Mommy and Daddy, by Robert Gore

Have you ever won or lost a political argument? Have you or an opponent ever said: “Your facts and logic are overpowering, I have to concede that you’re right.” It’s never happened, has it? It doesn’t happen because politics has little to do with facts and logic. It’s anchored in emotions that take root in infancy and are so deeply ingrained they are undoubtedly part of humanity’s evolutionary code. No bond is more enduring than that between parent and child, and none is more laden with psychological baggage. While political argument will always be a frustratingly fruitless endeavor, you can at least understand why this is so, and perhaps avoid wasting your time.

The first lesson infants learn, evolutionarily hardwired, is that mom provides. She supplies the physical basics, and psychological sustenance as well. She smiles and coos, delighted by almost everything her baby does. “Mom,” as in mom and the apple pies she cooks, has a sacred, unrivaled place in the human conscious and subconscious. Insulting someone’s mother is an invitation to a fight. Whether you realize or admit it or not, the person that bore, gave birth, and nurtured you through childhood has a outsize presence in your psyche.

“Branding” is a marketing buzzword, but one of some intellectual value in a field littered with useless emissions. If you’re trying to sell something, you want consumers to associate your product or service with a simple but psychologically powerful concept. Food companies and restaurant chains sell healthy and delicious, or tie eating into warm memories. Purveyors of athletic clothes and footwear link themselves with athletic excellence. The fat blob swilling beer on the couch gets winded going to the refrigerator, but wears Nike sweats. Cosmetic and fashion companies peddle hope to millions of women and men who will never look like the models who show off the merchandise. Insurance and home security companies sell fear.

The Democratic party is mom: it’s going to take care of you. It is not a coincidence that its ascendancy in the 1930s and 40s occurred after women got the vote. Mom is unconditional love. She may scold you after you mess up, even send you to your room without dinner, but she’ll never starve you. When the chips are really down, she’ll be there. Franklin Roosevelt rebranded the Democratic party and the federal government. He transformed the government into the ultimate provider and the Democratic party into mom, standing by her children as they face life’s brutal exigencies. Like him or hate him, he did a masterful job; the rebranding still works over eighty years after he first took office, an extraordinarily durable marketing theme.

The Republican party is dad. Its branding is not on internal, familial issues, but the external—working, protecting, and providing for the family as a whole. Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush have been most responsible for current Republican branding. Reagan’s peace through strength rhetoric and policies were directed towards the Soviet Union. Bush essentially redirected them towards Islamic extremism. On economic issues, the Republicans have conflated the well-being of large, multinational corporations with the well-being of the average working American. Thus, virtually open immigration and international trade agreements, misleadingly labeled “free trade,” have been sold as essential to the country’s economic health.

Donald Trump is not attempting to rebrand the Republican party, but to demonstrate that it has failed in its fatherly duties and to show he can restore it. The national security state is open to a myriad of criticisms, but the criticism that resonates, the one upon which Trump must constantly amplify, is that it has failed to protect Americans. Dead soldiers and trillions spent in far away lands are one thing, regrettable but mostly ignored in this country. When blowback terrorism reaches kissing cousin Europe, and more importantly, the United States, dad hasn’t done his job. One of Trump’s first big controversies was when he criticized George W. Bush for failing to protect us from 9/11. The howls of outrage from the traditional candidates and their punditry spoke volumes. It was, however, a masterstroke—linking the traditional Republican president to a massive security failure—and it worked.

Trump has linked immigration to terrorism, crime, and economic stagnation: again, dad falling down on the job, not protecting and providing. His criticisms of trade agreements have paternal resonance. Jobs and industry have left the US, preventing, through no fault of their own, men who worked in the vanished factories from providing for their families. They are not looking for sustenance from mom, but rather a chance to fulfill their role as fathers, and they’ve become Trump’s base. These Republicans are the kid who sees his dad drunk in a bar when he’s supposed to be on the job he hasn’t told the family he no longer has. The kid knows something is terribly wrong. Trump tells the kid that he can sober up dad, get him back to work, and keep the kid and his family safe.

Hillary Clinton is attempting political androgyny. She’s the single parent mom and dad, fitting for the party whose policies have created so many single parent families. She is appealing to those Republicans who believe that belligerent foreign intervention, open borders, and corporate managed trade will protect the family and bring home the bacon. Sixteen challengers thought those articles of faith still fit the Republican brand; they lost to the candidate who didn’t. Maybe enough of the daddy-traditionalists will overcome their intense loathing of all things Clinton to make a difference, maybe not. However, the strategy may well backfire with her own party.

If Bernie Sanders had been a candidate in the 1960s, his supporters would undoubtedly have been viscerally and vociferously opposed to the Vietnam War. Today, to they extent they show any concern about foreign and military affairs, Democrats worry that money spent on foreign interventions is money that should have been spent at home—dad taking money from mom. Sanders’ supporters are the ultimate mom voters, and they might have upended Clinton had the process not been rigged. So far, they haven’t warmed up to the candidate who’s trying to out-dad the Republicans, rigged the nomination, and only pays lip service to their “needs.” Satisfying needs is what moms do, and if Hillary doesn’t credibly address their psychology, many will sit on their hands or vote for Jill Stein.

