Welcome back to Lucid.
Ruth- There is a column in today's (Sept. 6th) WS Journal that I hope you will a) respond to or b) let us subscribers know how you'd respond if you did. It's written by Lance Morrow and is titled The Left Gets Fascism Backward. In the column is this..."If there are fascists in America these days, they are apt to be found among the tribes of the left. They are Mr. Biden and his people (including the lion's share of the media) whose opinions have, since Jan. 6, 2021, hardened into absolute faith that any party or political belief system except their own is illegitimate - impermissible, inhuman, monstrous and (a nice touch) a threat to democracy." Later is this incredible statement..."Mr. Trump and his followers, believe it or not, are essentially anti-fascists: They want the state to stand aside, to impose the least possible interference and allow market forces and entrepreneurial energies to work. Freedom isn't fascism."
I would love to hear your reaction to this. Thank you. Mike Groothuis
As a supplement to grassroots strategies to get the vote out such as "Postcards to Swing States" as discussed by participants in the Lucid Q and A today, I want to point out that grassroots efforts are phenomenally effective in so many ways currently. First term Michigan State Senator, Mallory McMorrow, a Democrat from my home town of Royal Oak, MI, used many remarkable grassroots strategies to flip a somewhat Republican area in 2018.
Four months ago, Democratic State Senator McMarrow, came to National attention when she was then "accused by name by," Republican Michigan State Senator Lana Theis, of "grooming and sexualizing children in an email fundraising for herself!" Well to say the least, McMarrow, was shocked, outraged, and asked, "Why me?" And then she spoke at the Michigan State Legislature (video below that went viral):
And then three months ago much to everyone's surprise, "grassroots fund raising" also went viral as reported by "Politico": McMarrow 1,000,000 and Theis 235 dollars! Grassroots efforts are especially effective currently!
Thank you Ruth for the wide array of links you provide each week, which offer an additional hour of study for a deeper dive. This week's links: scientific, and choice video clips, I can only hope democratic strategists look at this type research as they coach/ mentor 30-somethings to run for progressive elective offices. The research articles & audio add such depth to the weekly essay. The Thatcher article and videos were a study in themselves, with relevance and understanding yet today. I mentioned earlier today the topic of body language before I had re-read your CNN essay, July 2018 (last link of today's essay), Trump & Putin: The Pictures Tell the Story which delves into body language, hand gestures and power /submission moves. Thank you for these exquisitely chosen resources that expand my understanding of each topic.
Hitler's speeches at Nuremberg were filled with passion, aggression and emotion. He sold a nation on fascism, the politics of lunacy. As Ruth has said in her book, Hitler practiced his gestures for the greatest impact. It takes some tremendous propaganda to convince the masses that a destructive system like fascism will save their nation from ruin. Trump has been successful with his propaganda as well.
An actual "Voice" example that comes to mind for me now is a BBC Video of Christine Lagarde, Angela Merkel, and Ivanka Trump in 2017 at the G20 Women's Summit. In the video Ivanka is attempting to describe her father as a great promoter of women and families. And one can interpret from the rumblings in the audience and above all the visual expressions (or lack thereof) of Lagarde and Merkel as to how well this information is being received.
Folks have no idea what they buy, due to, tone, color, presentation and most of all, hook. It’s gotta hook ya. That hook is dependent on the environment and what’s happening. There has to be a primitive resonance, a connection. Golda Meir was one of the best I’ve ever seen. Tough, when tough was needed. Style has to match history. What a ride…………. Thank you all for this year. I have learned so much from all of you. Thank you Ruth for this awesome platform of “Pedagogy”. We are all oppressed, and you, teach us, by allowing this, coming together. Ain’t like you get paid for it. Pro Bono has its place……….. In 2 days, I will be 70. Another years subscription is my gift to me. I am so grateful to all of you.
Very interesting essay but as you mention "voice gets far less attention than image in politics." And speaking of vocally aggressive and meltdown behaviors as Trump is currently having involving an inventory of sensitive documents seized from MAL, I'm reminded of the stunning photo of Nancy Pelosi standing in the Cabinet Room at the White House doing all the talking with her finger pointed at the utterly dumbfounded Trump surrounded by House and Senate leaders from both sides of the aisle with hangdog facial and body expressions. However, there appear to be no voice recordings of the room to gain insights unfortunately. This was around 3 years ago where they were discussing a U.S. path forward and/or pullout of Syria around the Turkish bloody offensive in the region and against the Kurds -- a travesty!
JFK had a voice coach.
Great article/theory. I am often captivated in historical accounts of how wealthy elitist of 1800’s - mid 1900’s and the politically connected well to do, would send their spawns to private institutions to be groomed as leaders in business and political sectors. I can only imagine the courses and the coaches that filled their academia.
Jeffrey Sachs on a recent Democracynow program remarked how American foreign policy, based on the idea that the US must rule the world, is "bipartisan." The US policy makers, republican and democratic, can't agree that climate is an existential threat, but they all agree we must spend more on defense to counter imagined threats from China and Russia. To deal with climate, like pandemics, requires cooperation. Both women, Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton, have not deviated from supporting a militaristic US policy seeking to rule the world. We need a new woman whose alpha female voice speaks for cooperation rather than control.
Vocal tone (pitch, volume, cadence, accent), stature, dress, appearance, and other superficial factors cause us to evaluate candidates using the wrong criteria. This is not just the result of the television age, and causes us to overlook serious people with integrity and sense. One wonders, though, how Abraham Lincoln, whose voice was said to be high, would fare today.
Thank you Ruth for exploring the underlying components that attract voters. Reflecting on past U.S. presidents, some voices offered comfort and thereby trust. FDR, for example with the radio-side chats that stilled hearts. JFK, RFK, or MLK whose voices resonated with authenticity almost with a melody with timing to their words. I think to me pauses and inflections, and not a rushed rate of speed develop trust with the speaker. Do they pause, listen and pause to for their response rather than 'bounce' or volley back a common retort. I would be interested to in th topic of body language and how people interact while they are being watched and how that squares with their baseline body language,,,, the authenticity is always important to me. Thank you Ruth for this depth.
Thanks for the in-depth examination, with engaging history, on one of those important unconscious influences on those we “choose” to trust. We are deluded to think we are mostly rational creatures. One of my favorite books (that examines several dozens of ways those we think we choose, are chosen for us): YOU ARE NOT SO SMART by David McRaney. His 2 subsequent books, YOU ARE NOW LESS DUMB, and HOW MINDS CHANGE also helpful
I have benefited greatly from your past short essays. This one is awfully "slim". Please continue expanding from your previous thoughts