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Ainsworth on "wokeness": Why I no longer eat Peanut M&M's
By Laura Ainsworth
This story was originally published on January 24, 2022.
I wish to thank Mars --- the corporation, not the planet --- for instantly curing me of my addiction to Peanut M&M’s.
A little background: I try to avoid sugar as much as possible, just because I think it’s healthier to be on a low-carb diet. But one exception I’ve made was Peanut M&M’s. I rationalized that since the candy was just on the outside of each piece, surrounding a peanut, the protein sort of “canceled out” the sugar. And, to some extent, I was correct.
But lately at our house, we’ve been buying not just the little single-serving packages but the big bags, and my nightly ritual was to pour a pretty fair amount into a dish and polish them off after dinner, typically while watching Tucker Carlson. (Tucker can thank me for the plug later.) I even had a little ritual surrounding which colors would be eaten first, leaving one each of green, orange and blue before they were all gone. I am not kidding. And I thought I could stop any time, though I hadn’t yet tested that theory.
But a few days ago, a story came out about the little animated M&M’s mascots getting an “image makeover” for 2022. And my love affair with Peanut M&M’s was suddenly and absolutely over.
I don’t care if they want to change the look of their characters. But this is yet another example of tedious virtue signaling about “inclusiveness” brought about by the current climate of corporate fear, and I have had enough of it. Mars Inc. had already bowed to pressure and changed the name of its beloved Uncle Ben’s brand rice. The real Uncle Ben was not a slave or a servant –- from the best I can gather, he was a real rice farmer in the Houston area known for his superior product. The model for the picture is Frank Brown, head waiter at a high-end Chicago restaurant when he posed in 1947. But now, in Orwellian fashion, Mr. Brown’s image has been erased, a casualty of wokeness.
But back to M&M’s. From Mars Inc.’s own press release: “M&M’s, a proud part of Mars Incorporated, launches a global platform to increase a sense of belonging for ten million people by 2025, helping to connect and celebrate one another.” Good grief.
Their release announces “a global commitment to creating a world where everyone feels they belong, and society is inclusive.” Skipping down a bit: “Studies show our desire to belong is as strong as our desire to be loved, and that desire is common for all people irrespective of culture, race, ethnicity, geography or location.” Skipping down a bit more, we see that there will even be more emphasis on the ampersand in M AND M’s, “to demonstrate how the brand aims to bring people together.”
Silly me, I thought we came together because of our mutual love of the candy that melts in your mouth, not in your hand. This is too...heavy-handed.
They say they’ve even updated their “tone of voice” to be “more inclusive, welcoming and unifying, while remaining rooted to our signature jester wit and humor.” I apologize for not having picked up on M&M’s “signature jester wit” in the past. But do you know what destroys wit and humor with a sledgehammer? Fear of not being woke enough.
The Global Marketing Vice President refers to these as their new “evolved” characters, introduced as part of their effort “to create a world where society is inclusive.” Other aspects of their “global [there’s that word again] commitment” are “gender balanced leadership teams, running an independent annual diversity audit of its advertising by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media [I am not making this up], and its role as Vice Chair of the Unstereotype Alliance, part of UN Women, amongst others.”
“The world we want tomorrow starts with the way we do business today,” they say, and I agree with that statement. But this way of doing business is just pandering. It’s yet another case of a corporation drinking the Kool-Aid of wokeness, using the required buzzwords and professing the required intentions. It’s already become a cliché. But as fun as it would be to write a parody of this type of press release, why should I when it already reads like a parody of itself?
When you get down to the actual changes being made to these colorful candy characters, they mostly involve superficial characteristics such as footwear. (Come to think of it, that’s just about all they have to work with, style-wise, as M&M’s are otherwise sans clothing. But the brown one does wear glasses, I assume to make nearsighted people like me feel included!) The green M&M used to wear high-heeled boots, which have been exchanged for sneakers. The brown M&M also wore high heels, but they are lower heels now. Well, it’s about time those poor M&M’s got to be more comfortable! Perhaps their focus groups included an oversampling of podiatrists.
The red, yellow and orange M&M’s all sport shoelaces, with the laces left untied on the orange M&M, to make him/it more casual and “street.” I would have loved to be in on the creative session when they decided which color of candy would get which footwear: “Hey, we can’t put the untied shoelaces on the brown one!”)
