Thomas Peterffy, 68, of Greenwhich, CT is the epitome of self-made man, a first generation American and one of the richest men in the world. He’s also a political advertiser.

According to Forbes, Peterffy was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1944 during a Russian bombing raid. He immigrated to the United States in 1965, and by 1977 purchased his own seat on the American Stock Exchange where he began trading options. In 1993 he launched the electronic brokerage firm, Interactive Brokers. The firm paid its first dividend to investors in December 2010, dolling out a whopping $1 billion.

Peterffy’s own wealth is reported to be $5.4 billion, making him the 189th wealthiest billionaire in the world. In other words, this is a man with little to be worried about. Yet he is worried. He’s worried that the Hungary of his youth and the America of our present are too similar — that we are a nation sliding into socialism.

Gyro/SF creative director, Steffan Postaer, thinks Peterffy’s ad is well done.

Yes, the music and imagery are pedantic. And yes, it’s pure propaganda. But the fact isn’t the facts: It’s the story. And the story is riveting. Whether Mr. Peterffy is right or wrong doesn’t matter. He believes he is right. And his argument is unwavering as it is stoic. When he infers that under President Obama “The rich will be poorer, but the poor will also be poorer” we are thunderstruck. I was anyway.

Personally, the only parallel I see between post-war Hungary and modern day America is the widespread use of propaganda. The desire for a prosperous America is pretty much universal, even radical independents like myself are for it. It’s how we achieve that prosperity and how we reinvest it, that calls for debate and more delicate solutions.

The fear of a Socialist America is an impure fabrication. To what end, I can’t quite conceive. Also, I question the idea that socialism is bad, or that it robs people of ingenuity or an incentive to achieve great things. Modern socialism — the kind found have in Sweden, for instance — means we’re all in this together, and we’re going to provide for one another. That isn’t wrong, it’s right.

It’s also right to point out that Mitt Romney has a great safety net firmly in place. It’s called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Peterffy wants to see Romney in the White House because it quells his childhood fears of a socialist state. To each his. Oh but that’s not what Romney, the good Mormon, believes. No, he wants to impose his will, like the Bishop/CEO/Governor that he is.

Help me out here…the insanely rich guy from Hungary wants the super rich guy from Michigan for President, in order to promote capitalism and it virtues, but the super rich guy for President is really a bit of a totalitarian jerk?

Logic is a virtue lost in these modern times.

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About David Burn

Writer, strategist and brand builder.

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Advertising, Politics