The Phony Populist

Posted 1/2/17

As defined on Wikipedia: A big lie (German: große Lüge) is a propaganda technique. The expression was coined by Adolf Hitler, when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf, about the use of a lie so …

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The Phony Populist

Posted

As defined on Wikipedia: A big lie (German: große Lüge) is a propaganda technique. The expression was coined by Adolf Hitler, when he dictated his 1925 book Mein Kampf, about the use of a lie so "colossal" that no one would believe that someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously."

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”—Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda minister

I’m not saying Donald Trump has anything like the Holocaust in mind for American racial minorities such as Muslims and Hispanics—or any plans to create an Aryan master race, but he did make free use of Hitler’s propaganda style in hoodwinking enough of the public to rise to the highest office in the land. And he has engendered wide-spread fear and resentment of non-whites.

I remember Hitler. I was almost 11 years old when he marched into Poland in 1939, and I already was keeping a scrapbook of newspaper articles about him.

Media ridicule went over the public’s head during Donald’s campaign as he worked hard to present himself as something of a “populist” who, despite his alleged billions, is some sort of champion of the common man. It went over big with low-iQ self-styled macho racists and misogynists—but also, unfortunately, with many others . . . such as those inattentive to any depth of information as he raved vaguely, promising to preserve or improve their present lifestyles.

Not going to happen. The abashed media are wishing now they’d ignored the court jester and hadn’t been suckered into destroying future American governance over something as inconsequential as Hillary Clinton’s private email server. The daily press now, for instance, is working overtime in dissecting various aspects of Donald’s proposed agenda for making America “great again.”

Too late now, guys. The fox has the keys to the hen house. Even though Donald is revealed more and more as a pathological, self-serving liar, he has us by short hair to a large extent. Hopefully, many of those who are self-righteously still sipping the Kool-Aid with their little pinkies extended will soon have to accept the reality of our emerging plutocracy, the trampling of the middle-class lifestyle and America’s descent in various ways to a third-class nation behind China and Russia.

Leaving aside for now such things as Obamacare, Medicare, Social Security, etc., a few notes on Donald’s tax plan should be enough to open the eyes of some of those who made the mistake of rejecting as president someone who has given her life to public service and chose for us instead the joker in the deck.

Of his tax plan, Donald said with a straight face, “The largest tax reductions are for the middle class. ”That alone is an outright lie of gigantic proportions.

Under the plans of both Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan the top income rate (those well within the top 1 percent) would drop from 39.6 to 33 percent. They also would abolish the estate tax, which presenly applies only to estates worth $5,450,000 for individuals or $10,900,000 for couples (less than 1 percent of the people who die each year).

Income-wise, among the top 0.1 percent—those with incomes over $3,700,000—would see their incomes rise 17 percent. The bottom 80 percent of households would gain no more than 0.5 percent. And 75 percent of all income increases would go to the top 1 percent. Different spins are put on this by different groups, but it all comes out the same—a kick in the cajones for the average working man or the one suffering in poverty.

And there’s no real indication of where all that extra money for the very wealthy—and even those few nickels and dimes for “lesser” Americans—is going to come from. Some of it obviously by cutting into Obamacare, Medicare, Social Security, budgeting for science, education, food for the starving, environmental protections, law enforcement . . . that sort of thing.

Nobel-prize-winning economist (and New York Times columnist) Paul Krugman summed it all up pretty well when he remarked the other day: “All indications are that we’re looking at huge windfalls for billionaires combined with savage cuts in programs that serve not just the poor but also the middle class. And the white working class, which provided much of the 46 percent Trump vote share, is shaping up as the biggest loser.”

I can’t help but be fascinated by some of the quotes by Hitler’s propagandist Joseph Goebbels—i.e,, “There was no point in seeking to convert the intellectuals . . .

Arguments must therefore be crude, clear and forcible, and appeal to emotions and instincts, not the intellect. Truth was unimportant and entirely subordinate to tactics and psychology.”

Or, “Propaganda must facilitate the displacement of aggression by specifying the targets for hatred.”

Or, “It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be molded until they clothe ideas and disguise.”

Goebbels seemed to sum it all up with: If you tell a lie long enough, it becomes the truth.

So yes, the Nazi propaganda machine reminds me a lot not only of the 25 or 30 years the Clintons were under attack by the Republican party that feared the attraction of the public to their liberal roots and agenda--but also of the many months of idiotic raving by Donald Trump. Concoct a few “huge” lies . . . then repeat, repeat, repeat. I guess a great many of you are too young to remember when Bill and Hillary were accused of murder.

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