Oh, the ire of the masses. If tapped correctly, like a keg, it will yield a sweet bounty. But be forewarned, as the angry mob is fickle in nature and quick to turn on those who would try to champion it.
Thus, with populist politics on the rise again, here are some tips to utilizing the groundswell of fury that's sweeping the nation like the Charleston during the Roaring '20s.
Step One: Feed the crowd's insatiable desire for violence, which was recently articulated by the death threats American International Group, Inc. executives received. Don't advocate anything too drastic, but something akin to the infamous face slap Bernie Madoff received. Leading a mob requires guts, and that means not wimping out like Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, who suggested letting executives kill themselves, instead of giving the unemployed something to do with their free time.
Step Two: Embrace the dialect of the common man. For some reason an angry mob responds better to language that appeals to the lowest common denominator in society. Don't get too technical, and if at all possible, invoke the speech pattern of a 19th century farmer, with references to hog tying, robber barons and boodlers. Stay away from "isms," as it's a slippery slope toward communism and socialism, both of which aren't warmly received in a country that only likes red with white and blue.
Step Three: For the love of God, don't let them learn math. Such a skill set will kill the buzz of the rage-oholics, who would realize that while $165 million for bonuses to executives from the maladroit AIG seems like a big number, in reality it's less than 1 percent of the money we've sunk into them thus far.
Step Four: Since Democrats and Republicans have both catered to the greedy elites that contributed to this mess, you should start a third party that would serve as the only honest broker amongst a group of thieves. Plus, once you develop a constituency you'll be absorbed by one of the two major parties, and then you'll get to reap your own payday.
Step Five: William Jennings Bryan was able to woo crowds with his cross of gold speeches at the end of the 19th century, but thanks to the cash4gold craze you should pledge to find that cross and melt it down in order to bribe your followers.
Step Six: With the bribe money, take your flock on a shopping spree. It's great for the economy and a perfect way to blow off steam, because a tightly wound group of disciples can't protest the U.S. Treasury as efficiently as a group donning new sunglasses.
Step Seven: Culture wars require an army, and to ensure that your troops will obediently follow you into battle you'll need to shield them from any culpability for the current economic woes. Maybe people were wrong to buy houses and cars they couldn't afford or invest in what they didn't understand, but that shouldn't stop you from pointing the finger at the bankers who fed the addiction of the masses, instead of being the voice of reason people expect from their social betters.
Step Eight: Avoid ritualized group suicide. It's so cliché, and frankly that's the kind of defeatist mentality that will prevent us from digging out of this hole.
Dave Lombardo is a senior poli-sci major who plans to use these techniques for global domination!