Bounded Rationality, Manipulation, and the Mothers for Moral America

The Tea Party shouts “The country is going to hell in a hand basket! Crime is rampant! Guns must be allowed, even in schools and bars, so that law abiding citizens can protect themselves.”

Candidates that have anti-masturbation and anti-immigration campaign platforms have been elected in primary elections.

As the Neo-Conservatives and Reaganites seemed obsessed with the 60’s and rolling back those “liberal” gains, the Tea party seems obsessed with Barry Goldwater, the so called “Father of the Conservative Movement”.

A campaign of fear and hatred seems to be the rallying point used for gaining membership. Several concepts are being used to achieve this goal.

For example,  the country is being run by a Socialist or Communist President.

But this is nothing new in the political process.

In fact, the Tea Party movement’s hero, Barry Goldwater, attempted the same technique in his election bid for President against Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

The front group created by  the Goldwater election campaign was called “Mothers for Moral America” or MfMA. This proxy group was created to attack Lyndon Johnson on moral issues such as crime, pornography, and dancing the Twist.

Yes, that’s right. Hip swiveling was anti-American.

But along side some of those seemingly benign images were included images that implicated that the civil rights movement was immoral and anti American.

Seeing some of the images and signs produced by todays Tea Party, it gives reminder of how racial equality maybe hasn’t advanced as far as thought from the Goldwater campaign.

To bring these issues broadside against the Johnson campaign, the MfMA created a short film that seems to be a cross between a bad High School Hygiene film and a “Hot Rods to Hell” reject.

The film was titled “Choice” and at the time was even more controversial than the infamous “Daisy” ad.

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Posted by on October 7, 2010. Filed under Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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11 Responses to Bounded Rationality, Manipulation, and the Mothers for Moral America

  1. fourdinners

    October 7, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    America seems – to this Englishman anyroad – to be polarising a wee bit.

    Vote right, vote left…..get some ‘middle ground’ eh?

    The ‘right’ isn’t necessarily wrong on everything and the ‘left’ isn’t necessarily wrong on everything.

    Listen to ‘alternative’ views and don’t dismiss them.

    Don’t polarise America. It won’t be good for the soul.

    Even a drunken Englishman can see that.

    • Krell

      October 7, 2010 at 3:00 pm

      “Don’t polarize America. It won’t be good for the soul”

      Wise words, 4D. Wise words indeed.

  2. Holte Ender

    October 7, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    If you look deep into American history, Howard Zinn’s version, the polarization is woven into the fabric of society, it’s been a battleground of sorts in my time here, which is a quarter century now. It can’t be any other way when one side is re-writing history to suit themselves, and painting glorious pictures of noble deeds done by noble men and worshiping the cult of the individual when reality says you can achieve anything you want, but you can’t do it without the help and advice of many people.

    • Krell

      October 7, 2010 at 4:57 pm

      Do you think that it hasn’t gotten worse or better in the past 25 years? Or perhaps just better organized in presented it?

      • Holte Ender

        October 7, 2010 at 10:35 pm

        I moved here from Thatcher to Reagan, out of the frying pan into the fire. Britain is certainly reaping what she sowed, as here Reagan’s “starve the beast” policies are still being felt.

        • Krell

          October 7, 2010 at 10:41 pm

          Wasn’t Reagan and Thatcher part of a mutual admiration society?
          Reagan loved the “Iron Lady”!

  3. Mother Hen

    October 7, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    First thing I noticed about the film was that the Pledge of Allegiance was”…one nation, indivisible…” no “under God” there at all. I wonder if the teabaggers want to go back to those glory days?

    • Krell

      October 7, 2010 at 4:59 pm

      Wow! Observant pick up there. When was that part of the phrase put in? Around 1955 or so? So that Choice film was made with 10 year old footage?

  4. The Lawyer

    October 7, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    God, that cheeseball nostalgia was as much bullshit then as it is now. The first half of the video looked more like the America I would choose. I noticed something while reading this. MfMA…MMA…Is this site really just a front for the Mothers for a Moral America. Can anyone prove that it isn’t? I’m just sayin’.

  5. osori

    October 7, 2010 at 9:42 pm

    What a horrible film.I’d noticed that “under God” thing too, wonder why they didn’t catch it themselves?
    Viewing it, I saw menacing cops and victimized Black people. It took me a moment to realize the target audience would see the polar opposite.

    • Krell

      October 7, 2010 at 10:40 pm

      That was part of the point on this post, Oso. We see the Civil rights struggles and menacing cops. But to the target audience for the film, they saw a country out of control. I guess the film was showing LBJ driving the country out of control like the car.

      The Tea Party, and the underlying AstroTurf funded groups, use the same or close to the same images to rally the fear and organize the ignorant. They have Obama looking like a monkey or wearing a swastika. Hasn’t changed much…