For over a year or whenever the teabaggers began, there has been a stunning demonstration on how to demagogue your enemy while labeling him the demagogue.
From the beginning they used the techniques of both the Fascists of
Italy (and I hate to say this: it’s so trite now) the Nazis to say that the left, the Democrats, and President Obama are fascists and Nazis and paradoxically Socialists. In the decade before either Mussolini or Hitler came to power, they had their followers and thugs confronting, badgering and frightening their opposition by rude and coarse confrontations. This gave a sense of greater strength than they actually had. The result was that the civil forces in the society became afraid of the judgments of the right and their influence upon the electorate. Loudly opposing Communists and lumping labor and liberalism with the communist movement lead to a general sense of foreboding. This foreboding began to be picked up by the people at large, especially when the economies began to falter. This ultimately led to the appointments of Mussolini and of Hitler as heads of government without protest while each only had 5% of the electorate (that’s only five percent). All opposition seemed stifled by the success of the right wing propaganda.
For what has been happening in our country recently, I fault the left and the Democratic Party at least 80%. Why? Despite repeated demonstrations by the right lasting for 2 decades, the Democrats refuse to use the simplest, known propaganda tools to make their message effective. One can use some universal principles of persuasion without becoming the enemy. Why the Democratic party does not have a liberal Frank Lutz on the payroll is beyond me. However, I would not be surprised if they do but don’t use him/her. Some issues need reframing into more simple and repeatable terms. There needs to be a little work on talking point i.e., having some and using them. And simplest of all, Repetition. That’s right, repetition. Even when Democrats succeed at something or make a great point, they say it once (usually in a dry, convoluted, non-emotion appealing way) assuming, I guess, that it should carry on face value. The only thing the Democrats seem to repeat in this arena is the failure to accommodate event the simple principles.
I will not donate to the Democratic Party anymore unless I see them investing in getting the messages out effectively. As long as they let the right continue to define the issues in their hateful ways, responding only and not learning to define the dialogue I think they are hopeless. Power seekers without enough will to power.
Caveat: The comments below may contain what some would call ‘Psychobabble”. I take issue with this term as it usually comes from someone who asserts that commonplace, intuitively constructed descriptions of behavior are somehow clearer and more valid than constructions based on scientific-like protocols, decades of systematic reasoning and theory development and serious scholarship. There is a certain amount of pop, opportunist and specious ‘psychobabble’ created for fame and money. however, equivalent superficial “econobabble,” “historico-babble” and “medico-babble” exists for the same reason. Valid psychological principles do explain human behavior better than religious or so called ‘common sense’ explanations. We just don’t want to face that they include ourselves. Any Fool Should Know that any interpretation of the motives and actions of another person involves projection. If I reason that your actions are due to an inordinate attachment to pudding, I am revealing that. I could be strongly moved by zest for pudding (chocolate). At some level I have to consider the possibility for myself before I can even consider it influences you. I could conjecture that you act because of carbonaceous macrocosmic crepitation but because I have no idea what that is and cannot even consider a concept that is not in my brain. If you act because of variables that I cannot conceive nor which have never occured to me, I cannot begin to understand you. I will only be able to guess what you’re about based upon what I know (or believe I know) not the actual reasons. Since i cannot conceive of the real basis of your motives, I would have to be wrong in any reasons I offer. THEREFORE, anyone who believes that homosexuality is a choice has to believe that it is a choice for himself or herself. it is no wonder that religious zealots and white supremacists alike react so strongly to homosexuality. They must outlaw and condemn the idea of gay existence and beat the up those whom they encounter lest their own gay impulses surface. It is, after all, a battle against their own fears and impulses because the see a choice. Is should not be any surprise that the smugly religious anti-gay zealot is so often caught in secret gay assignations.
This Crabbyoldman grew up in an era when any awareness of gay existence was suppressed. I was in seventh grade when one of my friends was saying something about homosexuals and I had no idea what he was talking about. When I asked and he explained (in adolescent terms, no doubt) I remember having difficulty understanding because it had simply never occurred to me as a possibility before. You cannot think about something you’ve never conceived of before. I’m not saying this to compensate for sexual self doubt (at least of this kind), unlike the anti-gay zealots it just had never occurred to me before. Further, i understood pretty quickly that sexual preference was predetermined because I had been salaciously interested in women as long as I could remember. I had been embarrassed by my older sister when she caught me ogling the women’s underwear section of the Sears catalogue when I was 5 and announced it to the family. I may have been scarred for life but no matter. When I hear the rigidly religious right’s protestations and condemnations I always assume they are struggling against their own worries. Gay marriage is only a threat to hetero marriage if at some level you are afraid you might not stay hetero if there were a choice. Anyone else doesn’t give a damn. I’m not surprised that the Catholic clergy (wink,wink) and doctrine is so reactionary but I did not realize that Mormons who have to struggle so to resist marrying their little girls were so engaged in a struggle to maintain their heterosexuality. Is polygamy hetero overcompensation after all; part of a continuous battle against turning gay? Why else would the Mormon church (but I sure hope, not the Marriotts: we own timeshares) pour such money into ending gay marriage in California? If California maintains the right of gay marriage, how long will it take for the repressed Mormon secret gays burst into gay polyandry. Psychology has an awkward term for all this, ‘reaction formation’: an important concept with a terrible name. “Me thinks thou doth protest too much” describes this defense the best. I am slightly sympathetic to denied personal struggles of all the Pro Prop 8 fanatics but keep them to your selves. I wish they’d just go home, visit their secret porn sites and work it out and leave decent self-aware hetero and gay Californians to continue to live their mature and adjusted lives. Way more adjusted than those pitifully sad lives of aggressive denial.