Saturday, May 24, 2008

Spread The Word: Doc Hopper Republican

Doc Hopper Republican
1. A public figure who wears a flag pin to draw attention away from their amoral behaviour.
2. A politician or member of the media who accuses ideological opponents of being unpatriotic if they don’t wear a flag pin. 

A Doc Hopper Republican is not necessarily a member of the Republican Party or an employee of Fox “News.” The term is derived from the name of Doc Hopper, owner and CEO of the Doc Hopper’s French Fried Frogs Legs chain of fast food restaurants. The original Doc Hopper is a sweet and fast talking middle-aged white man who speaks with a Southern drawl. At first appearance he seems to be a kindly yet shrewd businessman. A closer examination reveals a cruel and ruthless capitalist who acts only in his own self-interest. Towards this end he wears a flag pin on the lapel of his white suit.

Doc Hopper Republicans are the sort of people who hide behind a well-financed public relations campaign. Using various media platforms, primarily television commercials, they present a virtuous and noble façade to the general public. By tending the fires of this false issue citizens become concerned about symbols at the expense of substance. The public persona of a Doc Hopper Republican is built on lip service and empty gestures that are at a minimum irrelevant if not directly opposed to their true nature and goals. Patriotism is their first refuge.

Part of their strategy is to hire influential people in order to co-opt them into supporting their usually reactionary agenda.
Doc Hopper Republicans are the type of people who will offer an unknown but talented entertainer a salary well below market value to serve as a spokes-frog for their products. They do not take “no” for an answer. If their initial lowball offer is refused they will make attempts to force compliance by other means. Such attempts are usually secretive and may include violent and illegal acts.

Doc Hopper Republicans would have no qualms about engaging in a high-speed automobile chase with a frog and a bear in a Studebaker. (They would also chase a frog and a bear in a rainbow-coloured Studebaker.) Kidnapping, blackmail and enhanced electronic cerebrectomy are harsher methods but Doc Hopper Republicans claim they are “well within legal limits.” Even extraordinary rendition and bringing in a frog-killer from the coast have occurred in the name of patriotism. Doc Hopper Republicans seek to hide all of this behind the curtain of their flag pins.

political and ideological opponents of Doc Hopper Republicans are attacked on the issue of flag pins. The contrived issue is whether or not they wear them. This simplistic and easily described tactic does more than just obfuscate the issue and distract the public. Most importantly it serves to crowd out or drown out news coverage of the actual conduct of Doc Hopper Republicans. Without the ability to become well informed the vast majority of the populace will become preoccupied with the symbolism of their society and conflate symbols with true patriotism. Flag pins worn on the lapel in this environment quite rightly become even more important.

The debate over flag pins also serves as a way to define opponents, question their patriotism and occupy their time endlessly explaining an action that has no real world consequences. The truism "When you are explaining you are losing" demonstrates the double benefit of this issue to Doc Hopper Republicans.

Flag pins remain one of a dwindling number of ways to symbolize adherence and respect for
certain traditions. There is a feedback loop between what a symbol stands for, the power of that symbol, the ability to hide one’s conduct behind that symbol, the corrosive effect of that conduct, the contraction of ways to uphold the principles embodied in the symbol and the resultant increased power of the symbol. This works to the advantage of Doc Hopper Republicans. That feedback loop simultaneously enables and empowers the Doc Hopper Republicans who hide behind the flag pins on their lapels.

"Patriotism swells in the heart of the American bear."