So how does one take over a country in the 21st century? It's a lot simpler than you might think. The great European banker, Mayer Rothschild, summed it up beautifully when he said, "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws" All you need is money, honey.
Once you have the cash in hand, here is a simple 10-step guide:
Step 1. First and most important, buy out the major news media.
This can take a bit of a time, of course, but media house mergers and acquisitions are the way to go. Consolidate. It is imperative for all the major media houses to speak more or less in one voice so that the candidate of your choice gets maximum backing and a "wave" is created. As far back as the 1800s, Napoleon Bonaparte said, "Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets." Modern day political candidates couldn't agree more. Perception is reality.
Step 2. Select a candidate pliant enough to become mascot and champion for big business.
He need not be too educated, well-read, or even have a working conscience. (In fact, it's better if he doesn't.)
Step 3. Hire a top-notch PR agency
This PR agency should be able to create a compelling campaign that will airbrush any objectionable events in the candidate's past and portray him as the nation's great hope -- in fact, the only hope. You'd be surprised how easy this is. People have short memories and are remarkably willing to overlook major moral lapses and character flaws as long as the candidate promises prosperity.
Step 4. Run full-page ads and prime-time TV spots in support of your candidate.
Money shouldn't be a problem since you own these media outlets anyway. Repeat your message again and again. Repetition is one of the great laws of memory.
Step 5. Make sure the candidate can deliver speeches in memorable sound bites.
In this, the day of image-building, 140-character tweets and minuscule attention spans, the candidate with the shortest, catchiest, most-repeatable slogan will win, never mind how regressive his real agenda may be. Nuances of policy and planning are a thing of the past. The real question is -- how does he make the people feel?
Don McLean, the iconic American folk singer of the 70s took a dig at the marketability of political candidates in one of his later songs, "Fashion Victim":
The candidate is handsome, he's wearin' tailored clothes
He's following the pollster everywhere he goes
His teeth have all been straightened, his hair is very full
His stupidity is hidden by this image-making bull.
How did the land of Jefferson, how did the land of King
Become the land of hamburgers and raisins that can sing?
Roosevelt was a cripple, Lincoln was a geek,
They'd never get elected, their clothes were never chic!
Step 6. Once the candidate is elected, keep the campaign going.
Victory loses its value unless it is used as a means to even greater ends. The campaigning should never end, ever. Introduce more slogans, more eye candy and more feel-good schemes. This will create the illusion of progress and governance.
Step 7. Discredit free-thinking students and universities.
They pose a clear and present danger to your plan of nation control and must be made to look like enemies of the state. Use the media to the hilt here.
Step 8. Work the "patriotism" and "nationalism" angles as much as you can.
Samuel Johnson said, "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel". He was right. Your nationalistic jingoism will bring enough unthinking scoundrels out of the woodwork to shout down any sane voices that dare to question the undermining of democratic processes. Again, use the media to the hilt here.
Step 9. Systematically take over any watchdog agencies and other institutions which safeguard the democratic rights of the citizen .
Put your own people in charge of these places. Easy-peasy.
Step 10. Take money out of public health and education and put it into defence and war.
It won't be long before you'll need it.
Also see on HuffPost: