One day last month on my way to work I saw a poster/sign on the back of a city transit bus and it just unsettled me. Actually, it was the advertisement content/message, which unsettled me.
Now, come on…this website is a “prepper” website. It is my intention that I provide you with the information to assist in preparing you, your family, and your group or community. That preparation is meant to help you survive disasters, emergencies and especially a “grid-down” event. Part of my self-imposed responsibility is to ensure that you see the big (macro) picture as well as the more subtle smaller (micro) events that take place around us.
When combined, those “pictures” represent Situational Awareness (SA) which then allows you to make higher quality decisions based on the most pertinent information. This article touches on one of those micro pictures that caught my attention enough that I felt the need to share some thoughts with you.
Advertising, by definition, is marketing communication that is intended to persuade people to take, or continue, action in an area such as commercial product/service or political/ideological agenda. Seems reasonable enough. Well, until you see the advertisement that I saw, then it gets a bit more complicated and a little more concerning. So here is the picture of the advertisement…
When I first saw it I just absorbed it as a recruiting poster for the National Guard. Let me share with you that I come from very long line of military people. I am a veteran, my father served in two World Wars, my grandfather and great-grandfathers, great-uncles, etc. served as well. I have their pictures for WWI, a Marine even sneaked in there. I can trace back military men in my family tree all the way back to the American Revolution. So I am not some anti-military whack-job. However, that ad got into my head.
The primary message is “Join the Military Police” which is simple enough. Then the follow-up lines are “Enforce the Law” followed by “Keep the Peace.”
Couple subtle points:
- The first line, “Join the Military Police” is the action that they want the target audience to take. Makes sense, it appears to be a recruiting poster so they want you to join the National Guard. Simple enough.
- Then the next message they want to convey, “Enforce the Law.” What? Really? Think about it for a second, they are telling potential recruits that they will be enforcing the law.
- The final message line is “Keep the Peace.” Well, that certainly is a noble cause, yes? But here is a subtlety that I didn’t really see until I looked hard at the advertisement, this line about keeping the peace is the smallest font size on the poster in terms of messaging. And exactly where does the National Guard keep the peace?
- Now that I shared the messaging of the advertisement, let’s look at the visual included on the ad. The visual might be the most profound message of all. The picture consists of the following –
- An up-armored military Humvee
- A soldier in full battle gear
- A .50cal machine gun pointed directly at the person viewing the ad
Now let’s wrap the entire message together: Join the military police to enforce the law via a heavy weapon pointed directly at civilians. And by doing so you can keep the peace by imposing military strength and might upon whomever you wish…or are ordered to.
So what doesn’t the advertisement say?
- Doesn’t mention serving your country or community.
- Doesn’t show the serviceman helping anyone.
- It doesn’t show any interaction with people other than at the end of a heavy caliber machine gun.
- It doesn’t provide any message other than “force – comply or die!”
So what is the delivered message?
Well, I will leave it up to you to figure out in your own mind. But for me the message is clear:
- Join the National Guard so you can force people, including civilians, to comply by using heavy weapons against them.
- If you are a civilian, you will, you must, comply with military police or you will get shredded by heavy caliber machine gun rounds.
Now, you might say my interpretation is all wrong, and you might be right. But where is the National Guard intended to be used? Right here in the United States via the individual Governor’s offices. Yes, the National Guard can get mobilized to serve along side of the regular military overseas. But in the advertisement there is no mention of overseas, there is no mention of serving in a foreign country, and there is no mention of whose laws they will be enforcing.
To test my paranoia laced concept I thought I would do some research and see if the National Guard had used similar advertising in the past. You know, test my concept with actual hard data.
Turns out that my concept is not so paranoid after all. I couldn’t find a single example of a National Guard recruiting poster that was this outrageously militaristic against US citizens…comply or die. Not a single case, not one.
Come join the National Guard, become a member of the military police, then you can enforce the law against US citizens with military armored vehicles and heavy machine guns. And doing so is the only option to keep the peace…comply or die.
Sometimes you just have to take the government at their word, believe the message that they are giving you. Or in this case, the conditioning that they are utilizing.
As a prepper, what do you do about all of this?
Nothing directly, there is no need to, probability no ability to. And anything you would try and do, such as call your Congressman or calling the National Guard to complain, would have zero effect. However, it would get your name known to the wrong folks, and you end up on yet another list.
So then what can be done?
You just be aware of things like this…government advertising. These subtle “moves” are actually messages designed to change the “culture” of America. And yes, change it for the worse. Remember the “Overton Window” concept…here it is, plain as day!
As with all aspects of government, politicians, etc. there are only two things that are important; money and power. Their view is with one you can gain the other. And they want a whole lot of both, maybe all.
So, as a prepper, you just keep doing what you are doing, moving forward each day in your quest to be prepared for emergencies, disasters, and especially when “grid-down” occurs.
Sure, you can speed up acquiring this or that piece of gear or equipment. You can accelerate getting the next case of freeze-dried food. Or you can learn the finer points of your Ham radio. But this single advertisement delivering an unsettling message isn’t a game changer in any sense of the word. It is simply another step in the direction that our government is pushing us.
Keep moving forward, make prepper progress and you will be fine. The nice thing is, by reading this article you may have just increased your Situational Awareness. And that is a very, very good thing of immense value.
note: In regards to this article…think about how quickly the National Guard willingly and readily moved to occupy Washington D.C. against US citizens after 1/6…and have stayed. Now, think about this 2015 advertisement again. Advertisement or prophecy?
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