What about those who don’t have mommy or daddy issues, who stand on their own two feet and don’t want to be bothered by the mommy-crats and daddy-crats? Their numbers are so small they’re politically irrelevant. Pathological psychological dependency feeds on itself, reinforced by tribalism. Crowds are stupid; wisdom is solitary. The individualists see the light, but only because they broke from the pack and thought for themselves. They owe their wisdom more to what they’ve read (mostly on the Internet), and thought about on their own, than what they’ve been told, and told to accept. The mommy and daddy analysis of politics offers them only the cold comfort of an explanation as to why they never win arguments, although they usually have history, facts, and logic on their side. Now, at least, they can avoid wasting their precious time.

NOBODY’S GOING TO READ A NOVEL ABOUT A BANKER

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AMAZON

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24 responses to “Mommy and Daddy, by Robert Gore

  1. Pingback: SLL: Mommy And Daddy | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  2. By the time I did actually grow up, I knew that my Mom was nice and caring, and that my Dad knew that the world was neither nice, or caring, and that he wanted me to be professional, to be polite, and and to have a plan to kill everyone I met. I loved my Mom and respected her. I learned to always keep my hands clean, and not to shout when talking to people. From my Dad, who I hated while growing up, I learned everything else that I actually needed to survive and thrive. Dads turn boys into men, it’s their job. Moms are forever trying to turn their sons into little girls, and from the looks of things, an awful lot of them were successful. Before this election takes place, if it DOES take place, Hillary will cry like a bitch on TV to show what a meanie Trump is, and Trump, if he stays true to form, will just look at her. We’re all 10 years old again, forced to decide between Mom and Dad. I know what my choice is, and no matter the outcome, I’ll deal with it. It’s what Dad taught me to do. We’ve already had one Pussy with his hand on the nuclear switch, and we don’t need a physical one either.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: Mommy and Daddy « Financial Survival Network

  4. “The number of American presidential candidates varies with the sunspot cycle and the phases of the moon. Being a Republican, I’m backing Hillary Clinton. Because she could lose. The reason is not that she’s a woman. The reason is that she’s the particular woman who taught the 4th grade class that every man in America wished he were dead in. Hillary Clinton is Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown. Hillary Clinton is ‘America’s ex-wife.'”

    — P.J. O’Rourke

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you,………, my brother.

    Like

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  15. Reblogged this on The way I see things … and commented:
    I can picture my own father reading this article and giving me the ole one eye stern face and saying “Yep, moms coddle too much”. He often pointed out that the fans in the stands that were shown on TV during sports games and such more than likely would say HEY MOM!
    He called it a “soccer mom” creation — I was soccer mom – this was his way to say I was coddling. Miss that man and his wisdom.
    —-
    Donald Trump is not attempting to rebrand the Republican party, but to demonstrate that it has failed in its fatherly duties and to show he can restore it. The national security state is open to a myriad of criticisms, but the criticism that resonates, the one upon which Trump must constantly amplify, is that it has failed to protect Americans. Dead soldiers and trillions spent in far away lands are one thing, regrettable but mostly ignored in this country. When blowback terrorism reaches kissing cousin Europe, and more importantly, the United States, dad hasn’t done his job. One of Trump’s first big controversies was when he criticized George W. Bush for failing to protect us from 9/11. The howls of outrage from the traditional candidates and their punditry spoke volumes. It was, however, a masterstroke—linking the traditional Republican president to a massive security failure—and it worked.

    Trump has linked immigration to terrorism, crime, and economic stagnation: again, dad falling down on the job, not protecting and providing. His criticisms of trade agreements have paternal resonance. Jobs and industry have left the US, preventing, through no fault of their own, men who worked in the vanished factories from providing for their families. They are not looking for sustenance from mom, but rather a chance to fulfill their role as fathers, and they’ve become Trump’s base. These Republicans are the kid who sees his dad drunk in a bar when he’s supposed to be on the job he hasn’t told the family he no longer has. The kid knows something is terribly wrong. Trump tells the kid that he can sober up dad, get him back to work, and keep the kid and his family safe.

    Like

  16. This fits in well with my approach. I shall be linking to this page from my weekly ‘head text.’ Compliments to the author.

    Simon Sheppard, http://www.heretical.com

    Like

  17. “Have you ever won or lost a political argument? Have you or an opponent
    ever said: “Your facts and logic are overpowering, I have to concede that you’re right.” It’s never happened, has it? It doesn’t happen because politics has little to do with facts and logic.”

    Such as the time you were arguing that communism and socialism was/is one of the same?? Don’t worry Robert, I’m not here to troll you, or to reignite that argument.

