Mentioning Michael D memes
For this week’s blog post we mumble about the marvellous memes of Michael ‘Miggledy’ Higgins and why he is so popular.
Some would have you believe that he’s Ireland’s incarnation of Frodo the Hobbit fighting against three Dragons or that he bears a striking resemblance to one particular character in Dungeons and Dragons…
His strongest magic is in the spell he has cast on the body politick of Ireland. A spell that has propelled him to the highest office in the land and if the polls are anything go by… most likely the next one again.
Yes, we are oddly obsessed about him. He takes the place of a lovable left wing grandpa like Bernie Sanders in America and the exceptional position of having the affection of Irish right-wing politicians alike.
Other than magical political wizardry, we ask, why do people like how different he is?
One possible explanation is how he adheres to a rule of thumb in politics to maintain a consistent and distinctive look. People are attracted to those with the courage to commit to unique looks. Not only are people more recognisable when they keep the same look over the years, but they also become a definable character on their own political stage. What’s more, it could be argued that a desire for consistent looks from our leaders speaks to an underlying wish we have for promises to be kept.
When we look at a politician with a distinctive look, we are more likely to remember them versus others. Out of all of the different candidates in a given election, it is often easier to remember a face or a look, than it is to remember what they actually stand for.
In Irish presidential elections, it's mostly a personality contest, looking at who you'd be happy with presenting your country on the international stage, not one about political policies, so looks do matter.
Michael D Higgins is a man who has tapped into that visual power, by using the attributes of his height to his advantage in the images we have of him against appearing against tall military officers or having something so ordinary as waiting in line for cash at the ATM to become extraordinary. Michael D Higgins has a fantastic ability to straddle the lines being in or out of the establishment. It's somewhat like how Fianna Fáil presented themselves in power for many years, fighting for the ordinary man against the orthodoxy of the state while simultaneously being that orthodoxy of the state.
When we look at Michael D we see someone who is the personification of good politics, while some might disagree with his socialism, no one can deny the sincerity of who he is and the principals that have defined him for so long.
They say we should never meet our heroes, that we will learn that they ultimately disappoint us in their humanity. Yet Michael D has been around the political block for decades and he is still loved with genuine affection by so many.
Like Abraham Lincoln, he kept going after political defeats. With his first two general elections resulting in defeats before he eventually got elected. Persistence in politics pays dividends… especially with a distinctive look.
Michael D has consistently been a fighter for what he believes in and that gives him certain unique credence over others. It is why the Labour party even sell him on their presidential election posters as “a president who always makes us proud”.
What’s more, even as an older man, he possesses a youthful air that promises a different Ireland, a changing country or in the words of Bobby Kennedy:
“This world demands the qualities of youth; not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the life of ease.”
That is why he is set to win. His look and difference above all other candidates speak to our imagination.
Images of him on a BMX bike, barechested in a concert or with his cuddly dogs are indicative of that difference we know and love.
At Maktus, we have explored his look with our designs. Posing him in a badge as being in the centre of the universe on that BMX bike, in a cartoon enamel pin of his head or on a Michael “Tea” Higgins mug to go with the now famous Michael Tea cosy.
There are many ways of expressing your love for him to help get him re-elected as president. Check out our designs today in his fight against the dragons!
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