"So why," you might ask, "am I beating a dead horse?" (mortuum flagellas - for the other geeks out there)
Really, there is a rationale, I fear important information will submerge in the general background noise unless it's pointed out.
I know that large numbers of republicans are going to become very defensive if exposed to what I'm about to say, but hey, I still love you. I believe in the concept of a "loyal opposition" comprising the segment (large, still) of the population, the members of which remain loyal citizens of the nation but are unable for reasons they deem sufficient to agree with the course taken by the incumbent government. That's okay.
The problem I perceive is the, to my mind, pervasive disregard for truth as evidenced by a huge amount of stuff (for want of a better term, calumnious lies is what first came to mind) circulated by republicans via email, in particular, with tag-lines implying - or flatly stating - that you are a commie pig if you fail to forward the message to everyone you know.
Being a bit of an out-of-touch a$$ as some consider me, I found it necessary, as well as enlightening, to double check the information that sounded questionable (that was almost all of it) in those emails. What I found was surprising, even to a cynic. Most of those widely circulated many-times forwarded messages - not 51% most, more like 90% most - consisted of complete fabrications or of - as the one below - things taken out of context in order to misrepresent Obama's or some other democrat's position.
Now, I've been watching politics for a long time, a little exaggeration is traditional in campaigning and we all know that; but I'm not referring to exaggeration, nor even subtle misrepresentation in this post. I'm talking about disinformation, "the big lie" type of excreta. If I didn't know better, I might think that the RNC had hired Paul Joseph Goebbels, Ph.D, Heidelberg University 1921, as an adviser and field operative leader.
Dr. Goebbels, as many will recall, was the author of a number of interesting concepts which he was allowed to utilize in his official capacity as propaganda minister. A couple of the more inclusive, translated from the German by someone else:
“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.”
“The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly - it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.”
This piece below, I stumbled upon while looking for something else, but it still explains quite well what they were doing on many, many points. The campaign was too large to have been a couple of isolated racists or extremely dishonest libertarians (libertarians rarely lie, they just interpret things differently).
So, here's the piece about Obama saying we're not a Christian nation - which several people sent me different versions of over the summer and fall.
Anti-Obama mail piece: ‘We are no longer a Christian nation’
October 31st, 2012 06:31 AM ET
13 days ago
Posted by CNN's Peter Hamby
Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) – The political arm of Focus on the Family, the Colorado-based social conservative organization founded by evangelical author and radio host James Dobson, is targeting Iowa voters with a mailing that quotes President Barack Obama as saying “we are no longer a Christian nation.”
The fold-out brochure, which landed in Iowa mailboxes last week and was provided to CNN by a Des Moines-area voter, draws a series of contrasts between Obama and Mitt Romney on the issues of abortion, same-sex marriage and insurance coverage for contraception.
See the mailer here and here.
The mailer - paid for by CitizenLink, a political affiliate of Focus on the Family - also includes a striking admission from the president.
“Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation,” Obama is quoted as saying.
The mailer does not explicitly endorse Romney, but the quote is clearly aimed at arousing the suspicions of Iowa’s vibrant Christian conservative community, a key voting bloc in the state and one that the Republican nominee will need behind him next Tuesday.
The quote, though, is cherry-picked from a speech Obama delivered in 2006, more than two years before he became president, at the Call to Renewal conference in Washington.
In 2008, during Obama’s first national campaign, the same out-of-context remark was circulated online as sinister evidence that the Democrat intended to curtail religious freedom in America. At the time, the spurious Internet chatter was debunked by FactCheck.org.
Here’s the full quote:
“Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation - at least not just,” Obama said. “We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation and a Buddhist nation and a Hindu nation and a nation of non-believers.”
In the same speech, Obama said, “Americans are a religious people,” noting that “90 percent of us believe in God” and cited a statistic that said 38% of Americans call themselves “committed Christians.”
