The Amway Rhetoric of an Administration of Salesmen:
The Rude Pundit was once friends with a guy whose father was an Amway salesman. In case you've never confronted Amway, the company gets people to sell their products, calling each salesperson an Individual Business Owner. Even though Amway sells online now, the real cash money used to be, at least, in suckering others to give up real jobs to waste a portion of their short lives trying to convince people that what they're selling is better than what you could get at the mall. Then, once you have minions who sell, you merely skim from their profits and, lo and behold, Amway says you could be rich. It requires a certain profligacy with bullshit for one to be remotely successful. It requires that one put aside any notions of soul or morality. And it requires one to be upbeat to an unreal point.

On the refrigerator of the friend's big house, the father had pictures of his life goals: a villa in Tuscany, a pool, a convertible Jaguar. Written on each magazine cut-out picture were phrases like, "You, George Dumbfuck, can own a house in Italy!" It was sad, really, the way the delusional nature of such dreams forced the Dumbfuck family to behave as if they actually had that kind of money. But it was part of their creepy, capitalistic, Christian-influenced optimism, the kind that'd make the Partridge Family think they themselves were suicidal mopes, and it led them, eventually, straight to financial catastrophe. Villa in Tuscany? Fuck, how about a small apartment in Alabama?

The relentless happy talk from the Bush administration has all the hallmarks of trying to convince people that they, too, can get rich if they sell Amway. Here's Bush on This Week With George Stephanopoulos's Hair: "I define success or failure as to whether or not the Iraqis will be able to defend themselves. I define success or failure as whether the unity government's making difficult — the difficult decisions necessary to unite the country. I define success or failure as whether schools are being built, or hospitals are being opened. I define success or failure as whether we're seeing a democracy grow in the heart of the Middle East." See, not being able to afford your mortgage is just a short-term problem - you shouldn't define your personal success in such base monetary terms. Selling those vitamins, though, that's a success.

The delusions continue to the point where you're not even allowed to speculate on failure. See, Daddy Dumbfuck couldn't allow himself to think that one day he might not have that Jag, that he might have to settle for the used Ford Focus. Because to admit that failure is a possibility is to give in to weakness that'll ensure your failure. So when Daddy Dumbfuck and Mommy Dumbfuck would sit around the kitchen counter, they'd only talk about how nice that pool's gonna look in the backyard.

It's like Bush's response to his father actually saying that he's thought about Democrats winning the Congress: "He shouldn't be speculating like this, because — he should have called me ahead of time and I'd tell him they're not going to." He hasn't thought about it, Bush, Jr. says, because it's not going to happen. We can parse that disturbing joviality against polls in lots of ways - the diabolical Diebold fear, the October Surprise, Saddam's verdict, Iran attack - but it's actually just an obstinate refusal to admit that they're not getting the good people of America to sell or buy Amway anymore.

The house may burn down around you, but it's just more important to make that next sale, to get your product loved, to draw others into the scheme. The Dumbfucks failed. Hell, everyone the Rude Pundit ever knew that sold Amway eventually failed. But they never blamed themselves for being stupid enough to do it in the first place.