Sunday, February 21, 2010
Percentage of Americans who favor socialism: 20
Percentage of Americans involved in Tea Party Movement: 11 (Support for Tea Party is also about 12%).
Number of mentions of "Tea Party" past month in Lexis radio and tv transcript search: 1042*
Number of mentions of "socialism" past month in Lexis radio and tv transcript search: 69+
Moral of the story: If you're in the top 1% of the population, and you can keep middle 67% of people scared of the right 12%, you can completely ignore the leftmost 20% and give the 67% very little.
So for the cost of keeping 12% of the population in placards and bumper-stickers and rallies, and the cost of running television stations and radio outlets, you can do pretty much whatever the fuck you want and forget about 99% of the population. That's a pretty sweet return on investment.
(NB -- with a little extra seed money to throw an "election", you can offset the cost of the tv and radio stations by getting about 70% of the population to send money to pay for it every two to four years, thus increasing your margin.)