Historical Note: One Hunded Years of Lunacy, 1975-2075 was one of a number of paper and ink manuscripts that were carefully copied again and again and secretly circulated among resistence groups during the earliest period of the Long Last Days. By the time Travis penned Not Even Light, the only known copy, brittle with age and incomplete, resided in Teacher Avner’s library on White Cedars farm.
From Chapter Six, “The Formation of a Kakistocracy”
“Next we come to ‘gilding the turd,’ a collection of sales techniques used so broadly and deeply in politics and commercial advertising that it became invisible to the uncritical eyes of party adherents and consumers of goods and services who, in fact, were indistinguishable from each other in any meaningful way. Deeply flawed and/or downright dangerous political candidates were sold to the dumbed-down population of the United States in the same manner as so many other inferior consumer goods. No matter how morally shoddy its candidates, no matter how blatantly perverse its platform, no matter how inhuman its agenda, the Paleoconservative Party was bound to succeed given a population already conditioned to line up to buy absolute rubbish. Gilding the turd, making the truly awful presentable and desirable, was, therefore, a reliable and powerful set of tools for advancing the party’s objectives.
Consequently, if the Paleoconservatives wanted to sell a morally bankrupt candidate, they’d feature him or her posing in the midst of a band of fawning, adoring ‘faith leaders.’
When the Paleoconservatives needed to place a bigoted nationalist in a strategic position, they’d portray him or her as someone strong and determined enough to take on, for example, foreigners or a cabal of insider elites or a misrepresented or completely fabricated group threatening to undermine the very foundations of the republic.
If it served the purpose of the Paleoconservatives to get a complete ignoramus elected, they’d attack science, education, and intellect while playing up the candidate’s simple, straightforward anti-establishment street smarts.
Similarly, a corrupt and inexperienced narcissist might suit the purposes of the Paleoconservatives. Typically, they’d cast him or her as a grassroots outsider, the only one tough and trustworthy enough to ‘get the job done.’
In each of the examples above, a complete turd was gilded, marketed, and sold as something better than it was. Unfortunately for the continued existence of a constitutional republic and a representative democracy, there was no lack of eager customers.”