I marvel at the messaging discipline and efficiency of the American right wing, including the Republican political establishment. No matter what the issue is or how many different ways you ask them a question about a specific topic, once they have their talking points, they just repeat them over and over regardless of whether the answer has anything to do with the question.
Simple background checks for gun-buyers? An infringement of the Second Amendment and an attack on liberty. Closing the gun-show loophole? An infringement of the Second Amendment and an attack on liberty. Banning assault weapons? An infrigement on the Second Amendment and an attack on liberty...
No matter the issue, they do the same thing, marching in lockstep, moving their agenda forward.
Obviously, it bothers me. Not necessarily because of the propaganda technique they use (perfected in Germany in the late 1930's and later imported to the U.S.), but because of the agenda they are pushing.
It's an agenda designed to enslave the population and enrich the plutocracy, plain and simple. De-fund the government; deregulate (which legalizes bribes and pillaging); privatize everything; weaken constitutional protections.
I also marvel at what I perceive to be squishiness in the way the typical Democratic politician and liberal handles public communication, messaging, and narrative.
A discussion about "school reform," charter schools, online courses, etc.? You'll hear all this "explaining" and "analysis" and hand-wringing, but you don't hear the most important point: a fraud committed on the American people designed to destroy public education in favor of for-profit companies ultimately resulting in purposely dumbing down of the student body, which further benefits the corporatist interests funding the agenda.
Anyways, the examples are endless, on issue after issue. What is the most fundamental problem? The typical liberal thinks you move your agenda forward by explaining things, by demonstrating the facts, by appealing to the intellect, or to a sense of fairness. Why? Because that's how they process information themselves, and they assume that that's how everybody else processes information.
You don't communicate with the "masses" that way. Yes, one on one, or in small groups, let's philosophize all we want, and let's examine an issue, analyze it, consider it, debate it. That's fine. But with the masses you communicate by first distilling your message into very easy to understand iconographic concepts, and then repeating them over, and over, and over, and over, again, non-stop, for ever, one year, five years, ten years, forty years, fifty years, on and on.
[I've listed some diaries I've written about this topic with more detail information and references below]
Regarding moving an agenda forward, that also must be viewed as a "mechanical" process, not necessarily an intellectual one.
What is the typical agenda of a progressive? In the final analysis it is one that helps bring about a decent society that operates under the rule of law, applied equally to all regardless of economic status, race, gender, ethnicity, etc.
Let me give you a couple of examples... Here are a few issues in order of importance, as it relates to helping bring about a decent society.
My number one issue would be the investigation and prosecution of war crimes by the Bush administration. Why is that? I don't have to hear it in the news. I don't have to validate it by other people. Innately, intrinsically, morally, I know that choosing to look the other way in the face of the commission of war crimes by the country's leaders is the antithesis of a decent society.
So once that become part of the agenda, then you work on the messaging and the narrative you will use to communicate with the public so you can eventually move your agenda forward. Once you decide on the simple, iconographic (bumper-sticker), visceral, emotional messaging/narrative, then you deploy it (broadcast it) non-stop, relentlessly, ruthlessly, repeating it over, and over, and over, for ever, not relenting until indictments are handed down, trials are held, and war criminals are imprisoned.
My second most important issue would be to investigate and prosecute crimes committed by Wall Street during the last 15+ years (especially in the 2004-2009 time-frame).
So again, once that agenda is agreed on, then you do the same. Distill the message into iconographic/visceral/emotional concepts, agree on the messaging/narrative (talking points), and you deploy it, repeating it over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, again, non-stop, not ever being satisfied until you see the perp-walks, the indictments, and the long sentences handed down.
What else is on the agenda? About removing the influence Wall Street and corporatist cartels have over our government institutions? About breaking down the TBTF banks? About breaking down the mass media cartels poisoning people's minds in the country? About spreading unionization far and wide, with the intention of reaching every city, town, and state?
For each of those issues, do the same. Set up the agenda, construct the inconographic concept, come up with the messaging and narrative, and then "release" them into the public's consciousness, not intellectually, but in a mechanical process kind of way, understanding that the most important component of it all is the repetition, the staying on message, the marching in lockstep (goosestepping?), never wavering, doubting, equivocating.
What I've described here would mean finally engaging in the propaganda war that thus far has been brutally waged by the billionaires-funded front groups, including the entire U.S. mainstream media. Thus far the war has been one-sided.
Understanding that nothing in the progressive agenda can move forward without first launching a relentless counter-propaganda campaign is essential. That must be the first step.
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