Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What CAN We Believe In?

Joseph Goebbels didn’t invent the Big Lie, he merely identified it as the way politics is done and thereby was able to apply it more effectively and ruthlessly than it had been done in the past. Here’s some detailed information on the application of the principle:

Way Too Much Truth In This Story of the Big Lie

Can anyone really observe the political scene in America and not see the parallels? The identification that the populace is too stupid to recognize the lie? The essential truth that people would rather be guided by their emotion than their reason? The tailoring of today’s lie to the audience of the moment, knowing that the previous statements won’t surface until after this lie has hardened into belief? The basic principles of all education that primacy—that which is learned first—and repetition—that which is drilled into rote memorization—will prevail? They are all there today, unfortunately.

Here’s the Dallas Morning Fishwrapper’s front page “news” story which is really editorial masked as reportage:

Change We Can't Determine

Read between the lines. You would have had to pull a Rip Van Winkle to not have noticed that this election is about (drum roll please…) CHANGE! Yes, folks, what we want in this country is change. Change we can believe in. Whatever that means. What are we going to change? Everything. And, nothing. What needs changing. What doesn’t need changing. Taxes, foreign policy, health care, fuel costs, welfare, education, wages, whatever you want. The candidate will change it. And, best of all, someone else will pay for it. We aren’t about to discriminate and ask any tough questions. After all, who cares how Santa Claus pays the bills. We just expect the toys.

Repetition is key to the Big Lie and it wouldn’t be tough to see it in action. It started in the 2006 run-up to elections. The platform to run on was being “Not Bush.” It didn’t take anything else to be successful. Stand up and say you thought the administration was inept, incompetent, corrupt, deceitful, ill-prepared, blatantly ignorant, downright stupid or a bad hunting companion. Bingo, you got elected. You weren’t Bush.

Now, of course we have got the 22nd Amendment in play and whatever we do we are going to have an administration change. That may be the only “Change We Can Believe In” for this year. Everything else, as Baron Von Richthofen used to say “is rubbish.”

Sen. Obama therefore is inevitably redundant when he plasters the world with “Change” posters. Sen. McCain is going to be as much of a change as Obama. Either will mean a new administration, a new cabinet, a new agenda and a new world view. But, Obama has the appeal of youth and more than any demographic the young people of this country fit the mold of a populace amenable to the Big Lie.

Despite the fact that the hard-core of the Republican Party express distaste for McCain as a party maverick who was seldom in lock-step with the uber-conservatives, the Obama campaign is obligated to repeat as a religious mantra the idea that McCain’s election will mean four more years of (all together now,) “the failed Bush policies.” And, exactly as Goebbels told Adolph, the masses believe it.

Will voters actually peek behind the curtain and find out what is moving the levers that activate the Great Oz? Will we get to a point where discerning folks will outnumber the lemmings and ask the critical questions?

How much will universal health care cost us? Can we afford it?
What will restoring the taxes cut by Bush really do to the economy?
What will be the state of the Middle East in five years after we summarily withdraw from Iraq?
Would increased federal involvement in local education be a benefit?
What is the cost/benefit relationship between climate abatement and energy production?
Why aren’t we exploiting our own petroleum resources?
Is a minimum wage realistic as an economic tool?
What should our military look like?
How can we make our government responsive and accountable?
How do we deal with increased global interdependence?

And more.

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