Mon Oct 7, 2013, 06:12 PM
AdHocSolver (2,550 posts)
The psychology of misplaced blame and right wing propaganda.
A large number of Americans are unhappy with their lives.
They dislike their jobs (if they are fortunate to have a job), feel unappreciated, inadequately paid, worried about the future, and feel unable to do anything about it.
They grasp at any argument that tells them that it is not their fault, that they are victims, and that if life were only fair, they would be wealthy, healthy, and wise.
They don't dare criticize their employers, their bankers, or their health insurers, for fear of retaliation.
So they blame "government" for not making things "right". They are fed propaganda over and over again that government takes their money, in the form of taxes, and gives it to lazy people, illegal immigrants, and "moochers" who lead better lifestyles than they do.
They are told that the "private" sector is more "efficient" (another meaningless buzz word like "free trade") even though the "private", corporate sector extracts a greater financial burden on them in the form of high prices, huge profits, and low wages.
This corporate levied financial burden is equivalent to a high TAX, but in contrast to countries with high government taxes, which also provide low cost universal health care, low cost or free education, and are not taxing their people to support a huge military system, people in those other countries enjoy a widespread quality of lifestyle not attained by most Americans.
So, for what they pay overall, Americans are getting less for what they spend than in other "advanced" countries.
Politicians, corporate vultures, and religious zealots have supported right wing think tanks and right wing media to develop and spread concepts that play on people's fears and dissatisfaction. These concepts (or "memes") are repeated ad nauseam on talk radio, in newspapers and magazines, in political ads, on TV "news" shows, and by politicians.
These right wing concepts (such as government is "bad", corporations (i.e., the so-called, mislabelled "private sector") is "good") is repeated so often so many places that no amount of reality will cure these victims of their misconceptions. The right wing has effectively immunized a majority of their followers from the truth.
Those thoroughly infected with the right wing themes are at this stage of their infection most likely incurable.
However, there are a number of people who are agreeable to change their political positions once they are shown how the right wing menace threatens them in some way.
The secret of converting "moderates" away from right wing propaganda so as to embrace reality requires developing dialogue that relates the facts to moderates, but it has to be done in a non-threatening, and non-patronizing way.
Moderates should learn from the methodology of the right wing. Their "think tanks" are mislabelled. There is little "thought" or reasoning behind their propaganda. It is all about marketing techniques.
Liberal "think tanks" should spend less time debating policy, and spend more time evaluating the effectiveness of presentation using focus groups.
While "liberals" attempt to explain their side with incomprehensible, and often irrelevant, graphs, charts, and economic verbiage, the right wing sells their policies with snappy advertisements like those used to sell fast food, breakfast cereal, cell phones, or prescription medicine.
While liberals appeal to reason to change minds, the right wing uses techniques that motivate people to action for right wing causes even though the liberals then ask why these people vote against their own "best" interests. The right wing marketers have convinced such people that right wing policies are in their best interests.
Liberals have to realize that graphs, charts, statistics, and policy presentations aren't going to succeed with people who eschew wonkishness and rely on their gut feelings.
The real reason for the 2010 right wing wins was that they used tried and true marketing techniques to motivate voters to their cause and the Democrats...not so much.
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