Individuals should take personal responsibility for knowledge acquisition and campaigns against ignorance.
If the surprise outcome of the recent UK referendum - on whether to leave or remain in the European Union - teaches us anything, it is that supposedly worthy displays of democracy in action can actually do more harm than good. Witness a nation now more divided; an intergenerational schism in the making; both a governing and opposition party torn to shreds from the inside; infinitely more complex issues raised than satisfactory solutions provided. It begs the question 'Was it really all worth it' ?
Most politicians are corrupt as they do not represent the masses that voted for them, but rather they choose to return numerous favors to the corporations that funded their election campaigns.
In the years that followed the Harrison campaign, many candidates—from Colonel James 'Young Hickory' Polk in 1844 to Lieutenant John Kerry in 2004—had their 'humble origins' and/or 'war leadership' highlighted in political material. Often coupled with these tactics was a corollary, to create an image of the opposition candidate that was highly negative—from John Adams as a 'monarchist' to John Kerry as a 'flip-flopping, windsurfing elitist.
Efforts by Democrats to portray Jackson as 'manly' and for the 'common man' were apparently more effective than were the campaign tactics of Adams’s supporters, who attempted to depict Jackson as violent, unjust, a paramour, and even a poor speller. It is quite possible that this anti-Jackson propaganda actually reinforced the positive image of Jackson as a masculine commoner—especially when contrasted with that of Adams, whom the Democrats depicted as an over-refined aristocrat.
Fillmore lost his party’s nomination the next year to yet another military hero, General Winfield 'Old Fuss and Feathers' Scott, an anti-slavery candidate who then lost the election to General Franklin Pierce (whose party’s slogan was 'We Polked you in 1844; we shall Pierce you in 1852').
Yet, some things do not change. Overall, designers have stayed with techniques that work—in different countries and historical periods. Flagg’s 'I Want You for U.S. Army' design in World War I, with 'Uncle Sam' looking directly at the viewer and pointing a finger at him, was derived from a British poster produced three years earlier; in the British poster, Secretary of State for War Lord Kitchener is pointing a finger at British males, with the words 'Wants You, Join Your Country’s Army! God Save The King.' Other countries—Italy, Hungary, Germany, Great Britain, Canada, France, the Irish Parliamentary Party, the Red Army in Russia, and later, the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War—designed similar posters. The British applied the same design idea in World War II, featuring Prime Minister Winston Churchill, instead of Kitchener, in the same pose; the U.S. Democratic Party resurrected Flagg’s Uncle Sam image, including it in an election poster for Franklin D. Roosevelt. In the decades that followed, however, anti-war protest groups issued satires of Flagg’s 'I Want You' poster, with 'Uncle Sam' in a variety of poses: pointing a gun at the audience; making the 'peace sign,' bandaged and accompanied by the slogan 'I Want Out'; as a skeleton, with a target superimposed on him; and with the 'bad breath' of airplanes dropping bombs on houses in his mouth.
In not a single one of these little campaigns was I victorious. In other words, in each case, I personally failed, but I have lived to see the thesis upon which I was operating vindicated. And what I very often say is that I’ve lived to see my lost causes found.
The point is that television does not reveal who the best man is. In fact, television makes impossible the determination of who is better than whom, if we mean by 'better' such things as more capable in negotiation, more imaginative in executive skill, more knowledgeable about international affairs, more understanding of the interrelations of economic systems, and so on. The reason has, almost entirely, to do with 'image.' But not because politicians are preoccupied with presenting themselves in the best possible light. After all, who isn't? It is a rare and deeply disturbed person who does not wish to project a favorable image. But television gives image a bad name. For on television the politician does not so much offer the audience an image of himself, as offer himself as an image of the audience. And therein lies one of the most powerful influences of the television commercial on political discourse.
The Nazi salute was performed by public officials in the USA from 1892 through 1942. The researcher Dr. Rex Curry asks 'What happened to the photographs and films of the American Nazi salute performed by federal, state, county, and local officials?' Those photos and films are rare because people don't want to know the truth. Public officials in the USA who preceded the German socialist (Hitler) and the Italian socialist (Mussolini) were sources for the stiff-armed salute (and robotic chanting) in those countries and other foreign countries.