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Not that he isn’t doing a good enough job already, but we have a secret weapon with which to torpedo the McCain candidacy among a potent demographic; men ages 18-35.

MMA; The Anvil That Will Sink John McCain

Not that he isn’t doing a good enough job already, but we have a secret weapon with which to torpedo the McCain candidacy among a potent demographic; men ages 18-35.

Bear with me for a moment and I will try to be brief about this.  A few years back I was out on the town in Fukuoka when I ran into a bunch of Navy guys.  I had them drunkenly shouting, "Fuck George Bush!"  until one turned to me and said, "But I like his gun laws."  On the left we have, to a large degree, accepted the gun issue as a defeat.  That, or we have tried to equivocate and pretend there was a middle ground.  What if we could take a detour and pass the whole issue?  What if there was another issue that was appealing to young, red-blooded, American males?  Well, ladies and gentlemen, you are in luck; there is!

I have been a mixed-martial arts fan since I saw UFC 1 in 1993.  I have many issues with its sudden rise to popularity over the last year, but I can put those aside for the time being and think about things strategically.  Recently UFC, the largest fight promotion in America, bouts have been receiving higher ratings among the male 18-35 bracket than baseball.  This is no small feat.

If you have been paying attention over the last decade, McCain is the villain in the story of mixed martial arts in America.  He has been a vocal, and rather uninformed, critic of the sport for as long as he has been aware of its existence.  He was directly responsible for the UFC being pulled from pay-per-view for four years between 1997 and 2001 and the ban that was imposed on it for several years.

There is a subtle argument to be made that this imposed hiatus was, in the end, a boon for the sport in that it reconstructed its rules and format and emerged a better competition, but that is nuance and better suited for a discussion between fans.  The important element is that McCain was ignorant, heavy handed, a hasty in his opposition.  Even more importantly is that that is how he will always be remembered among the many young men who frequent MMA message boards such as subfighter.com or sherdog.com.  Even among fans who are too young to remember that period of time, McCain’s name is anathema based on the collective memory of the community.

A substantial portion, if not a majority, of the fighting and online fan community is made up of young men who would normally seem like easy pick-ups for a McCain candidacy,. Just promise them legal guns, an adventurous military and that Democrats are pussies who want to mollycoddle them into a passive emasculation.  I should note that there is also a notable portion of highly educated people of all political stripes, including the left, involved in MMA. (i.e. Jeff Monson, a well spoken anarchist and submission wrestling champion)  But these segments of the electorate will probably sway on other issues.  

Here is how this is put into use:  Keep on McCain’s case about it. Blindside him with it.  If he is on TV talking about troop escalations, stick in, "Well I hope you are as right about this as you were about banning MMA."  Now, most people will probably wonder what the hell is going on, but it will play to a specific audience the way Bush dropping Dred Scott into a speech does.  Bring up that he used his friendship with Neil Henry, the owner of pay-per-view provider TCI, to get the UFC pulled.  How he used his position on the FCC to intimidate companies to conform to his will.  I know it seems like such a small issue, but isn’t that the kind of thing that ‘The Republic Party’ has beaten us over the head with for years?

To take this issue a step further, an ambitious and informed Democratic candidate would be well served by ingratiating themselves to the MMA community.  Not in any sloppy, obvious political way, but actually become informed.  Become a fan.  Being the former will inevitably lead to becoming the latter, I assure you.  This candidate would not have to become an expert, but rib McCain a little on it and then just say something like, "Look, I am no expert, but I admire what the Gracie family has done for the sport in this country."  That is all it would take and you would have a vast new legion of supporters.  Is that not worth it?  

I realize that every armchair politician with an internet connection and a few minutes away from feeding their menagerie of rescued cats thinks that they have that one winning issue that everybody absolutely has to pay attention to.  That isn’t what I am getting at.  I don’t think that whether MMA is on pay-per-view or not is really, in the end, that important to the course of our society.  I do, however, believe that getting a Democrat in the White House is the most important thing that will happen this decade, so I offer whatever I can towards that cause.  Look into it.  It’s a winner.

