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The Defeat Of Four Traits Will Usher In A New Era Of American Politics!
The defeat of fake news, fear, persuasion, and distraction will bring a new form of government to our country.
Admonishment is the name of today’s sport. It’s such a popular game even the Supreme Court wants to play! Plus, the President, Senate, and Congress always want in on the action. Having picked their team, the leaders ask the President’s Cabinet to sit in reserve, burning the bench, in case of an injury.
Then, there is YOU, little Miss ‘America,’ itching to play a game you have yet to be taught. This ought to be interesting!
Do you have any teammates? America asks me to lean down so she can whisper in my ear. I oblige and she tells me she only has one other player on her team, someone named Republic!
Well, it seems her team is qualified to play the game, so let’s take the field and get it on! Now, remember, this is a teaching game, so keep it clean out there.
What’s that? Oh, I almost forgot. America informs me the name of her team is US. The other side chose not to select a name, so they can obfuscate the results in the unlikely event they lose. After grudgingly combining to debate the selection of a name, they failed to agree. Therefore, this match is now dubbed ‘US vs. THEM!’
The whistle blows and here comes the first volley, a gentle lob from the President: ‘Good luck, you’re going to need it.’
I like similes! I find them useful in drawing attention to something that affects nearly all of us, in one way or another, making us think more deeply about the lesson to be learned.
Treating the growth of our nation as if it is a game somehow feels appropriate, given the state of our political processes in today’s world. The clearly- defined divisions within our system of government are quite noticeable to all of us.
Their clarity bombards us every time we read an article or turn on the television, as long as we are paying attention.
What is alarming about the charged atmosphere engulfing us here is that none of our divided political minds are working to draw us together to reunite our nation!
Cleaving us into unilateral factions wields its powerful advantages for our leaders. It weakens us to a sufficient stage of disillusionment and insecurity to prevent us from concentrating on the weighty issues facing our nation — poverty, immigration, hunger, discrimination, climate change, and racism, to name a few.
The primary tools deployed to build a wall of division within our ranks are persuasion and distraction. Our governing bodies long ago discovered that coupling the power of distraction with the power of persuasion is necessary for shaping the will of their people.
The reasons a governing body has for using these tools are vague to us. But, it enables them to slow down or speed up the wheels of progress, depending on which side holds the majority. Couple these with greed (personal aggrandizement), and the picture I have painted comes to fruition in the form of multiple newly-minted billionaires.
What I have presented thus far is that we, the general public of America, have been, are being, and will continue to be manipulated like puppets on a string.
Let me explain how I know that to be a true statement.
My research led me to several studies which discuss at great length the origin of ‘Fake News’ and how it and the powers of persuasion and distraction are used. In the study, titled: FAKE NEWS AS A WEAPON OF PERSUASION, by Pier Paolo Pedrini, Lugano University, https://doi.org/10.14746/sr.2019.3.2.06
The abstract for this article states:
“Our study is qualitative research. It is a content analysis of more than 2,500 European and American posters of war propaganda identifying modern principles of persuasion and forms of discourse. The analysis of the themes demonstrates that the techniques used one hundred years ago to convince civilians to enlist had enormous potential for development to such a degree that they were adopted by modern political and commercial persuasion. Therefore, we can consider the propagandists of the Great War as modern spin doctors. The idea evolved after reading Propaganda (1928) by Edward Bernays, the nephew of Sigmund Freud. This is an astonishing book; it provides illuminating interpretations both for an understanding of war propaganda — not just for the Great War — and for the commercial discourse of which Bernays became a promoting agent.”
That’s pretty damning evidence even without reading the entire study, Pedrini, P. P. (2019). Fake news as a weapon of persuasion. Society Register, 3(2), 97–108. https://doi.org/10.14746/ sr.2019.3.2.0.
Proving persuasion and distraction, together with fake news, are used to manipulate us certainly isn’t hard.
But to provide more evidence for you to absorb, consider this contribution from Sean Parker, co-founder, and ex-president of Facebook, in an article in The Guardian (Ex-Facebook president Sean Parker: site made to exploit human ‘vulnerability’ | Facebook | The Guardian) showed his interview with Axios:
Sean Parker, the founder of Napster and former president of Facebook, said the thought process behind building the social media giant was: “How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?”
“That means that we needed to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever … It’s a social-validation feedback loop … You’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology … [The inventors] understood this, consciously, and we did it anyway.”
A bit further down the page in this Guardian story was a shocking quote from another Silicon Valley bigwig:
“Parker is not the only Silicon Valley entrepreneur to express regret over the technologies he helped to develop. The former Googler Tristan Harris is one of several techies interviewed by the Guardian in October to criticize the industry.
