And that rhymes with “P” and that stands for pool!
Friday, a friend put me on to a musical bit that I know by heart, but he gave me a fresh perspective on it. I had never seen it in a modern political context, in a cable news/talk radio context.
In one, short speech — building intensity as he goes — Professor Harold Hill gathers a crowd of onlookers and rattles off a litany of big city sins “the right kinda parents” worry about corrupting their children and their small town: sloth, drinking, gambling, being “stuck-up,” smoking, loose morals, and indecent pop culture. In a fevered crescendo, Hill warns parents of “shameless music • That’ll grab your son, your daughter • With the arms of a jungle animal instink!”
Harold is selling something. And in four minutes he creates a market for it out of thin air — among people he calls “as green as the money.” Moments earlier…
HAROLD HILL: Now, Marce, I need some ideas if I’m gonna get your town out of the serious trouble it’s in.
MARCELLUS: River City ain’t in any trouble.
HILL: We’re going to have to create some.
Hill presses every button the people of River City, Iowa have to press, plus appeals to patriotism and God to create a city-wide moral crisis that four minutes earlier the townspeople didn’t know they had. Sound familiar?
Now strike pool . Insert contraception , voter fraud , death panels , or a half dozen other right-wing bogey men and the grifter’s pitch works the same. Today, Harold Hill would be working for Fox News or Americans for Prosperity. He’d be running American Crossroads, and making a lot more money.
(Cross-posted from Scrutiny Hooligans.)
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So, right-wingers, you want a society where families are stable, where everybody looks like you and shares your Christian faith, and where the government pretty much stays out of your business? It’s not in some Randian fantasy, it’s right here in the USA.
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