A slight add on to this.  O’Rielly is similarly reviled in the MMA community.  A few months back he interviewed then middle-weight champion Rich Franklin and UFC president Dana White and proceeded to make an ass out of himself as only O’Rielly can.  He showed to everyone who knew anything about anything that he had done most of his research, and formed most of his opinions, whilst having his head firmly ensconced up his own ass.  This interview is a constant joke on MMA message boards.  It is automatically inferred that O’Rielly is this wrong about everything.

Democratic candidate, use this information for good!  If you need further tutelage on the matter, contact me, contact your local jiu-jitsu sensei, contact someone for godsakes!  Don’t let them off the hook that they have already sunk into their own lips.  Sink in that rear-naked choke and squeeze until they tap!  Know what I’m sayin’?  No?  Then study up.

Originally posted to tatamiburns on Thu Feb 22, 2007 at 02:58 AM PST.

Poll

Which Democratic Presidintial Candidate-MMA fighter comparison is most accurate?

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| 11 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I Like It (0+ / 0-)

    Not a big deal in the whole scheme of things, as you pointed out. But, it is an issue that could turn off just enough of a key demographic. It doesn't have to be beaten to death just slipped into the discourse. BTW nice use of the phrase rear naked choke. Hopefully Obama or Gore (please) will be able to ground and pound McCain's sorry ass in a year and a half.

  •  Great diary, not sure if it is the anvil, but (0+ / 0-)

    It's still useful. I think the one thing that will sink McPander is what i hear from the 'relatively uninformed and that's: "He's olddddd."

    That wont help with the MMA crowd either I bet.

    href="http://www.sustainableharvest.org/">Sustainable Harvest

    by philinmaine on Thu Feb 22, 2007 at 04:29:21 AM PST

  •  Another Huge MMA Fan Here... (0+ / 0-)

    ...also since UFC 1.  I've trained in BJJ for several years.   I also frequent the MMA sites and am very glad to see a convergence of my two favorite interests in this diary.   This makes my day !  :-)))   I remember when John McCain was public enemy # 1 in the MMA community and petitions circulated among fans to get the sport recognized.  McCain tried to kill MMA because the boxing industry had him bought and paid for, and MMA has seriously eroded boxing's fan base.  The one difference between now and the early days of MMA is that most fans of MMA have come to the sports AFTER the days when McCain lobbied to get the sport banned by several states athletic commissions and blacked out from pay per view.  The 'newbies' aren't aware of the history, BUT they can be informed.  I would suggest you bring this topic over to mma.tv, where the political talk can get heated at times.  As for how a Dem candidate can tap into the MMA fan base, there is one sure way to get HUGE recognition among the community and that is by attending a match.  The celebrity Q factor at MMA events is so low, that anyone who has been in a B rated film or TV show gets plenty of camera time and a Joe Rogan interview.  Given his military background, I think WES CLARK could CATAPULT his candidacy in young male demographic just be attending a UFC.  It would be a Jesse Ventura effect with guys who don't normally get involved in politics embracing his campaign with zeal. I don't see Hillary attending an event, though I could imagine Bill doing anything.  Obama and Edwards could get support as well by attending.  

  •  wes clark (0+ / 0-)

    is exactly who I picture when I think about this scenario.  Nice to hear you train BJJ.  I train over here in Japan.  Anyway, as I said, I know this seems trivial, but every teeny issue the Republicans cling to and milk and milk and milk seems like so much nothing to me.  If this one little thing could erase a significant portion of young, white males from the Republican voting base, then isn't it as valuable as a lot of other, more important things?  And, yes, you are correct; if a candidate simply showed up at an event  and could come off as anything but completely obvious, then they would get nothing but love.  As long as it isn't an Al Gore "I'd have to say my favorite rapper is MC Hammer" MTV moment.  Maybe Rogan could say, "Obama's got CRAZY chops man.  He ROCKED McCain."

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