“He finally got his Heady and turned it on, because he wanted to see if there was anything new about the robot cops’ horse. He stared at it, at the burst titles saying PHIL, PLEASE CALL and PHIL PHIL PHIL over and over and over and he poked around on the device and finally hit on the one movie you could watch on a Heady. He didn’t even know how the Kennedy ’64 campaign had done it, an engineer had explained it to him once, but he still didn’t know. The Kennedy campaign ad, the one that got the country to stay the course and not switch horses even as the war got bigger and less popular.
“The Daisy Girl.
“Phil only watched the Daisy Girl ad when there was nothing but hate in him. It was, maybe, the worst thing human beings had ever created. That it even existed was an indictment in itself. That it worked at all and got a president reelected made people and life and the universe nothing but foul and stupid and wasted and futile. He was bad, he was twisted, he was wrong…but everything else was so much worse. Or maybe not, maybe everything and everyone was exactly like him. One was liquor, one was speed, he had no idea which was which.
“Phil watched a little girl plucking flowers off a daisy and then destroyed in a nuclear blast. The little girl counted 1, 2, 3 and then the Strangelove voice came in with 3, 2, 1 and then the camera zoomed in on the little girl’s eye and then annihilation and then THESE ARE THE STAKES. He played that again and again, the preacher’s warning at the end: THESE ARE THE STAKES. WE MUST EITHER LOVE EACH OTHER OR WE MUST DIE.
“This was an ad to sell a war against poor people someplace else who just wanted their own better country as: IF WE DON’T KEEP DOING THIS, YOUR DAUGHTERS WILL DIE SCREAMING.
“This was the ‘liberal’ party of the United States of America, selling this shit. This was love. ”
Yes, really. Except Johnson, not Kennedy, in ’64.