“All of us are jacked into this system,” he said. “All of our minds can be hijacked. Our choices are not as free as we think they are.”
After reading these two sources, I concluded:
- that our federal government has been pinwheeling the American public for well over 100 years, spinning us in simultaneous opposing directions.
- Commercial business studied the government’s process and, finding that it works, decided to utilize it to further spin us and confuse us.
- John and Jane Public have opacity in their glasses, and can’t see these facts clear enough to demand they end.
Adding fuel and fear to the fire.
The omnipresence of fake news throughout the world is callous in its dissemination, especially when it targets significantly weakened factions. It honors no boundaries!
To compound the effects of their actions, the purveyors of misinformation add one final ingredient to wholly engulf us: fear! I was texting with a new friend recently and she made a very profound statement:
Fear is powerful and I believe this individual couldn’t hear the guidance through his fear.
Jill (Conquering Cognitions)
Jill is a ‘clinical psychologist who enjoys sharing research-based tips and strategies to help us think from a fresh perspective.’ She has written an article that discusses how our secrets and perceived fears can prevent us from acting, Secrets Are Silent Destroyers of Happiness. I recommend a quick read — it’s very good.
America is now “on the couch,” so to speak. We are the ones who are distracted and fearful. We appear to be frozen in time because this has been happening for well over the past 100 years. Our visit to this “couch” has been expected and is long overdue.
Admonition comes front and center
The first step in solving any problem is to identify the problem. Then we can formulate a plan of action to tackle the problem and get it solved. We haven’t attempted the first step yet. Our fears and distraction are working in tandem to keep us huddled in bed with the covers of ignorance pulled over our heads.
We need someone or something to break us out of this mindless circle. We need to stop listening to the spin-heads and start questioning everything and everyone we encounter when they share outdated or inaccurate information. Finally, we need to update our education. It isn’t enough to vote, then sit back and watch as the old techniques are employed. We must have the courage to vote, then take decisive action to help change our world.
That can be accomplished by a quite ordinary activity: Vote “them” out of office! That isn’t intended to be a political statement — I don’t play that game very well.
I have no tolerance for someone who will shake my hand and lie to my face at the same time. No matter which political affiliation you might align with, we are all in the same hailstorm.
Our shame as a country flows much deeper than racism, LBGTQA-ism, or any other variety of problems we currently face. We shame ourselves when we let others control us. We shame ourselves when we allow bigotry and hatred to exist unopposed. We also shame ourselves when we oppress anyone who isn’t like us. Most important, we shame ourselves when we don’t confront distraction maneuvers.
We have to stop letting Max Headroom into our living rooms. We have to stop believing everything we see, hear, or read unless we can prove it to ourselves.
Our plight isn’t incurable — Not yet. There are plenty of strategies to overcome our laziness and our lack of caring.
We can assume more control of our lives by not allowing others to control us, for one. There is a problem with that statement, though.
When we replace “them,” we have to install someone new who won’t be beholden to the same ideology and who will actually vote their conscience. The one thing that can hold us back from accomplishing this task is… you guessed it: FEAR!
What a recipe for disaster!
As it turns out, only four ingredients are needed to control an America that is caked in fear, distraction, fake news, and persuasion. The icing on top of all this is called submission.
What specific actions must we take to overcome these 4 traits? I can start naming several attributes we need to consider, but I can’t finish listing all of them. It’s left up to each of us to ask that question for ourselves. But, to start:
- Pay attention — With patience and practice, you’ll be able to catch some of these con artists in the act! When they say one thing, then vote differently, ask yourself “why?” That is a very effective tool in our back pockets, but we don’t use it nearly as often as we should.
- Beware of the ‘grip and grin’ — Every leader I have ever met is glad to grip your hand and grin while the picture is being taken. Afterward, they tend to step back and go their own way, totally ignoring you and your insignificant opinions.
- Validate your news sources — In today’s world, that’s a high priority. We often become stuck in the spin room. We don’t know which version of the story to believe, primarily because we haven’t had the proper education and/or an unbiased teacher.
- Form your own beliefs and principles — Do not assume you have to follow after Dad, Mom, or Uncle Tom. Don’t let others confiscate time and space in your head. If you do, they will squander and confuse your thoughts.
- Research — This really means you should try to obtain more than one viewpoint before deciding whether or not to believe what you’ve read or been told. Be more than a mannequin in your quest for knowledge.
There are more, but I’m going to stop right there because those are the five most important truths that I search for before making my decisions.
Feel free to add or subtract from the list until you are satisfied you have a fairly balanced view of the problem and can identify for yourself why you are making the choice for you!
I pray we soon get it right!
Thanks for reading this!
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