    “It’s anchored in emotions that take root in infancy and are so deeply ingrained they are undoubtedly part of humanity’s evolutionary code.”

    Not true.
    The brain is developed emotionally, amongst other things, while the brain is part of the fetus in the womb. In part, the mothers emotions are “downloaded” into the foetuses brain, in order for that child to deal with its environment once it grows up.
    The mothers thoughts are designed to shape the baby’s needs, from a world it must confront. The father’s sperm also plays a part.
    I don’t want to get into a deep scientific explanation, suffice to say that this principle was 1st loosely proposed by Jean Baptiste De Lamarck.
    Today it’s known as Epigenetics.

    “The individualists see the light, but only because they broke from the pack and thought for themselves.”

    Again, not true.
    With some rare exceptions, such as those in a survivalist state, such as soldiers cut off from their company.
    Or the scenario of someone stranded on a desert island.
    Individuals only thrive when they are part of a coherent, nurturing and altruistic group. Put simply, Darwin was wrong.
    The only way the human race has progressed is through cooperation, and working together for the common good. E.g. agriculture, just to name one of many.

    “They owe their wisdom more to what they’ve read (mostly on the Internet), and thought about on their own, than what they’ve been told, and told to accept.”

    Hardly.
    The Internet just reinforces deep-seated, hardwired prejudices.
    People seek out confirmation, on the Internet, to confirm and reinforce preconceived misconceptions.

    Oh, and one more thing, I’ve been banned by Jim Quinn, over at the Burning Platform. It was all right while I made neutral comments, even the occasional positive comment that agreed with other commentators, but once I ridiculed something on the website, I was promptly banned.
    It was okay for him to tell me to Fuck off when it suited him, but sulked when there was a bit of blowback. Those on the Alt-right are always complaining about SJW, but it’s the Jim Quinns’ of this world who truly need the safe places

    “The Burning Platform Rousing, often funny, often spot on, often politically incorrect free speech forum.”
    Huh?? Free SPEECH?!

    There are hypocrites, and then there are American libertarians.
    Its just hilarious.

    Like

    • Most comments I post (the ones I don’t are for the obvious reasons), trusting that my readers will evaluate those that are critical of what I write by the quality of critic’s writing, facts, and arguments. I’ve posted this comment, which you submitted twice, fairly certain that you’re not going to change many minds here. I could be wrong about that, in which case I’m sure those readers who agree with you will let me know. Thanks for commenting.

      Like

      • “which you submitted twice”
        Only because, once I made my remarks, and hit the post button, my comments disappeared. So as a newbie, I thought I might post them a 2nd time.

        “fairly certain that you’re not going to change many minds here.”
        I’m not intending to. I know that’s impossible, well, if we’re talking about changing minds, the only way you can do that is through transcendental meditation.
        The whole reason why I’d made my comments in the 1st place was to put out there, that there is a lot more input that goes into a person’s brain, which shapes their perception of themselves, and the world, than most, including yourself, fully understand and appreciate.

        Like

    • I am curious Peter. Did YOU formulate these thoughts, or are they the product of initially, your mother’ emotions – followed by an endless cast of characters with whom you became “acquainted?”

      Was the power to initiate them done so by YOU, or some nameless, faceless, unidentifiable assemblage of humans and environment(s) you have encountered?

      Was the decision to identify them as “valid,” a product of your individual judgement, or is individual judgment an illusion to you – replaced by collective forces over which you have no control, with which you are merely compelled to comply?

      I think Quinn grew emotionally weary of you – likely initiated when subjected to his mother;s initial “download,” just prior to his actual download. He did error however by banning you. Rational contradiction should always be exposed NOT banned. Nature provides that service.

      I know this may seem harsh but I have little insight into your virtues/values. I am suspiciously pointing out that if human beings actually comport themselves under the “evolutionary” constraints you cite, then their power of reason and choice are illusory. If so, then to the extent you are human, so too are YOURS.

      In what manner should I therefore take your claims of knowledge any more seriously than I take the claims of any other human?

      Dave

      Like

      • “I am curious Peter. Did YOU formulate these thoughts, or are they the product of initially, your mother’ emotions – followed by an endless cast of characters with whom you became “acquainted?”

        Yes, that and more.

        “Was the power to initiate them done so by YOU, or some nameless, faceless, unidentifiable assemblage of humans and environment(s) you have encountered?”

        Without getting into a deep and meaningful discussion about “free will,” yes, by and large I initiated my life discoveries.
        The so-called discovering of facts is only limited by what we read, and to a certain extent, what we’re told.
        The only real way to confirm and to establish true facts, is for the individual to truly experience it for themselves. The discovery of facts cannot really be fully appreciated, unless it is accompanied by a real visceral experience.
        Discovering true facts certainly cannot be established, or confirmed by someone in a Western country, like the USA or Australia, by that person sitting in a comfortable lounge chair in front of their computer screen.

        Like

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