“Buy-in” follows speaking the language, and buy-in accepts only cash
Local and state law enforcement agencies in the United States employ over one million people. The Department of Defense, about two million. Every single one earns every single penny of their paychecks from taxes on the American people. The amount in those paychecks is thus directly tied to public policy—politics—and those three million people are not content to just take whatever comes.
The military- and law-enforcement-industrial complexes want more of your money. Always. Not only that, a candidate who is believed to favor increased funding for “defense” and “law and order” will likely get the majority of those three million votes. It may seem an over-simplification that most voters in these sectors vote primarily with their pocketbooks. It’s not an over-simplification. It’s just that simple.
Clearly, the issue is the comingling of public monies with special-interest power and the conflicts of interest that arise therefrom. The more money these industrial complexes get, the more powerful they become. The more powerful they become, the greater their influence on politicians and elections. It’s a perfect storm for quid pro quo, corruption, and even the type of racketeering usually associated with criminal organizations.
Smart marketers have figured out how to lull Americans to sleep about the trillions of dollars spent on and by these industrial complexes, by appealing to facile nationalistic tendencies and the basest prejudices of taxpayers. These marketers know that the old World War II types of propaganda—“Kill a jap. Buy an American car!”—are no longer effective and would incur wrath in the media. So, while the messages themselves might remain relatively similar, the delivery is more insidious.
The propaganda campaigns to which I refer rely on the fomentation of a language among voters which automatically exalts the military and police. Their most clever feat is that of recruiting new devotees to their cause by default, more or less. Once a citizen begins to use their language, they are unlikely to change it—until they’re fed replacement vocabulary, usually even stronger in its devotion to militarism and policism.
Here’s a list of some of the words and phrases which have been trending upward since 2001:
- First responder
- Gave/ give their lives
In the last example above, we also see the use of euphemism and the technique known as “dead men tell no tales.” We don’t know, of course, whether, the soldiers killed in action feel they gave their lives or had them taken (as in murder), because they’re no longer around to speak for themselves. American propagandists, like others, see golden opportunities in the characterizing of how the war dead felt about their country and their service. Golden, as in money.
My upcoming novel, ULTIMATE ERROR, is about propaganda in the midst of national tragedies and catastrophes. Salespeople use emotional manipulation to make money. When emotions run high, business is good.