax credits to a contractor who would build a gasline from which to build revenue) but the truth is, Bakunin, that you try constantly to put words in my mouth. I actually believe in as little government as possible, period. More government simply means more corruption, power grabbing, and problems. It really doesn’t matter which level: county, state, or federal. As for Bill Maher, you should never listen to someone as arrogant and nasty as he is: [but I can’t name any Democratic leaders who think 9/11’s an inside job] Van Jones ring a bell? (Yes, yes, I know he is a former Democratic leader…selected by “the one”)[ Keith Olbermann is right when he says he’s not the equivalent of Glenn Beck. One reports facts the other one is very close to playing with his poop.” ] Keith gets paid a lot of money for playing with his poop, I guess. :-) [See, your already learning!] I am learning that I cannot have an intellectual discussion with you, sir. This exchange is somewhat akin to a German Shephard chasing its tail.

  16. 16Mohawk1773 on Nov 28, 2010 at 5:45 pm:

    Geez… why is the idea of a Republic in which each state defines it’s own destiny so difficult for useful idiots like Bakunin to grasp. Different people want different things, different states operate in different ways, different states have different environments and ecosystems… ad infinitum… one size does not fit all. If, say, California, wants to create their “Progressive Utopia”, let them, but not at the expense of those who opt for a more conservative state government. If they fail, they fail on their own merit. If they succeed, they do so on their own merit. If people want that kind of government, they will move there; if they don’t, they will leave there. This is not rocket science and there are different compartments on a submarine for a reason. Our Founders meant for us to be able to vote with our feet, our money, and at the ballot box.

    In psychological terms, children and infantile adults suffer from a lack of boundaries, and a lack of understanding why there should even be boundaries at all. Who has time for Bakunin’s childish drivel?

    On a more topical note, to zombie’s original article, I would argue that using the creations of a free society to promote free markets and the same free society makes absolute sense and IMHO is not contradictory, however in the event zombie is referring to Palin’s personal Social Values, I might agree. Yet, to what degree can we say that Palin’s personal Social Values would reflect her governance of a nation with varying Social Values? The only speculation I can make is that other Presidents with socially conservative values did not force those values on the nation as a whole, maybe upon varying aspects, but each state in the Union has never been forced by a social conservative President to be socially conservative. Whereas the opposite has been true of the lefts demand that we all heel our speech, actions, and wallets to their ideal of social liberalism (which of course is not liberal at all).

    Furthermore, the very premise of any collectivist ideology is far more “backwards” than anything that calls for personal responsibility and individual rights. The tribal basis pushed over and over by the left is in fact regressive, whereas the freedom of individuals from collective coercion and subsistence is in fact progress in the grand scheme of things.

    How much Palin represents these things is hard to calculate, however she has done well to stand against the collective as any strong individual would.

  17. 17Scott on Nov 28, 2010 at 6:23 pm:

    Hi Mohawk: It is interesting to me that liberalism has turned to facism, and conservatism has become the new “underground” movement against the forces of evil. Too many libs, like Bakunin, think they are for equality, justice, etc…but are so misguided that they simply snipe at others with an opposing viewpoint. I agree that the right way to approach government in this country would be to afford the states the ability to pursue their own social vision; and indeed California and New York would be on the hook for their own carelessness and cost overruns. We see the net result of what happens in this scenario in the European Union right now. Sadly, Ireland, Greece, Portugal and others might well sink Germany, etc…what happens then?

    Unfortunately, the US Congress has seen to it to hold money over the states’ heads, manipulating compliance with certain laws by promising or denying money that they have no business controlling. SB 1070 is a great example of the fed flexing its might over Arizona. Eric Holder has actually seen fit to sue Arizona for attempting to enforce law that the fed is largely ignoring! This is the problem with liberalism; it is all about a two class system, as Karl Marx envisioned; the Bourgeoise and Proletariat. Guess where honest, hard-working Americans are in that scenario?

  18. 18Ron L on Dec 4, 2010 at 6:50 pm:

    Palin is not a serious person, and seemingly hasn’t the capabilities to become one.
    But the left is *daft* about her, and if you were a lefty guy who would you rather look at, Palin or Pelosi? And I’ll bet Palin won’t even return one tweet from that slathering lefties.
    Anyhow, there’s another ex-governor that deserves a look: Gary Johnson, and the media seems to find his comments not worthy of printing. I guess the lefties are just fanatical about boobs.