A Case Study In Contemporary American Political Propaganda

Posted in Democracy, Politics on  | 8 minutes | 1 Comment →

So I went innocently enough to my email this afternoon, and there was a message whose subject read "Watch this video. Let me know what you think." Contained in the body of the message was a link to a thirteen-minute long video whose main character was Senator Barack Obama.

Not knowing anything about the video or its host site beforehand, and having nothing better to do, I hit play. What ensued further confirmed my near-unilateral rejection of American macropolitics, and further strengthened my argument that in the absence of a candidate one can endorse empirically, voting is immoral and dangerous.

Especially in the regrettable situation of those who vote "the lesser of two evils," voting for a candidate whose motives we have no way of discerning is like trusting a shady character we just met on the street. And I think it’s much tougher to find a candidate one can genuinely endorse than conventional politics affords. But these are all tangent rants encouraging thread drift.

My assessment of this video is malicious propaganda, pure and simple, and any religious person who accepts or promotes the messages of this video does so with absolutely zero support from scripture. The effect of this video is to persuade the viewer that Senator Obama is a dangerous, anti-American Muslim sympathizer who is going to overexpand the federal government, and whether true or not, the methods used to argue the claim, mainly selective emphasis and de-emphasis of information, are deplorable. The video assumes the viewer is so stupid and gullible that they will swallow the delivery en total in spite of a veritable treasure trove of logical fallacies of which we will discuss but only a few, and that this type of garbage is allowed to even influence the public in such a crucial contention as the Presidency of the United States in 2008 is highly discouraging.

That the directors wish to guide your opinion is evident from the outset of the video, where they selectively emphasize the Muslim connotations of Senator Barack Hussein Obama’s name over a backdrop of the international war on Muslim extremism. The technique is later repeated when the directors attempt to stain liberation theology with communism by showing a nice, big hammer and sickle. The directors assure that theirs’ are the "footnotes of interest," which is a subjective and relative claim to put it gently, and the argument exists that there are footnotes of interest on the Senator’s life that might not fit neatly into this pre-arranged case against him.

For their supporting evidence, the directors then present us with a series of facts alleged to justify their claim, which they all too hesitant to state boldly or directly. Instead, they simply imply behind his back that Senator Obama is a dangerous, anti-American Muslim sympathizer, without personally asking the man a thing or providing a chance for rebuttal. A typical crock of American political chutzpah if you ask me. Here are the facts that "prove" Senator Obama is a dangerous, anti-American Muslim sympathizer who seeks to overexpand the federal government:

1) Barack’s father was a Muslim from Kenya and his mother an American. So what? Couldn’t their child in theory be an amalgamation of the two, which would be a Muslim-American? Couldn’t a Muslim-American be a useful personage in the diffusion of terrorism? Or do the directors note this only to tar the Senator’s entire family lineage with the stain of Islam? As a side note, must a Muslim be anti-American by default? Without more evidence, especially not weak circumstantial evidence like this, making any claim is speculative.

2) Obama attended a Muslim school in Jakarta, Indonesia for two years. So what if Senator Obama attended a Muslim school as a kid? Doesn’t his father have the same right to educational freedom as anyone else in America? Is it any surprise Obama’s father sent the young Senator on a two-year study of their religion? Again, is Muslim anti-American by default? Does anybody out there have incontrovertible evidence that Senator Obama is part of some sort of anti-American conspiracy?

3) Senator Obama has a vague voting record. Again, so what? This says nothing other than that for some reason, Senator Obama was hesitant to respond in the affirmative or negative to certain votes. This could as easily be a sign of prudence as it could be a sign of ulterior motive, as the directors wish us to believe.

