[Note: This comment comes from friend Chuck McManis. DLH]
[ Dave and Dewayne, feel free to forward to either of your excellent email communities.]
This hypothesis certainly lines up anecdotally with what I experienced in earnest starting with the Obama re-election in 2012. My parents who are both in their 80’s and their circle of friends online read and forward dozens of emails, often written in very large colorful type, and sometimes with pictures, that are, as a corpus, straight up racist propaganda. Often I would get copies from them with a note of “what do you think of this?” and I would patiently identify the factual errors, the narrative errors, and the generally racist nature of the messaging. To which they would often respond “oh I can see that *most* of that is made up” (emphasis mine) or something similar. Both voted for, and continue to support, the current President. The key word in their response is the word “most”, every drip adding to a general view of dislike for “the other” and folks who would “destroy our way of life.”
The goal of course is to equate “our way of life” with a “white christian democracy with theocratic underpinnings.” it seems.
The email propaganda campaigns targeted exactly four messages:
1) The process for electing representatives is broken and only an “outsider” can fix it.
2) Hilary Clinton a corrupt example of that system, she breaks the law with impunity and has fingers and schemes in all of the pots and part of a vast Clinton/Liberal conspiracy to empower the “liberal elite” at the cost of the rest of the country.
3) The Liberal Elite are bringing in Mexicans and Muslims illegally with the promise of tax support and jobs, changing the rules so that they can vote, and then using this giant indebted alien invasion to cement their strangle hold on the country.
4) The “media” is controlled by the Liberal Elite, it doesn’t want you to know the “truth.” (essential to keeping the pipeline open)
In this way, as Dr. Parker points out in the study, if you capture the first three of these points (be an “outsider”, be “not Clinton”, and be “anti-immigration”) you captured the entire Trump base and all of these people who had been primed by these propaganda campaigns to respond to those messages. And witnessing the effect in my own parents gave me the same creepy feeling that it does when you watch someone doing something completely out of character at a hypnotist’s magic show.
An example of that was a conversation with my mother who asked (sarcastically) how she could get $190,000 from California referencing the story of Pedro Figueroa-Zarceno who was turned over to ICE in violation of San Francisco’s Sanctuary ordinance. None of the discussion of human rights violations, expectations of the roles of law enforcement, or financial harm had any effect over “but he’s here illegally so he deserved everything he got.”
The programming is almost cult like, a woman who has never been harmed (or perhaps even insulted by) any undocumented immigrant considers the attempt to seek a better life and find work in the US to be a crime as unforgivable as pedophilia. When Trump claimed that “Thousands of Illegal Aliens Kill people” (warning self playing audio/video). even though that statement was demonstrably false, and quantitatively vague, it landed *exactly* on top of the messaging my parents were getting from their “friends” about how illegal immigrants were killing people left and right.
The most interesting point for me was how people responded to that comment. In the press and in the various factual data archives, that number is neither supported, nor supportable. And if you had not been seeing the drip, drip, drip, stream of propaganda that I had, courtesy of my parents, you could be forgiven for thinking it ‘ridiculous’, perhaps even dismissing its impact.
That is where propaganda point four comes in. Anyone telling you that points 1 through 3 are untrue, must be part of the liberal elite media and there for compromised. And every time the President yells “Fake News” it lands on one of the many stories that are passed along by this grapevine of hate which purport to show a “real” version of the event and to compare it to the “media’s” version of that event. Even better when there is no media coverage (as is the case for entirely made up events like the Kelly Anne Conway “Bowling Green Terrorist Massacre”) because in those cases they assert that the media is hiding the truth from you, they cannot be trusted. As a result, when the media reports on something the President says as “untrue” they feed into point four which is telling these followers that this is exactly what you would expect from a news media that was compromised by liberal elite forces.
It has been a devastatingly effective attack on our country, our institutions, and our cultural self image, courtesy of that technology many of us reading this helped invent, the Internet.
I don’t know how to immunize people against this attack yet. It will require discrediting their ‘friend’ channels which are being exploited and this is hard because they of the dissonance of thinking of their friends as being used or exploited. What the President says, and the messaging in these side channels is awfully coordinated. I’ve never seen anything like it. If the CIA pulled it off on the Russians to get rid of Putin I would be impressed as hell.
I also think it is important to figure out what the agenda is, someone has played a very long game (at least 5 years so far) and I don’t think it was just to see if they could get a total buffoon into the office of President.
There goes the Real America
Jul 3 2017