Sunday, October 21, 2012

Propaganda or Truth?

"The more things change the more they stay the same."

-Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr

I had such high hopes at the beginning of reading Ray Comfort's article entitled "How would Paul vote?" on AFA. I should have known those hopes would quickly be dashed since AFA is just another Republican arm. I had a conversation with my wife today regarding how I feel so many people speak what they believe as truth but it really is just propaganda. What I mean by that is they repeat the clichés they hear from the talking heads on the radio, Fox News, and what their friends say (who are often just repeating the same sources). So, why is what the talking heads say propaganda and not what I speak or write? Well, an easy way to point out propaganda is when you don't hear any counter arguments. The opposing view is often suppressed or intentionally crippled on the common right wing media. The right isn't the only one who utilizes this tactic but since I live in the South I'm surrounded by people of common beliefs. I realize this and choose this life and location to raise my family. It's a great place to raise a family. It has a lot of charming and appealing things and the people are certainly one of them but group think is a common issue.  

I digress. So, what is my problem with Ray Comfort's article? He seems to start off with a non-biased approach and acknowledges that he doesn't know how Paul would vote. He goes even further and states that Paul had no desire to create a Theocracy (which is amazing because that seems as if it is AFA's mission). Comfort goes on and steers the conversation towards the gospel. I was ready to post a big AMEN at the bottom in the comments section but then the article seems to derail when abortion is brought into the argument. The conclusion is Romney should be the next President. I'm completely sympathetic to the pro-life cause and many would consider me a strong pro-lifer with some unexpected exceptions. I call the Republican message propaganda because they use emotionally driven issues that they do nothing on to influence voters. (Read my previous link for details). 

The stroking of the heart strings is in poor taste but what angers me more is the double speak. The inconsistency of Republican logic on abortion is understandable (I didn't say forgivable). Many people don't really think through all their beliefs and can easily change their minds if challenged. Republicans cast a big net in order to try to catch as many voters so they say they are against abortion but then make exceptions that contradict the very reasons why they say they are against it in the first place. Most people won't find any fault in their logic. But the double speak that infuriates me the most is the expansion of war in the name of "freedom", "democracy", and "protection". Our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have cost over 100,000 lives and we have more soldiers who kill themselves by their own hands from the horrors of war than from the wars themselves. What's even worse than the loss of all these lives is the motivations for war. As misdirected and weak the arguments are for "freedom" and "protection" the unspoken motivation for profit has to be the most devastating. The idea that our best solution to end our "great recession" is for another great war is deeply sickening. This is the evil we shall not speak of but many (including myself) were espoused in our early years regarding the great rewards of wars and how it was World War 2 that got us out of the great depression.

In the next Presidential debate on foreign policy both candidates will try to win the hearts of many by promising "protection". Both sides are in an agreement that the best defense is a good offense so we won't be hearing "how to win a war on terrorism" but we will get much on who will be "tougher" on it. The war drums are already beating. The blood lust for "jobs" blinds us of the means in which we are willing to get them. We force ourselves to play by the rules and say "we must elect the lesser of two evils". I wonder though, at what point do we realize the lesser of two evils is still evil?

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