If I had to sum up a campaign motto for Bernie in a simple slogan, I’d say it has to be “make them an offer they can’t refuse.” I know most of us associate that with mob activity. But it fits nicely to Bernie Sanders. It is more of a doctrine.
He simply capitalized on the idea of making them an offer so enticing (and stimulating) they cannot turn it down. I mean why should they? All they have to do is vote for him, not like that is costing them anything really. Or so the rationalization goes. Meanwhile, they won’t even know they’ve been baited.
When Trump used the line “what have they got to lose” it actually applied. Meaning people have been locked into failing schools and communities for years, sometimes generations, without improvement even though they kept going to the polls voting for it.
They thought they were doing the right thing only to be lied to over and over again. All politicians really want or need is that vote. Then pols can go on their self-absorbed way. But why give people the improvement when it is the desire for it that has kept them coming out to vote for you? That’s a simple strategy many pols embrace. In other words, why give up the goose that is laying those golden eggs so nicely?
And yes, Democrats and Republicans have both engaged in this “keep them coming back for more” strategy. (Abott and Costello would love that bit)
However, this whole concept of ‘nothing to lose’ is the mentality younger generations have perverted into a ‘why not’ attitude which seems to, more often, get them more than it costs them in the long run. You can’t blame them for trying anyway even if it doesn’t pan out.
Now Bernie uses one gimmick. That is the sales pitch he typically turns to in town halls, usually stacked with his supporters. He suggests he wants a little survey to make his point. He asks them if they believe healthcare is a human right? Then they cheer. He asks if college tuition should be free and government should pay off student debt? They agree. On and on he goes, ticking off item after item on his list. I mean they aren’t going to say no, why should they? So they can’t refuse.
No one is sitting there thinking that it might not be quite right. In fact they are thinking that it should be an actual “right”.
That, in effect, is the explanation for his entire campaign. He’s there to give them what they want. It is not about practicality it is about desire. Oh sure he schemes up some numbers on a paper of how we can pay for it by just “asking a little bit mo’ from the rich.”
It sounds good so what is the problem?
That is: it sounds so good. No one is going to say, “I think we should skip on that but what is the rest of your plan?” No, that is Bernie’s whole plan. There is nothing else to it. That is the plan, a quid pro quo to get him elected. If he was buying votes it would be wrong. But since he is buying your votes with the government’s taxpayer money it is okay. And who cares about what it will cost when it is really just about what you want anyway?
Bernie is no fool but he is making one out of you. And if our elections are now only about demanding what goodies and “freebies” you want to demand, then we are in uncharted territory. They’ve already decided they want to give you a right to kill a baby all the way up to date of birth for whatever reason. If they compromise on the virtue of life, what won’t they be willing to do?
Besides, those gifts and rights they are going to give you are just a cost of doing business. It’s like the car dealership with that enticing gimmick to get you to come down to the lot. Test-drive a few.
How can you say no to that? So the campaign and election is not about Bernie and his record, or what is best for the country, it’s about what you want. And you should have it.
Remember, his answer to any question then is to turn to the crowd and say do you think healthcare should be a right – to get free medical service? He knows the odds are highly stacked in his favor. He justifies his campaign on your need.
And with all this strategy in mind, he says he is going to get the largest voter turnout in history to win. Does it work? Well, it is not costing Bernie anything.
So the next time you see him turn to an audience to ask the question, ask yourself what is the answer to that?
In Bernie’s mind “why complicate it?” And why should we?
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