“I think we make a mistake when we fail to acknowledge the role of faith in people’s lives, in the lives of the American people,” Obama said. “I think it’s time we joined a debate about how to reconcile faith with our modern pluralistic society.”
UPDATE: A previous version of this story inaccurately quoted Obama as saying a large majority of Americans describe themselves as "committed Christians." The correct figure has been added.
Filed under: 2012 • Ads • President Obama
I know that the republicans who are reading this, both of you, want to protest - and I'm sure you will, but realize this as you go: The propaganda wasn't really intended to persuade democrats, it was dumped out there to keep rank and file republicans in line and to pick up any undecided, naive voters who might hear it from a republican friend...
Remember, Romney is on record as saying that 47% of the electorate was unreachable and wouldn't be bothered with, "NOTD" (not our type, dear) but that it would be imperative to line up everybody else to link arms and goose-step down to the voting places, to keep the world safe for multimillionaires. Sieg Heil Viktoria: Waffen SS march.
I know you republicans and Brother Romney aren't actually Nazis, but you are the party of mind control and enemies of personal freedoms and civil rights. I know that most of you aren't actually "foaming at the mouth racists" because I'm old enough to have known a lot of them; but, you are - probably unconsciously - even more dangerous than they were in many cases, people who simply won't deal with blacks or hispanics as equals, but won't acknowledge it - might not even be aware of it.
I was talking with a young woman, early 40s, a couple of days ago about the KKK. I knew some of those guys when I was young, nobody wore sheets in our area, by then, except kids being Casper on halloween; but they were still around. I told her that it wasn't only the African-Americans they had a grudge against, maybe it has been forgotten - she was surprised - but also Jews and Catholics were on their interdict list.
One old guy I knew, seemed pretty harmless, he was born in 1907 - he's been a long time dead. He was about 50 at the time I'm thinking of, showed me a dog-eared card, like a business card, that he always carried in his wallet. It was a courtesy card from some "grand-dragon" or something like that, Imperial Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, I do remember that part.
The card asked the klansman to whom it was presented to extend brotherly courtesy to the bearer, and then had some, probably pro-forma, rant against Jews, papists and Negroes, which was misspelled. We didn't have photocopiers back in those days, or I would have copied that, for sure.
That was the summer before I started high-school, 1957, things were changing; Ike was a republican so he didn't need "Dixiecrats" they were somebody else's problem.
The old man said he got the card in Ohio. Northern Ohio, not down by Kentucky.
I'm wavering on this, it's bad - really bad - probably nobody will ever read this post anyway, so here goes: When I was four, maybe five, I was riding in a car; my Dad was in the front seat with another guy, no idea who. I was in the back seat with three men my Dad worked with. I know where we were when the anchor event happened, but I don't know why we were there nor where we were going.
The car was an old sedan, it had those hairy seats that always had a harsh smell. It would have been from the 1930s. It had suicide doors in the back, at least, we went into an underpass and somehow I fell against the door. It was the passenger side rear door and it opened. The man who was sitting there had been telling me something about Georgia, I remember telling him that when I grew up I was going "out west" to be a cowboy.
He told me that we were as far west as we could go without going into the ocean, the door opened, I was about half way out looking down at the pavement below and he grabbed me and pulled me back in. The driver stopped the car, was already stopping, and they got the door closed and I got a lecture about car doors.
It was after that, minutes later, the man who caught me was talking with another man about Georgia; he told a story about one of their pass-time things to do, drive down country roads and try to hit black men who would be walking alongside the road with the door of a car as they passed. I can't remember his name and everybody else who was there is dead. They seemed to think it was pretty amusing, at least no one protested. Of course, I haven't a clue if that was true or just a story.
I don't know if that story, his story, was true; but all my life I've had an image of walking peacefully along a road, going to the store, or going home and being hit from behind by a car door doing 40 mph and being knocked into a hard fall down the bank and into a muddy ditch. I think it has helped me, helped me realize that things happen to people which aren't their fault, things caused by other people who want to hurt people they don't even know and have no reason to want to hurt.