Sorry to be flip, but you KNOW they talked about it.
Oh, and they’re doing away with prefixes that might identify gender. They want to “focus on their personalities, rather than their gender.” Maybe that’s why high heels were done away with. But what if a male M&M identified as female, and wanted high heels? Somebody has to think about these things!
As reported in the New York Post, “The characters are changing up their looks for ‘a fresh, modern take’ on their style and ‘more nuanced personalities to underscore the importance of self-expression and power of community through storytelling’...adding that today’s ‘more dynamic, progressive world’ would be reflected in the changes.”
They now have “personalities and backstories...representative of today’s society.” Backstories, really? They’re M&M’s.
As the Gov. said when we brought you this story last week, M&M’s were already teaching the lesson that whatever colors we are on the outside, we’re the same on the inside. I’ve always thought that was a great message, but right now, it’s not the precise message that everyone in business must –- repeat, MUST –- convey. So apparently Mars is the latest corporation to be assimilated, like pods in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” They’ve all been frightened by the “progressive” (radical) left into parroting the same mandatory messages in the mandatory vocabulary. They think they have to do this to bring their product up to date, but to me it already seems old, lame, dated –- so 2021.
And, you know what? I’ve completely lost my taste for M&M’s. So, thank you, Mars Incorporated, for that.
Laura Ainsworth is a staff-writer at MikeHuckabee.com. You can read more of her work here.
Why We Need Term Limits
By Mike Huckabee
This story was originally published on December 29, 2022.
You’ve heard the saying, "Two things you should never watch being made -- a law and sausage." I don't agree with half of that. I've been involved in lawmaking as a Lieutenant Governor presiding over the State Senate and as a Governor negotiating every step of the process with a legislature that was 90 percent Democrat. I've also seen sausage made.
I still eat sausage.
For the faint of heart and those without a strong stomach, seeing the process of politics become the process of governing can result in serious reactions. It's not a pretty process. It can be tedious, exasperating, and embarrassing. But let me let you in on a little secret: it’s supposed to be!
Recently, some Congressional Democrats have been publicly ranting over what an offense to “our democracy” it is that they can’t ram through their agenda with a one-vote majority. Some are pushing to blow up the system that slows down their efforts to enact what they claim “the people” (i.e., “them”) want, from eliminating the Senate filibuster to stacking the Supreme Court with partisan political appointees.
This is what John Adams called “the tyranny of the majority.” It’s not only poison to the American system, it’s also a really stupid political tactic. Apparently, Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin were the only Democrats who understood how dumb it is to strip all power from the minority when you’re just one election and one seat away from being the minority yourself (see the 2022 House elections.)
As hard as it may be to believe, making a law was never designed by our Founding Fathers to be quick and simple. When they wrote and approved the Constitution, they intended for the passage of a bill into law to be a hard slog. They feared that passion would overwhelm reason and thoughtfulness, and so they built in plenty of speed bumps to make sure that a bill never whizzed through Congress and got signed by the President as hurriedly as some celebrities go through rounds of rehab.
Now, I'm pretty sure that the Founding Fathers didn't want total gridlock in Congress, but as much as it may surprise you, they would prefer gridlock to haste. Why? Because they feared government in the same way I fear snakes, spiders, and sharks. They knew that the sheer power of it is an intoxicant and that most of the people who enter government will be like sixteen-year-old boys with keys to the liquor cabinet whose parents are gone for the weekend.Watching Congress make laws and oversee regulation is a lot like watching sixteen-year-olds with booze and a BMW. You get the distinct impression that they have no business with either one, and a crash is inevitable.
This is why I have long been a proponent of term limits, which are hardly a new idea. The concept dates back to ancient Rome and Greece, with the great Greek philosopher Aristotle observing, “It is not so easy to do wrong in a short as in a long tenure of office.”
This idea was most famously summed up many years later by English historian, politician and author Lord Acton, who said, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” The current DC bureaucracy seems to be trying their best to become a living illustration that absolute power corrupts absolutely and turns you into a bad person.
