Angry DougJ is definitely onto something with this “useful idiots” idea:
One of the great victories of conservatism was framing every debate as the real, Tebow-fearing Murkins versus the dirty hippies who spit on soldiers. Is there anyway the left could try to do the same with banskters and bankster fanboys? A few months ago, I would have scoffed at this idea, but after the nosedive Romney’s favorables have taken, I’m beginning to wonder.
As DougJ points out, our prospective useful idiots are playing right into the narrative by writing and saying very dumb things, such as, “Corporations are people, my friend,” and, “Actually, Mitt Romney’s tax rate is too high.”
So far, so good. But we are a visual people. To ensure that the one-percent and their defenders make the jump from current meme to enduring and symbolic Enemies of the People to be employed forever more as debate short-hand, we’ll need imagery.
As DougJ suggested, a study of the great conservative victory in framing the debate as DFHs vs Real Americans is instructive. So what images did conservatives use to bolster their case?
As it turns out, the stories of hippies spitting on soldiers was apocryphal, but we must always remember that the truth doesn’t matter in this scenario. What’s needed is a compelling image to go along with the narrative.
Reagan knew this, which is why he invoked an image of the unwashed hippies who haunted Middle America’s dreams at the time when he said, “A hippie is someone who looks like Tarzan, walks like Jane, and smells like Cheetah.” There are many iconic images to go along with that characterization, of course. But the image that is perhaps the most enduring symbol of hippies’ alleged traitorousness involves a different Jane:
It’s so powerful that it still appears on a newish bumper sticker affixed to a neighbor’s pickup truck even though the event was 40 years ago, the subject is now a grandma who has long-since apologized for giving offense and the war she opposed is now nearly universally acknowledged to have been a giant, bloody mistake.
Conversely, accusations of bankster malfeasance are true; we are standing in the economic rubble they created. Do we have any handy images in our grab bag? Well, there’s this:
And maybe this:
Got any other contenders? Think hard. This is important shit, people.