Propaganda

“The Republican Party has shown an uncanny proclivity for taking an innocuous subject and by don’t of repetition, inference, and outright false accusation make a seemingly innocent remark turn into years of acrimonious investigation.” Malcolm Nance from The Plot to Hack America: How Putin’s Cyberspies and WikiLeaks tried to Steal the 2016 Election

If you haven’t read Malcolm Nance’s book I highly recommend it. I quote him here to illustrate a larger point, though Trump’s connections to Russia are a deep concern and must be investigated. Donald Trump is the crescendo of a wave that has been building for years. We can’t say that this is a two party problem. This is a Republican Party problem. Yes, the Democrats do their share of hyperbole and they tell the occasional lie but it’s simply nothing compared to the Republicans. They are bringing a butter knife to a place full of machine guns – it’s a hard fight to win – as we have very clearly seen.

The Republican’s backed by the Koch brothers and their very dangerous legislation crafting arm ALEC have been taking over state legislatures and governorships. The model legislation has for example included laws that have targeted minority groups voting rights with surgical precision – as noted in the North Carolina voting rights case. The same type of ruling came out of Texas. Wisconsin voting rights cases also showed real discrimination. We’ve heard Republicans themselves talk about how their voting restrictions are succeeding in reducing the vote of minorities who largely vote for Democrats. They intended to help get a Republican into the White House and they succeeded with help from Russia and the FBI. They also are working hard to get and keep Republican Congress in power – the Russians played a role in some of those races as well. Through voter suppression and gerrymandering we are becoming essentially a country under minority rule. Why I mention this is that the propaganda backed by the Republican Party, conservative radio talk show hosts and Fox news is giving rise to rumor that supports this type of legislation despite voting fraud simply not being a problem. This has been elevated to ridiculous proportions by Donald Trump’s claims that millions voted illegally in this last election. It all serves to drive further restrictions on access so the Republicans can continue to monopolize governing despite not getting majority votes.

It’s a great sign of the use of propaganda to create an environment where something is identified as a problem that isn’t a problem. They then use that non-problem to engineer policies that they want – in this case voter suppression so that they can win elections where the majority will is not represented. We saw the same thing with the Iraq war. Despite anything Trump says Iraq was not an intelligence failure it was an administration that wanted to go to war and manipulated facts to get what they wanted. We know that Cheney would plant a story through a 2nd party then go on the networks to address that issue. The Republicans are expert at this tactic.

If you paid any attention this election you saw how quickly and well every Republican/conservative pundit would pivot off of any question to how untrustworthy Hillary Clinton was and emails and HER not being transparent. They don’t care about the truth. They don’t care about discussing policy. They have an agenda and they push it strongly and together.

Now the person who is President doesn’t even pretend to adhere to facts. He believes something and so he thinks it must be true -facts be damned. Think about Sean Spicer’s bizarre news announcement on the day of the Women’s March that is both propaganda and gaslighting and it is the way of an authoritarian government. We are in dangerous territory. It is not one that sprang up with Donald Trump instead it’s something that Republican’s backed by the Koch brothers and Fox news have been building for a long time.

We must be sure that the horrors of the past – think Nazi Germany as a good example – are not repeated. We say it could never happen here but all of the framework is present and we must all guard against it. When good people stand silent very bad things can happen.

 

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