In 1807, half-way through his own second term, President Thomas Jefferson warned that "if some termination to the services of the chief Magistrate be not fixed by the Constitution, or supplied by practice, his office, nominally four years, will in fact become for life."
The popular novelist James Fenimore Cooper summed up the prevailing American attitude in 1838 when he said that "contact with the affairs of state is one of the most corrupting of the influences to which men are exposed." This might explain why so many of them retire (if they ever do retire) as multi-millionaires after a life selflessly devoted to “public service.”
Historian Robert Struble notes that the American preference for turnover in leadership was so deeply ingrained that it took until the twentieth century for the concept of “career politicians” to take hold. Unfortunately, among the many bad ideas that arose in the twentieth century, like Nazism, socialism, and letting movie actors talk, came the argument that a lifetime of "experience" in government was a far more valuable asset than a fresh perspective or a knowledge of business, farming, or other fields in which the vast majority of Americans work. Not everyone swallowed that argument, including twentieth-century Presidents of both parties.
In 1953, after deciding not to run for a third term, Democrat President Harry Truman said:
“In my opinion, eight years as President is enough and sometimes too much for any man to serve in that capacity. There is a lure in power. It can get into a man's blood just as gambling and lust for money have been known to do.”
Interesting quote, considering that he became President only because he was Franklin Roosevelt's Vice President when FDR died in office shortly after being reelected to his fourth term.
Republican Calvin Coolidge, who was President in the 1920s, said:
“When a man begins to feel that he is the only one who can lead in this republic, he is guilty of treason to the spirit of our institutions...It is difficult for men in high office to avoid the malady of self-delusion. They are always surrounded by worshipers. They are constantly, and for the most part sincerely, assured of their greatness. They live in an artificial atmosphere of adulation and exaltation which sooner or later impairs their judgment. They are in grave danger of becoming careless and arrogant.”
Old “Silent Cal” must have been truly passionate about this subject because I believe those are the most words he ever said in one sitting.
The spiritual side of our lives really does matter
By Mike Huckabee
This was originally published on December 29, 2022.
When I was growing up, my bedtime ritual always included a fairy tale that started with “Once upon a time...” and ended with the comforting words we all remember: “And they lived happily ever after.” As a child of the optimistic 1950s, I dreamed that life might be like that: whatever obstacles, dangers or perils might come my way, in the end, I would live happily ever after.
There were certainly plenty of struggles along the way, but I have to say that things did eventually work out even more happily than I could have imagined, from a career that I love to a wonderful family, including the world’s greatest grandkids. But sadly, for many people, “living happily ever after” does seem like an unobtainable fairy tale. Why is that happy ending growing ever more out-of-reach for so many people?
Of course, there are always factors beyond our control, like health problems and accidents. None of us can ever know if our birthday or Christmas celebration was the last we’ll ever enjoy. We have no way of knowing when it will all end, only that someday, it will (that’s why it’s said that the only certainties in life are death and taxes.)
Well, I can’t help you with your taxes, but I do have a bit of advice that I think will make death less frightening and greatly increase your chances of living “happily ever after.”
For decades, our nation has been focused on personal pleasure. The message drummed into everyone by pop culture is, “If it feels good, do it.” It’s fostered a culture of self-centeredness that led to Baby Boomers being nicknamed “The Me Generation.” Today’s young people have been dubbed “iGen” because many are so fixated on self and selfies that even their gadgets’ names all start with “I.” Advertising bombards us with the message that life is all about me and all about now. Such messages of immediate self-gratification may sell products and services, but they cause us to sell our souls if we follow this philosophy to its logical conclusion.
At some point in life, we all experience events that shake up our routine, much like the agitator in a washing machine shakes loose the grime in our clothes. We may not want or enjoy such experiences, but they’re necessary to force us to focus on the frailty of life and the certainty of death. They also force us to begin asking what really matters and why.
If we react to setbacks based solely on what feels good right now, we greatly lower our chances of enjoying a happy future. But if we believe there is even a remote possibility that our actions have lasting implications beyond the immediate, both within and beyond our lifetimes, it should cause us to think differently, live differently, and leave a different kind of legacy.
