"They Work For Us"
Here's their description:
The commercial is set in the year 2030, and the main character is a Chinese professor that (sic) is seen lecturing his students on the fall of great empires. As images of the United States are shown on a screen behind him, the Chinese professor tells his students the following about the behavior of great empires:Of course it's racist. (D'oh.) The future of the White Race hangs by a thread. KenyanUsurper is a Benedict Arnold for Commie Chinks.
"They all make the same mistakes. Turning their backs on the principles that made them great. America tried to spend and tax itself out of a great recession. Enormous so-called "stimulus" spending, massive changes to health care, government takeover of private industries, and crushing debt. Of course, we owned most of their debt, so now they work for us."[Followed by derisive laughter from a room of bucktoothed side-lit Chinese students.]
This crap is being played today on local television stations all over the country. So how does it connect to the Romney campaign ???
This is a right-brain emotional pile driver. It uses fear to attract natural paranoids to the Republican Party, for starters. From the party of LIE, CHEAT AND STEAL, where are they going with this? Do lies even matter?
America is going down the tubes and ACA is making it happen.
But on the facts, who would believe that the March, 2010, Affordable Care Act increases the federal deficit? ACA does nothing but save money for Americans on health care. Congressional Budget Office had that worked out before the congressional votes.
Karl Rove knows that. But lying fit his needs for poaching votes over to the Romney campaign.
He knows that somebody is going to believe it. Low-information and no-information voters who sees this ad get stepped through three stages of a non-logical appeal:
1. They are kicked toward a sense of powerless whining as these Chinese Masters of the Universe contemplate America's destructionThat is the strategy. The implementation is all about emotions. Facts and left-brain activity are not involved as the appeal rolls through. The effectiveness of this ad is all about emotions.
2. They are presented with an ad hominem attack on President Obama as a traitor to America's future, and
3. They are led to believe that the Republican Party is the embodiment of "principles that made (America) great."
Equally, at the logocal level, who would cast aside modern economics ??? When the financial system tanked in 2008, TARP and the initial stimulus effort were nonpartisan programs -- at least among economists and political leaders.
Banks shut down lending; the resulting Balance Sheet Recession threatened to push us back 80 years. Action was not optional.
Even today, a "balanced budget" at the federal level would almost certainly dump the country into a Great Depression II. The "balanced budget" is called "austerity" in Europe. Great Depression II is roughly what is happening in a half-dozen of their countries -- unemployment rates go as high as 25%.
The economic position presented by this American Crossroads ad is a claim that "austerity" is needed for America. Economically there is no way to support that. So they sell it with emotions.
The only "winners" with austerity are the banks and investors in the 1% who end up owning ever larger fractions of national wealth. Austerity is a redistribution tool, not a means to achieve economic growth.
Logical Fallacies: Repeated Assertion and Special Pleading
Still, "A lie told 5,000 times is a truth."
As a logical fallacy this is known as Proof by Repeated Assertion in inductive logic:Lie, cheat and steal.
"A lie told often enough becomes the truth."
— Vladimir Lenin
"If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth."
— Joseph Goebbels
Selling lies by repetition is the core of Republican communication strategy.
It's not just Mitt Romney. Not by a long shot. American Crossroads fits right in with the Right Wing propaganda conglomerate. These organization are modeled on the Heritage Foundation funding system and had budgets totaling $500-million a year in 2010 -- Lord knows what that total is today.
1%er wealth is the only thing that matters. Their survival as a national political party depends on Special Pleading as they sell themselves as the agents for traditional American values.
Grand Tactics and Natalie's Memes
This same American Crossroads crew acquired a fresh tactical framework in 2010. They leveraged a collection of targeted lies to "steal" a Senate seat in Massachusetts, in the Brown-Coakley by-election, ushering in The Flood of the Filibusters (2010-2012.)
Their leveraging process is thoroughly structured. It was called Natalie's Memes:
1.) Whining. Voters are encouraged to produce childish complaints directed at the Democratic Party opponent. The aim is a mental state that activates right-brain non-logical processes. Getting voters to go over to right-brtain emotions is the first objective of their leveraging process, quite apart from having to get there with specific content.This new tactical format allowed the 2010 Brown campaign to function as the host for a talk-radio audience. You can see parallels to what happens with the broadcast bigots.
Talk radio is perfect for it. Scott Brown's 2010 campaign also invaded sports radio call-in shows. Candidate remarks present moderate positions while encouraging an illusion that the audience/crowd/team is sharing the disappointments, the negative emotions related to whining.
2.) Ad hominem. For a given session -- or an advertisement -- the right wing candidate or the story line focuses on one memorable derogatory assertion. The detail of the assertion is built up over and over for effect. Proof by Repetitive Assertion matches to GOP "message discipline." Voters are especially receptive during whining sessions, based on right-brain emotional dominance.
3.) Special Pleading. The role of the right wing encourager is enhanced to do double-duty. Here we get a subtle form of yet another logical fallacy. This is Special Pleading, which invokes unsubstantiated "evidence" that the right wing embodies traditional values. Sometimes they are "prayer warriors." They never waste money. They are not career politicians. Their character is such that intrinsically they deserve votes, all apart from performance-history at governance. Special Pleading replaces earning votes.
Rush Limbaugh does nothing but whine. He's an oversized 4-year old. Limbaugh slips in his unsupported ad hominem attacks and repeats every complaint a dozen times, fearing that his audience is deaf.
This could be Limbaugh any afternoon:
"America tried to spend and tax itself out of a great recession. Enormous so-called "stimulus" spending, massive changes to health care, government takeover of private industries, and crushing debt."
Not That Facts Matter
Fact is, we did spend our way out of the 2008-2009 economic collapse. Payment for health care for uninsured people and basic regulation for insurance are changing. There's no such thing as "government takeover of private industries."
"Crushing debt" is arguable. The ad offers no alternative to federal deficits that doesn't force a second "rebound" major recession. Austerity produces even worse fiscal performance.
But facts don't matter. Not when a voter is lost in right-brain fears.
If you have solutions to counter these advertisements, please comment. Mitt Romney is a weak candidate for a dozen reasons, but he is still far too close to the presidency.
Tactics matter. Facts, maybe not. On the merits you'd think that Obama would beat him by 20 points.
We'll see tomorrow.
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A guy named Joe Kyrillos is running ads in New Jersey where he claims that unemployment in Jersey is "up." The ads run over and over. Fact is, unemployment in Jersey prior to Hurricane Sandy was down significantly. We also know there's going to be a lot of construction work after the storm.
But for Kyrillos, facts don't matter. He's a Republican.