New Coke was introduced on April 23, 1985. Representative Mike Gallagher was born on March 3, 1984. That Gallagher entered the world thirteen months and three weeks before New Coke was launched may be telling.
Consider another recent attempt by Gallagher to damage TikTok. In Gallagher’s words, “We know for a fact that the [Chinese Communist Party] uses TikTok to promote its propaganda and censor views that deviate from the party line.” Still trying to make “fetch” happen (look it up), Gallagher’s latest effort to ban TikTok is rooted in his belief that the KKK is using it to brainwash young Americans into siding with Hamas for Israel. What shallow thinking, thinking that suggests a lack of historical knowledge.
Consider New Coke again. It would be hard to find a more powerful brand than Coca-Cola, opening the proverbial door to anywhere on earth where people roam. However, when Coke launched New Coke in concert with a powerful brand campaign commensurate with its size and global weight, young and old the world over said no thanks. Long before cases and cases of the original Coke were consumed by fans of the original, Coca-Cola Classic found its way back to the shelves. Crisis averted. It’s just a reminder that good marketing can’t overcome a lame product.
Applying MP Gallagher and his over-the-top paranoia about TikTok, it’s hard not to wonder if, had he been born in 1973 versus 1983, his views might have been different. We’ll never know, but if he was 11 years old in 1985 versus 13 months old, he might have been a little more reserved in his expressed fear of TikTok’s ability to shape our interests and opinions. If Coke couldn’t do it, it’s a safe bet that a company that claims to be controlled by the original minds of the CCP (remember when conservatives correctly viewed government officials as incompetent?) couldn’t manipulate our thoughts. And there are more.
Another advantage of Gallagher being born ten years earlier is that he would have been familiar with a standard refrain on less-than-clean dishes in the 70s: “They’re starving in China. Finish your meal.” John Lennon’s song “Nobody Told Me” was released in 1984 and achieved widespread FM radio airplay. Still, it’s too early for Gallagher, which means he probably never committed to remembering Lennon’s line about how “they’re starving back in China, so finish what you’ve got.”
All of this is useful considering the China of 2023. Assuming he hasn’t, how useful would it be for Gallagher to walk the streets of Beijing, Shenzhen and Shanghai, or for that matter the less developed streets of poorer cities such as Urumqi. The bet here is that these rides will be an eye-opener for the MP. Indeed, to visit any reasonably large city in China is to see bright signs from McDonald’s, Nike, Apple, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Starbucks and certainly Coca-Cola. Contrary to the impression created by the conservative media that one would guess that Gallagher only consumes, the increasingly spontaneous Chinese are currently conducting a rather passionate love affair with all things American. That in itself is quite refreshing, or should be. Check out Lennon or consult those (including yours truly) who were lucky or unlucky enough to grow up in the 1970s. Formerly starving Chinese eat! And specifically, they gleefully consume glorious symbols of American capitalism! After that, he tells a bigger story, or makes a bigger idea.
It is alleged that the CCP is in the process of brainwashing the American people to hate Israel, capitalism, the United States, and certainly all other entities and concepts great and good. In this case, Gallagher has nothing to worry about. A walk through China’s great and would-be megacities would deeply open his eyes to the former truth, after which he might open Gallagher’s eyes to a more dangerous truth: his various attempts to curtail the freedom of Americans, including of their right According to the information that informs their thinking and speaking, Gallagher has become the person he imagines himself fighting.