One of the things most of us hoped for following four years of lies, four years of mismanagement and outright illegal activities by the Trump administration was some competent leadership and a bit of quiet time away from the constant noise from the Neo-fascists on the right.
We do have the competent leadership at the national level, anyway. President Biden and VP Harris have proven themselves to be what the times called for and more. They have turned the fortunes of the country around in six short months and re-instilled Americans faith in their government.
Yet no matter how competent the administration is, they can not stop the constant insanity of crazy noise that emanates from the right. And as expected, our main stream media that is either owned by corporations in this country that are right wing or skews right wing, gives plenty of time to the noise in order to make it hard to sift out real news.
In the latest chapter of “we’re going to make noise and divert attention” Congress member Chip Roy of Texas said it out loud:
This is just another log on the fire that the right and their enablers in the media keeps burning constantly. Just continue to pour BS out there and push it, push it, push it. When you own the media use it to push the current propaganda to paraphrase George W. Bush.
In just the past few weeks as the country went through the month of patriotism (Memorial Day to July 4th) the right has launched such crazy memes as the distortion of “critical race theory” to the continuing downplaying of their attempt to overthrow the government on January 6th to their golden leader’s framing of insurrectionist and traitor Ashli Babitt as a martyr to the cause.
Add this to the continuing constant pushing of the BIG LIE of a rigged election and the continuing fight to maintain states and other public displays of disgraced traitorous Southern Civil War Leaders along with a strangely politicized issue in getting vaccinated against a DEADLY DISEASE. That one is so hard to understand.
“Critical Race Theory” is one piece of propaganda that the right is betting the farm on. It has all the elements needed to scare voters into voting against their best interest because of fear. Since this phase means little to anyone outside of a very narrow academic are where it is taught, this gives the right the opportunity to define the phrase with their images that create an image of fear.
First the word “critical” brings forth an image of some scolding liberal telling the poor white citizen that their thinking is confused. Then the word “race” pulls in the decades and centuries of scary racial stereotypes that the right has kept alive with the help of a corporate media. Finally the word “theory” allows the right to conjure up an image of unproven facts that the “elites” will force them to believe.
In short this little phrase contains enough fear in three little words that the right believes this can be the horse they can ride to victory on. Add in a compliant media that reports on this crap as a viable subject and a party of spineless, amoral people who are willing to do anything to win and the continued flogging of our election system which has been weakened with voter suppression. They may have a winning strategy.
Thom Hartmann discusses the Right’s racist media strategy on his daily letter of July 6th:
Steve Bannon had a name for this type of strategy. When Michael Lewis interviewed him in 2018 for a Bloomberg article that Lewis later expanded into a brilliant book, The Fifth Risk, Bannon laid it out quite clearly:
“The Democrats don’t matter,” Bannon told Lewis over lunch. “The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with shit.”
It’s another way of saying that the real Republican electoral strategy isn’t to use ideas or contrasting policies against the Democrats, but is to go up against reality and the truth itself. Just accuse them of outrageous things and let the, er, sh*t fall where it may.
And, indeed, there’s precedent for the strategy working and working well. The Rand Corporation wrote up a deep-dive analysis of what they called “The Russian ‘Firehose of Falsehood’ Propaganda Model” that the GOP has been emulating for at least five years.
In order to work, Rand’s researchers said, a lie must never come from just a single source: the average target of the propaganda has to feel like a firehose of media backing up the lie is being sprayed at him from dozens of directions at once.
“High volume and multi-channel” is the phrase Rand uses, noting of the strategy that “two of its distinctive features [are] high numbers of channels and messages, and a shameless willingness to disseminate partial truths or outright fictions.”
Additionally, the researchers at Rand report, the lie and all the information backing it up must be presented with a media effort that is “rapid, continuous and repetitive.” In this way, they essentially control the zone of discussion around the topic regardless of how many times and in what ways the lie or half-truth is refuted by the mainstream media or the people its characterizing as villains.
While a weary country which was unwillingly dragged into the very pit of a pandemic death spiral just wants some peace to put their lives back together, the right will be hammering us 24 X 7 X 365 with lies and distortions all for the purpose of once again gaining power they will use only to enrich themselves.