To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Thursday, October 22, 2020

New Observercast

Counting On Bias And Gullibility

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BY EDWIN E. VINEYARD

As the airwaves have been filled here in Oklahoma with commercials from mostly Republican candidates, some of us have become not only increasingly irritated but also mentally challenged to make any logic or sense out of what we see and hear. Of course, everybody is running against President Obama.

It matters not what office they seek, they are running based upon their alleged past records or future intentions to single-handedly bring down the Obama Administration and to reverse all of its accomplishments. We don’t understand the logic of all that, and we believe little or none of the rhetoric.

Guys and gals, that campaign rubber will only stretch so far. If your party electorate had any sense of electoral logic and ethics, they would vote for whichever of you actually made positive proposals for something good you intended to do, or related to them truthful stories of your positive accomplishments. The electorate should want to know what you favor and about your positive proposals for the good of the people. They should not be falling for whichever of you has the harshest rhetoric for the president or for one another, whichever peddles the more vile allegations, nor the one who brags the most about his religion, family values, and patriotism.

Unfortunately, the candidates who have stretched the truth the furthest, alleged the most negative things, opposed everything good that a Democrat has done, promises most to undo whatever good has been done, rails the most against the taxes needed to run government and schools [and fight wars], rhetorically most fiercely opposes our own democratically elected constitutional federal government [while claiming patriotism], and then viciously attacks his own party opponents – those will probably be the winners.

What a shame on all of us!

This is a strange and crazy country when the candidates of one party rely primarily upon ignorance, bias, and gullibility to sell themselves to the voters, when in truth it has worked consistently against the best interest of those same common citizens. They really expect, with good reason, that the voters really do not understand their own self interest. Likewise, they count on their party media propaganda machine having done its job in creating voter bias and emotion which will favor their vicious political tactics.

How is it that a president who has proposed no program not believed by the best experts available to be in the best interest of the country could be maligned so easily and so successfully? How is it when a president who has worked several successive positive programs for the people through Congress with consistent loud opposition, delaying tactics, and even filibustering from the Republicans, yet is looked upon favorably only by some 44% of the people? Don’t people care about saving American jobs, propping up failing state government finances, reforming and controlling health insurance companies, reforming Wall Street bank shenanigans, protecting consumers, or any of those things?

Don’t the people of Oklahoma know that President Obama’s economic stimulus program has kept our state government functioning, our schools and colleges open, and that the state might have had to practically shut down these two years because of previous short sightedness of Republican legislators in cutting taxes? Now, they are running against him? Are we all that ignorant? Are they ready to nail plywood on schoolhouse windows?

Such irrational public response can only be understood in the milieu of the meanest, most vicious, political propaganda machine ever devised and operating legally outside of some fascist or communist country. Constantly hammered by right wing talk show hosts and Fox News staff and talking heads, perhaps it is little wonder that so many Americans have become ditto-heads with unthinking minds of their own.

How else would we account for the fact that nearly 40% believe Mr. Obama was born in Kenya and is a Muslim, when all the evidence has been repeatedly put before them showing those rumors to be maliciously false? No doubt those represent more than three quarters of that 55% or so who look upon President Obama with views of less than “favorable” in some polls. [Favorable votes have been running 44% to 48%.] That is to say, most of these negative views of the presidency generate from roughly the same folk, a majority of whom are already irrationally hard core right wing in their politics.

Of course most professionals in politics understand fully that they operate in a struggle with the opposition for the minds of band of perhaps 25% to 30% of swing voters who deny having prior biases and mental commitments. Honest “leanings,” however, are hard to assess with any accuracy at all.

Perhaps the big question is: “Which voters have their biases set most in concrete?” One would have to peg that on the hard-core right wing group, since they appear impermeable to either facts or logic. These are the voters the Republican political machine counts in its pockets. They are the majority of that party’s core voters, so they are the ones Republican candidates must impress with the tone and quality of their ads.

This explains much of what we have been seeing on our TV stations. Ugh!

The question which remains is whether that broad center range of voters have been sufficiently gullible to the steady flow of propaganda from the right wing media. Have they succumbed to being told what is for their own good by those whose mouths are bought and paid for by other contrary interests?

Just how gullible will American voters be come next fall?

Dr. Edwin E. Vineyard, AKA The Militant Moderate, lives in Enid, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.