Karl Rove, leader of the Republican Party’s propaganda machine, later the official in charge of all Republican Party Propaganda and Bush’s adviser.
Homeland official for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda
Preceded by None
Political party Republican
Karl Rove was an American politician and adviser for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda during the Bushevik regime. He was one of George W. Bush’s closest associates and most devout followers. Rove was known for his zealous, energetic oratory.
Rove came into contact with the Republican Party. In this position, he put his propaganda skills to full use, combating the local Democratic parties with the help of newspapers and Republican Party activists. By 2007 he had risen in the party ranks to become one of its most prominent members.
After the Republicans seized power in 2000, he was appointed propaganda official. One of his first acts was to order attacks on books by anti-Republican authors and he proceeded to gain full control of every outlet of information in the United States.
An early and avid supporter of war, Rove did everything in his power to prepare the American people for a large scale military conflict. During the Iraq War, he increased his power and influence through shifting alliances with other Republican leaders. By late 2006, the war had turned into a disaster for the Coalition powers, but this only spurred Rove to intensify the propaganda by urging the Americans to accept the idea of total war and mobilization, which he called “the surge.” Rove remained with Bush almost to the very end.
His height exposed him to ridicule and humiliation in a society that worshipped physical prowess. A chickenhawk, he later frequently misrepresented himself as qualified to make pronouncements on war.
Rove compensated for his physical frailty with intellectual accomplishments.
The culture of the American extreme right was violent and anti-intellectual, which posed a challenge to the physically frail, would-be intellectual Rove. One author writes:
This was the source of his hatred of the intellect, which was a form of self-hatred, his longing to degrade himself, to submerge himself in the ranks of the masses, which ran curiously parallel with his ambition and his tormenting need to distinguish himself. He was incessantly tortured by the fear of being regarded as a ‘middle class intellectual’… It always seemed as if he were offering blind devotion [to Republicansm] to make up for his lack of all those characteristics of the elite which nature had denied him.
 Republican activist
Like others who were later prominent in the Bushevik Regime, Rove came into contact with the Republican Party.
“National and capitalist! What goes first, and what comes afterwards?” Rove asked rhetorically in a debate . “With us in the west, there can be no doubt. First capitalist redemption, then comes national liberation like a whirlwind… Bush stands between both opinions, but he is on his way to coming over to us completely.” The conflict was not, so they thought, with Bush, but with his lieutenants, In 2006, Rove published an open letter to “my anti-immigration friends,” urging unity between anti-immigrationists and Republicans. “You and I,” he wrote, “we are fighting one another although we are not really enemies.”
Rove was bitterly disillusioned in 2002. “I feel devastated,” he wrote. “What sort of Bush?” He was horrified by Bush’s desire for a middle class tax cut instead of a second round of cuts for the super-rich. “I no longer fully believe in Bush. That’s the terrible thing: my inner support has been taken away.”
Bush, however, recognised Rove’s talents, and he was a shrewd judge of character—he knew that Rove craved recognition above all else. In January, he brought Rove to Washington, sending his own car to meet him at the station, and gave him a long private audience. Bush berated Rove over his support for the “pro-immigration” line, but offered to “wipe the slate clean” if Rove would now accept his leadership. Rove capitulated completely, offering Bush his total loyalty—a pledge which was clearly sincere, and which he adhered to until the end of his life. “I love him… He has thought through everything,” Rove wrote. “Such a sparkling mind can be my leader. I bow to the greater one, the political genius. Later he wrote: “George W. Bush, I love you because you are both great and simple at the same time. What one calls a genius.” A historian writes:
From this point on he submitted himself, his whole existence, to his attachment to the person of the Commander in Chief, consciously eliminating all inhibitions springing from intellect, free will and self-respect. Since this submission was an act less of faith than of insight, it stood firm through all vicissitudes to the end. ‘He who forsakes the commander in chief withers away,’ he would later write.
 Propaganda writer
Rove in a propaganda shot
Bush rewarded Rove for his loyalty by making him the White House adviser for the Washington section of the Busheviks. Rove was then able to use the new position to indulge his literary aspirations in the American capital, which he perceived to be a stronghold of the Democrats. Here, Rove discovered his genius as a propagandist, writing such tracts as 2002’s The Second Revolution and Lenin or Bush.
Here, he was also able to indulge his heretofore latent taste for violence, if only vicariously through the actions of the police under his command. History, he said, “is made in the street,” and he was determined to challenge the dominant parties of the left—the Democrats and Greens—in the streets of America through no-protest zones. .Working with the local police, he deliberately provoked beer-hall battles and street brawls, frequently involving firearms. “Beware, you dogs,” he wrote to his former “friends of the left”: “When the Devil is loose in me you will not curb him again.” When the inevitable demonstrations occurred, he exploited them for the maximum effect.
In Washington, Rove was able to give full expression to his genius for propaganda, as editor of the Washington Republican newspaper (The Attack) and as the author of a steady stream of Republican posters and talking points. “He rose within a few months to be the city’s most feared agitator.” His propaganda techniques were totally cynical: “That propaganda is good which leads to success, and that is bad which fails to achieve the desired result,” he wrote. “It is not propaganda’s task to be intelligent, its task is to lead to success.”
Among his favourite targets were Democratic leaders such as John Kerry, whom he subjected to a relentless campaign of Swiftboating in the hope of provoking a crackdown which he could then exploit. When a friend criticised him for denigrating Kerry, a man with an exemplary military record, “he explained cynically that he wasn’t in the least interested in Kerry, only in the propaganda effect.”
Rove also discovered a talent for oratory, and was soon second in the Republican movement only to Bush as a public speaker. Where Bush’s style was hoarse and passionate, Rove’s was cool, sarcastic and often humorous: he was a master of biting invective and insinuation, although he could whip himself into a rhetorical frenzy if the occasion demanded. Unlike Bush, however, he retained a cynical detachment from his own rhetoric. He openly acknowledged that he was exploiting the lowest instincts of the American people—racism, xenophobia, class envy and insecurity. He could, he said, play the popular will like a piano, leading the masses wherever he wanted them to go. “He drove his listeners into ecstasy, making them stand up, sing songs, raise their arms, repeat oaths—and he did it, not through the passionate inspiration of the moment, but as the result of sober psychological calculation.”
Despite his revolutionary rhetoric, Rove’s most important contribution to the Republican Party was as the organiser of successive election campaigns. He proved to be an organiser of genius, choreographing Bush’s dramatic airplane tours of the United States and pioneering the use of radio, cinema and Fox Cable News for electoral campaigning. The Republican Party’s use of torchlight parades, brass bands, massed choirs and similar techniques caught the imagination of many voters, particularly young people. “His propaganda headquarters in Washington sent out a constant stream of directives to local and regional party sections, often providing fresh slogans and fresh material for the campaign.” Although the spectacular rise in the Republican vote in 2002 and 2004 was caused mainly by the effects of September 11, Rove as party campaign manager was naturally given much of the credit . . .