For too long, politics has been dominated by the narrow appeal of empty partisan slogans of various particular parties and ideological groupings, all competing with one another. I think it’s time for a much more broad-based national appeal — one that tries to use empty partisan slogans from all parties and ideological groupings simultaneously, and to the exclusion of all other intellectual content. This is the core strategy for my 2012 presidential campaign.
Let me give you a sampling from my historic, 100-percent-slogan-based campaign: “Potemra 2012: Keep America Number One in the World.” This slogan distinguishes my platform from those of my opponents, some of whom are calling for America to be Number 43 in the world, and others are calling for it to be Number 78 in the world. Another: “Potemra 2012: Resist the Dictatorship of Relativism.” This one will resonate especially strongly with religious people and values voters. It tests well as a religious sentiment (people know it was coined by Pope Benedict XVI, so I can ride on his very positive like/dislike numbers), and it can easily be harnessed to my political message, as follows: My opponents all like to suggest in various ways that a vote for them is somehow as good as, or even better than, a vote for me. Can’t they see that this intellectual free-for-all, in which all their opinions are portrayed as somehow equal to mine, will only undermine respect for truth, and lead to a public square in which corrosive cynicism flourishes — and poses a grave threat to our children’s future? Another: “Potemra 2012: He Stands for America’s Working Families.” This, too, is a really promising wedge issue, because all the other candidates are targeting voters who are non-American, have never worked, and have never been members of families.
Some people have called me a maverick, and I won’t deny it. “Potemra 2012: Rattle the Cage.” (Unless, of course, you don’t want me to be a maverick, in which case I will definitely deny it. “Potemra 2012: A Team Player Iowa Voters Can Trust.”) Not all of the slogans will be this pithy, of course. I was just reading Kevin Williamson’s terrific new book on socialism, and ran across this one: “Buy what the fatherland produces; produce what the fatherland needs.” Kind of content-heavy, but it makes me sound both thoughtful and patriotic. Deal! And the word “fatherland” makes my economic message — what do you mean, “spell it out”? I just did — will dovetail perfectly with my social-issues agenda: I want to rename the anti-terrorism department the Department of Fatherland Security. The feminists and the multiculturalists have had it their way for too long; not content with fighting a War on Boys, they are fighting a War on Fathers, insisting on the creepily P.C. word “Homeland,” just to poke ol’ Dad in the eye with their anti-patriarchy agenda. Well, the American people have had it with this steady erosion of our most valuable institutions. “Potemra 2012: He Knows How Much Fathers Matter.” (This one will be accompanied by a great picture of me with some pretty, but non-threatening, middle-aged female I’ve never met before, and some heavily sedated child actors.)
I think 2012 will prove the No Labels Movement dead on arrival. (Or, in the words of my TV commercial: “No Labels Movement: Out of Touch with Your Family. Out of Touch with America.”) But the All Slogans Movement, on the other hand, is the wave of the future — because it eliminates, once and for all, the gap between the ageless wisdom of the people (by which I mean, the top-polling answers to each question Frank Luntz asks the focus groups) and the key challenges of governance. Remember: “Potemra 2012: It’s Your Movement — You Tell Me What It Stands For.”
Sure, the Beltway elitists don’t “get” my candidacy. The Beltway elitists say the American people just aren’t ready for a candidate who’s willing to risk his political future by telling them everything they want to hear. The Beltway elitists like to nitpick, with questions like, “Mike, you say you’re against the No Labels movement, but isn’t ‘No Labels’ a slogan? And therefore, don’t you have to include it in your All Slogans movement?”
Well, I live in an America very different from the one the Beltway elitists live in. An America that’s based on values that go much deeper than the lamestream media and the snide questions of its gotcha journalism. An America that sits around the kitchen table trying to balance the family budget — not to pass judgment on whether Potemra’s slogans are intellectually consistent.
It’s an America that’s Ready to MoveOn — and Ready to Take Our Country Back.