New-Wage meets New-Rage?
"People don’t want to be beat up every day with, This caffeine product is going to kill you, or, The seas are rising and New York’s going to get flooded. They want to hear about greatness.
"They want — people want to be inspired! People want to be motivated. They want their positive thoughts validated. They don’t want to hear every day how everything’s going to hell in a handbasket and there’s a shortage of handbaskets. They don’t want to hear this. That’s what gets ratings on television. I have shown you get ratings on radio being positive, respecting the audience, being inspiring and motivational at times, when it’s necessary."
Where have we heard that rousing "people want to be motivated" spiel before (and its corollary, "The mainstream media are just too darned negative")?* Hmmm....
Rush was halfway correct (perhaps a result of talking with half his brain tied behind his back).** The truth is that people...duh...want their thoughts validated, whether positive or negative. And they adore those who pander to them by consistently and passionately arguing that someone or something else is responsible for the negative stuff. Which Rush does, of course, and very skillfully too, despite his claim that he's all about positivity and "greatness." In fact, the main way that the New-Wage gurus differ from Rush (and other talk-radio raconteurs of all political stripes; I want to be fair here) is that Rush and company make their main living by dwelling on negativity.***
The New-Wage gurus, on the other hand, just sweep the negative crud under their magic carpets and pretend it doesn't exist. The problem with magic carpets is that they rise (probably as a result of all of that hot air), and expose the negative anyway. If the bad stuff bites the New-Wagers' butts, they just blame it on (1) the flaws and limitations of their critics; or (2) more abstract or mystical forces such as Mercury in retrograde, Earth Changes, 2012, the conflict between old and new paradigms, or Satan.
Given the choice between Rush and the New-Wage gurus, I'll take...um...Jon Stewart, any day.
PS ~ One of the best works I've ever read on what motivates people is Blair Warren's One Sentence Persuasion Course. Blair and I are not exactly on the same page politically, but I still consider him a pal. And I truly enjoy his writing.
* Of course, Rush's audience would add that the mainstream media are also too darned liberal.
** Which might help 'splain why his head fits so neatly up his...um...
*** Just as I'm doing here on this very blog. You bet I'm pandering to my audience, and I'm proud of it, too. The distinction between myself and more famous shameless panderers is that, alas, I'm not making a living at it...yet. So far I've earned a mighty thirteen dollars and change from Google Ads, but those funds are frozen because the Google Adsense site is malfunctioning and I can't complete the process of providing payment information. Lots of other folks are apparently having this problem as well. (Speaking of Google Adsense, I'm beginning to think that their bots do have a sense of humor. Currently the ad atop this post links to a site selling pain-relief supplements for horses.)