4) Obama disrespects the National Anthem, and America. Please. If ever there was a more subjective claim. What is disrespect? Is it respectful to respect disrespect? The directors note that Senator Obama refuses to wear an American Flag pin, and that he refuses to put his hand over his heart during the pledge of allegiance. This is where things get interesting with these folks. Now, allow me to say that I consider myself one of the most Millian, OG, midwest Americans one could ever meet. Even as such, I’ve had times where I refused to say the pledge of allegiance, and I still refuse today. As long as there are disparate groups of oppressed people in America, appeals to "liberty and justice for all" seem quite superficial. I, personally, do not believe that America provides liberty and justice for all, so I, personally, refuse to say these words because for me to do so would be to utter a lie. To me it’s fake and phony and a baseless appeal to nationalism when people should be encouraged to do the right thing, not on account of God or America but because it is right. To paint Senator Obama’s actions as disrespect without more intense cross-examining is unfair. Senator Obama could have very justifiable reasons for abstaining from these ceremonies. In Bible times, under times of duress the status quo was unacceptable. Such is the root of tearing one’s shirt. But the directors don’t ask the Senator. They just show as much as they need to show to make their case. The religious should also note that although living peaceably with authority is a virtue of the New Testament, exaltation of country is not a biblical value.

5) Obama was mentored by Jeremiah Wright. A good few minutes of the video are spent reinforcing their opinion that since Reverend Wright is a Muslim extremist who hates America, Senator Obama must be as well because of his tutelage under Wright. Folks, this is piss-poor logic and unfortunately the epitome of American politics. The directors go to great lengths to tar Wright with the philosophies of Dr. James Cone, Ph.D, then to extend those philosophies to Senator Obama. We are fed startling misinformation about Liberation Theology and Black Liberation Theology, which I don’t even want to get into unless somebody really wants to press the issue. Notice that all of this has nothing to do whatsoever with any direct statement made by Senator Obama, rather guilt by association.

6) Big government is the earmark of Marxism; beware of Obama who’s mentor mentioned an extremist in an argument on Hannity and Colmes! Most astounding is that these brilliant directors attack welfare, socialized medicine and gun control, implying that these and other big-government bloopers will be the tradition of Senator Obama’s presidency. This charge completely ignores the fact that the biggest and most far-reaching branch of government in United States history was created by Bush 43, ostensibly a conservative. And who are these directors to insult welfare and socialized medicine anyway? Would they rather tax-paying citizens continue to get denied emergency treatment over $20 X-ray copays and laughed at by their Canadian counterparts? Would they rather tax-paying citizens get forced out of their homes in times of duress, like I would be right now if it weren’t for the State Disability Program, Food Stamps and other social services I’ve legitimately paid into, services I need under a time of duress?

The directors criticize Wright for his argument that America is controlled by "rich, white people." Is anybody really foolish enough to repudiate this claim? America was founded by rich, white people and has been controlled by rich, white men unilaterally since the country’s inception. Excuse me, but Reverend Wright is onto something here. Now when Wright appears to charge the United States government with creation of the AIDS virus, and starts screaming "God damn America," of course people’s buttons are going to get pushed. I don’t claim to know how the AIDS virus was introduced into space-time; however, I will say that if it did in fact occur as Mr. Wright alleges, his raining down of curses on America, however judgmental and Old Testamental it might be, would certainly stand justified. Anybody?

Now I am not an Obama supporter by any means. I’m not a Democrat. I’m not a Republican. I generally shy far and wide of politics in thought, speech and writing. I don’t vote for the president; I might vote if I can gain a competent understanding of a local proposition, but that’s about it. The only reason I post about this is to illustrate how propaganda works, and why although we should all be aware of propaganda, we should all steer clear of its influence.

In the final analysis, I’d be much more impressed with thirteen minutes of uninterrupted dialog between Senator Obama and an intelligent, non-partisan moderator; not this idiotic, propagandic, right-wing, unbiblical Christian Reconstructionist drivel.

One comment

  1. Myrene


    today. Romney needs 61% of white voters to win cuz of the many mntiroiy and women voters he has lost. He’s currently got 53% of white votes. The strategy is so sickening. it truly is their last chance to destroy this country as they wish and they can smell the demographic time bomb so much they are raving mad to steal power by any means necessary.:Let us with determination show them that their religion of HATE is not gonna win them elections. Let’s work like our very breathing depends on . And in many ways it does.OUR GOAL: Pres. Barack Obama the Victor announced at 11:00 PM EST on Nov 6 2012. Democratic congress elected to return sanity to this country’s governance.

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