Without apology, I believe that the spiritual side of our lives really does matter. To believe otherwise is to define humans as little more than animated protoplasm, going through the motions of life for no particular purpose. I prefer to believe there’s more to us than flesh and blood. If we possess a soul capable of living beyond our lifetimes, then the seeds we plant in this life will yield fruit forever. If you believe those things, the ultimate becomes more important than the immediate.
When we decide to live beyond our lifetimes, our responsibilities to the next generation will outweigh our roles in our current jobs. More important than the money we’re paid for our work is what we will become as a result of our work. Our character will become more important than the careers we follow.
For all of us, life began “once upon a time.” Unlike the fairy tales, however, it’s up to us to make the choices that determine whether the last line of our life stories will read, “And they lived happily ever after.”
By Mike Huckabee
This story was originally published on December 28, 2022
Congress passed the outrageous and unnecessary $1.7 trillion+ Omnibus spending bill, with the support of 18 Senate Republicans led by Mitch McConnell. Here are their names, and most will come as no surprise, although some are a real disappointment.
Here’s Mitt Romney explaining his vote, and I didn’t think it was possible, but he actually made it even worse.
All that was needed was a stopgap spending measure to keep the government running for another few weeks, at which time the new GOP House, elected by Americans to end the Democrats’ runaway, inflation-fueling spending and civil-rights crushing government, could have written a real budget. But nooooo. These Senate Republicans had to join with Democrats to take away their own party’s power, given by the voters in November, to rein in this Administration. So yet another Democrat assault on "our democracy."
Deroy Murdock has an excellent article on this atrocious bill, which he points out is three times longer than “War and Peace,” spends an average of over $469 million on EVERY page, and the Senators were given about 48 hours in which to read and vote on it…and they actually did (well, voted, anyway.)
In an era of unsustainable debt, this bill blows boxcars of tax dollars on such vital projects as building LGBTQ+ museums and “community spaces for gender-expansive people in Ohio;” a $3.6 million “Michelle Obama Trail” in Georgia; $212.1 million for federal prosecutors to continue hounding Americans over January 6th, which as Murdock points out is basically a slush fund for the government to keep harassing Trump and his supporters; and $410 million for “enhanced border security” in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, and Tunisia, but not here. There’s over $1.5 billion for processing more illegal migrants into the US, but the bill specifically bars any of that money from being used to keep them out.
In addition to all the pure pork and payoffs, this turkey is stuffed with Congress members renaming various things after themselves, like the “Nancy Pelosi Federal Building” in San Francisco. Personally, I’d say the $32 trillion national debt is a far more appropriate and permanent monument to their legacies than any building. But why should all these buildings be renamed after Democrats? Here’s something that deserves to be renamed after Mitch McConnell.
Another comedian dares to speak out against wokeness
By Mike Huckabee
This story was originally published on January 12, 2022.
Steve Harvey said that cancel culture has “killed comedy,” and it’s caused him to step away from doing stand-up. He says that every joke these days allegedly hurts somebody’s feelings, and that when he finally does another stand-up special, he’ll probably have to call it “This Is It” because he’ll never be allowed to do another one.
Personally, while I understand his viewpoint, I believe that now more than ever, we need comedians to step up and tell as many jokes as possible about the “woke” left. Knuckling under to them only gives them a greater sense of their own power to censor and intimidate. Comedians have always been society’s greatest weapon against arrogant tyrants, and just because the tyrants are self-righteous “activists” with Twitter accounts instead of politicians or military dictators, that shouldn’t make them immune to richly-deserved ridicule.
In a related story, here’s a must-read article by Bari Weiss at Substack about the dire situation in Hollywood, where leftism and wokeism have many people terrified of saying anything that might offend someone and get them blacklisted (just using the word “blacklisted” can now get you blacklisted.)
It’s gone beyond a welcome openness to writers and creators of more diverse backgrounds to the point where there’s blatant discrimination against white job applicants. That means more racially diverse writers, but also means that good, experienced writers are being shut out, which helps to explain why so much of what we’re now seeing on our screens isn’t fresh, creative, thrilling or entertaining, it’s just transparent leftist propaganda that feels as if it were written by freshman UCLA film school students. It’s why, if you want well-written stories with sharp dialogue, original stories and believable characters, you’ll need a subscription to Turner Classic Movies.
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