Karl Rove came to campus last Friday, as featured speaker in the Wiley Lecture Series spring event “The first 100 days:: Barack Obama”.  I first heard about his visit when another student from the Wiley committee came to speak at our meeting.  She announced the event and hands shot up in the air with questions.

“Do we have to pay to see Karl Rove?”   Answer:  Yes, $5.

“Is he getting any of our student fees for coming?”  Answer:  No, or I’d be pissed too.

“Can we get paid $5 to come see Karl Rove?”  Answer: No, but nice try.

Because it was the same price as a movie, and promised to be just as entertaining [and because my friend Dustin believed there should be some people there cheering on the other guy…it was a debate, most people just didn’t acknowledge another pundit would be in attendance] Liz and I decided to go.

We were late and ended up near the back of the auditorium behind hundreds of retirees, College Republicans, Young Conservatives of Texas, and directly behind what seemed to be the whole freshman class of the Corps of Cadets.  The first speaker had begun his opening remarks and introduction:: Juan Williams.  He would be presenting the opposing view, also with Fox News, we were not sure how it would turn out [and of coarse he had to be a man of color siding with President Obama].  As expected, some of his numbers were off when it came to the troops or the Recovery package but he does get his information from Fox whereas Liz and I, the only ones who probably caught any discrepancies, combined read over 20 news sources a day.

And then there was Rove.

Here is what I was reminded of, or learned from Rove’s performance:

  1. Vocabulary is always important. Remember if you want to demonize political figures or parties, use words like radical, high risk, a gamble, dramatic directions.  The more you use these words the more they become synonymous with that party and the less you have to actually present examples or facts that prove they are “bad.”
  2. Don’t forget the Markets. Let’s face it, most of your audience does not know much about how the economy works or the world in general, but they do know that FREE markets are always gooder.  Be sure to say in any lecture given, how free markets are important because they create needed competition, that private institutions rule all in a truly free world, and will drive down whatever you think in that moment they will need to drive down.
  3. Captivating body language is all you need to win a debate. When someone else is speaking, make sure to look as if you are not listening.  Always have a water bottle, you don’t have to actually sip it but pretend to, this will add to your attentive listening performance.  When you feel as if your popularity is sagging, cross your arms, your legs, make a big scene–this too will cancel out what is being said.  Ooo, along with your waterbottle bring some papers, any will do, to flip through as if fact checking to seem “fair and balanced” by the truth.  Finally, when it is your turn to speak, get FIERY.  Get up in their face.  Point at them, point at the audience/camera.  Scoff a few times.  Remember to tell them, they’re wrong and need to check their facts [as you seemingly just did].  **Note: this fiery behavior can also help when you want to convince someone to enable a preemptive war against another nation.
  4. Throw in some sex jokes. And by sex, I mean sexist.  Making fun of women, always wins the crowd over, so don’t be afraid to woo the bitches.  Jokes about homosexuals also hold the same power, so hate away.
  5. To win any argument, call someone Un-American. When in doubt, pull out the wildcard.  Calling someone Un-American, or accusing them of calling you that will always win over your congregation, uh, I mean audience.
  6. Pat the dog. Be sure to wrap up your performance with a “pat the dog” scene.  In a movie when producers need their patriarchal figure to look human and draw sympathy, they bring in a puppy or baby and have the man pet it for a scene.  Puppies and babies erase their misogynist, sometimes murderous and violent characteristics.  When concluding your performance, be sure to wrap up your event like the producers would with a pretty bow.  This can be some heartfelt comment or some story referencing your humble nature, where you place both hands over your belly and seemingly bow to the audience.  If need be, bring in a puppy or young white child from the audience.

After the performance, I was all riled up but not in the same way the freshman Corps boys were–I wasn’t pounding my fists together, whooping and hollering, and plotting a presidential take-over and/or Texas’ succession from the Union–but I really wanted to throw my shoe.

But I controlled my urges and instead filled out the evaluation form with witty, radically liberal comments.

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