These days political candidates blog and tweet, but long ago they’d have to shake hands, kiss babies and feed zillions of people at campaign rallies. The best of the best of these events was the old fashioned political barbecue.
This was a strategy perfected way back in 1840, by presidential candidate William Henry Harrison. One of his barbecues attracted about 30,000 people.
He trounced incumbent President Van Buren.
So who paid for all this food?
Did Harrison win because he had more money to spend on food, staff and advertising?
Historians say this particular presidential campaign is the grandma of the modern campaign, which is all about money and image making and how the rich and powerful can put their money behind a candidate who might do their bidding. And worst of all, how money in politics can lead to a political system that bleeds the country dry and leaves only a few on top to rake in all the goodies.
If you hate the fact that money runs the entire political process, do catch this new book by Dylan Ratigan: Greedy Bastard$! I managed to get an advance copy. It’s a page turner and unbelievably timely.
Ratigan even has his own recipe for a 2012 Barbecue. Not at all like Harrison’s in 1840 but delicious in its own, unique way. The barbecue recipe card came with my advance copy of the book. Here’s the recipe:
Greedy Bastard$ Antidote BBQ Sauce
(from the kitchen of Dylan Ratigan)
“Politics as Usual”
1/2 cup money and politics
1/2 cup American democracy (purified)
4 tblsp. each: banking reform, Federal Reserve audit, ending money priting
1 cup debt cancellation
3 tsp. international currency reform
2 tblsp. tax reform (bold flavor)
Add capital requirements wherever possible
First, in a large glass bowl, crack open package of “Politics as Usual.” With a skimmer. carefully separate business from state, and remove money from politics. (NOTE: May be difficult!)
Then, add remaining ingredients: American democracy, banking reform, and Federal Reserve audit. Whisk in international currency reform and tax reform, to counter acidity from extraction, especially Chinese currency rigging.
Proceed to remove money printing, bogus political debates, and bought politicians. Add capital requirements and restructure debt. Remaining ingredients should now be transparent and visible.
Put in saucepan, and “hot-spot” until the sweet aroma of innovations in energy, health care, and education start bursting from the pan.
Garnish with hope for America’s rebirth and the sweetness of living up to our best ideals.
Serve with a tall glass of personal resolve.