September 10, 2008
-- by Dave Johnson
Why are Republicans just saying so much stuff that is not true? Because it works. From April 2005, They Just Say Stuff,
They say what they need to say to make the sale. If the focus groups and polls tell them to say something, they say it. That's all t is. Truth is just not a part of the calculation.July, 2005: Seeing the Forest: Focus Group Phrases vs Reality
So here is how it works. The right-wingers hold focus groups and ask, "if we told you so-and-so, would you believe such-and-such?" And then they go out and spread the so-and-so, whatever it is, in their effort to persuade people to believe such-and-such. They find out that people don't like "activist judges," or at least react negatively to the phrase, and know that they are going to be appointing judges who are activist, so they repeat that Liberals appoint activist judges in order to get that fixed in the public's mind.
And they follow a strategy of first getting people to believe one thing, and then building on that by adding new elements that depend on the belief they previously established. This is a strategic narrative. It unfolds into a story. "Liberal activist judges" is part of an unfolding narrative of "liberals' meddling with people's daily lives. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the truth, but it is useful for persuading people to support right-wingers.
It's what they do. What they said an hour ago is not relevant - it's what they needed to say then, and that was then. When they need to do something else they willl. They'll just make stuff up, lie and smear people. They'll ask focus groups if they would be against Democrats if they learned that Democrats eat dog toenails on Yugoslavian yogurt at tea time, and if the focus groups said that would turn them against Democrats, we would start hearing that Democrats eat dog toenails on Yugoslavian yogurt at teatime, and we'll hear it on the radio, and in newspapers (incuding the one that published the story referred to above), and on TV and in magazines and in anonymous e-mails, and from friends, and soon "everyone knows" that Democrats do that. And it will work. It's what they do.So what are we expecting today -- different?
As long as We, the People let this stuff work there is no reason for them to stop.
Never mind the consequences: war, ten trillion dollars in debt, the financial system breaking down, the ice caps melting, people losing pensions and health care and houses and jobs... Look away! Never mind that! Obama tried to force kindergartners to take sex education --- even if he didn't.
Posted by Dave Johnson at September 10, 2008 2:15 PM
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