Conceived in paperback on April 1, 2016 (no less), Welcome to Dumbfuckistan: The Dumbed-Down, Disinformed, Dysfunctional, Disunited States of America, by Ian Gurvitz, predicted our most recent election. Ian is a Hollywood-based TV writer and producer. My take-away is Dumbfuckistan is located somewhere between your right and left ear.
The right question is: where is the meaning in life? Meaning is a man-made concept. It’s something we infer from those experiences that are self-evidently good, and stem from a feeling of joy and wonder. Meaning is not something that occurs in the future. It exists in the here and now, within the fact that our lives are finite. – Ian Gurvitz
This question posed takes me to my most favorite book, Man’s Search for Meaning, authored by Viktor E. Frankl, with more than 12 million copies in print worldwide, and dedicated to the memory of his mother. This book explores, in a way no other has, the most basic principle of life – “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how” – Fredrich Wilhelm Nietzche.
What are the political ramifications of this election? In 2004, Thomas Frank wrote What’s the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America. The book explores the rise of populist anti-elitist conservatism in the US. In the late 19th century, Kansas was known as the hotbed of the left-wing populist movement, but in recent decades it has become hardcore red. Boiled down, the book examines the conundrum of how people suffering financial hardship can be voting for the same person the leaders of the largest corporations are voting for – one of them is voting against their own economic interests. Then came President Obama, he understood that with 1/3 of America he had no shot. One third of America he didn’t have to convince, we were with him. So he focused like a laser on the 1/3 in the middle. And he realized after watching Howard Dean’s campaign explode and then implode, that the internet, and specifically social media, has fundamentally changed politics. This is not to say well-placed, well-produced, targeted TV ads aren’t game changers – they are. The key is, if you are on a budget, to find the most eyeballs in the 1/3 middle at the cheapest price. See Data You Can Believe In, The New York Times Magazine, 6/20/2013.
What happened in this election for Hillary Clinton and really the Democratic National Party is that they didn’t understand the undecided voters and all thought without much question she was the most qualified candidate based on experience we ever had for the position of President. She was a deeply flawed candidate – more flawed than I realized until conducting a post-mortem focus group this past Sunday morning. She was in no way more deeply flawed than her opponent, who won, he is a better salesman. We are all selling something, some sell products, some real estate, medicine, law, and some sell themselves. A good huckster can sell almost anything.
I dedicate this blog to all my trolls who permeate my Facebook page. I welcome their objective, non-abusive comments. The unwelcome comments – you know who you are – that attempt to, if you can believe it, tell me what to do and how to behave, you know what you can do. “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing; the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to chose one’s own way.” – Viktor Frankl. Two people had the authority to construct how I behave, my dad (who I didn’t always agree with) and my mom, who I always agreed with.
Thank you for your time – any constructive criticism is welcome. Happy Peaceful and Safe Thanksgiving to all.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.