Friday, August 3, 2018

Political Propaganda Defines Republican Patriotism

             "What good fortune for those in power that the people do not think."~ Adolph Hitler

Immediately after the Nazi’s took power, the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda was established. It was responsible for controlling the press and public opinion. Goebbels exerted control over the media and information in Germany.

He openly acknowledged that he exploited the lowest instincts of people – anger, fear, racism, xenophobia, and class envy. Aided by the effects of the Depression and with sober psychological calculation, he led the masses wherever he wanted them to go. He was a master propagandist.
"The most brilliant propagandist technique… must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over and over. “
Over the past nine years, many of the very techniques Goebbels employed have been used to mobilize a discontent and fearful America.

Lying and deception can be the basis of many propaganda techniques including personal attacks, defamation, half-truths, name-calling or any other technique that is based on dishonesty or deception. If a simple slogan is repeated enough times it is taken as truth… “death panels”.

The appeal to fear seeks to build support by instilling anxieties and panic in the general population…”Obama is a terrorist”… “Obama has a deep-seated hatred for white people”…

Name-calling is intended to provoke negative conclusions, incite fears and arouse   prejudices...."Muslim"..."Socialist" ..."Kenyan"....rapists. Elements of truth and false generalizations merge and eventually supplant the public's accurate perception…”ObamaCare is a government takeover”. To be effective, political propaganda must affect policy.

Oversimplification of complex issues is a favorite technique. A perfect example is a manner in which the global fiscal importance and complexity of the deficit have been reduced to “kitchen table” economics; or the criticism of the bank bailout, which was adopted under the Bush administration and supported by both Republicans and Democrats. Republican House leader John Boehner would call for an end to bailouts after he openly wept on the House floor to garner votes for its passage.

Before adoption of the “Stimulus,” Republicans complained that it was too massive… a “job-cutting” measure that did not contain enough tax-cuts. Under the leadership of Senator Susan Collins, the size of the proposal was reduced, and billions were cut and traded for tax-cuts.

Publicly, the Republicans would decry the Stimulus, while they privately lobbied to fund their pet projects. The proposal that had begun as too massive was now too small to be effective. Propagandists hide behind a screen of contemptible hypocrisy and dishonesty.

We faced a flu pandemic, and the Obama administration would endure criticism for a slow response. At no point would the media or anyone for that matter reveal that the entire set-aside for response to a pandemic had been stripped from the “Stimulus” proposal. There would be accusations of wasteful spending amid failure to mention that oversight funding had been removed as well. Half-truths, labeling, lying, deception and slogans; we call it spin…it’s propaganda.

Propagandists employ tactics that dehumanize those who support the opposing viewpoint through suggestion or false accusations. They influence public perception by disseminating negative and false information. During the immigration chaos, Governor Brewer said beheaded bodies were found in the desert and let’s not forget the claim that the healthcare bill pays for abortion services.

They are lies.

Stereotyping is used to arouse prejudices by labeling the object of the propaganda campaign as something the target audience fears, hates, or finds undesirable…” Muslims are terrorists”…”homosexuals are Godless”.

Propaganda reinforces anxiety. And too often the anxiety has been created by the propaganda itself. Because if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.

Many justify the use of negative spin with the excuse that “both sides do it”. That too is propaganda. Republican politicians clearly adhere to the credo of the Nazi propagandist Goebbels:

“….for good government one must also practice good propaganda. They work together.” 

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