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Language and Propaganda - an example

 
 
blatham
 
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 10:43 am
Though images can be used in propaganda, the main mode of transmission is language. I'll offer an example here and folks can speak to it if they care to.

Yesterday, Freedom Caucus member from Kansas Tim Huelskamp lost his primary contest to another candidate. He wasn't happy about it and blamed "special interests" for his defeat.

This morning, fellow FC member Jim Jordan of Ohio joined in the complaint.
Quote:
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) released a scathing statement Wednesday morning blasting House GOP leaders for the primary loss of fellow Freedom caucus member Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), a fifth generation farmer who found himself without a job Tuesday night after playing official agitator to his own party's leadership for years.

"At times, Tim’s commitment to fighting for smaller, more accountable government required him to stand up and say no to ‘business as usual’ in Washington," Jordan wrote in the release. "For this, he was punished by the same party insiders and special interests that Republican voters across the country overwhelmingly rejected at the ballot box throughout the presidential nomination process."

..."In an ugly and dishonest campaign, Tim’s record was attacked and misrepresented by big money special interest groups who wanted to exact their revenge," Jordan said.
http://bit.ly/2auAnXC

Let's note right off the bat here that the Freedom Caucus is intimately tied into the Koch network http://bit.ly/2aIPqd7 and that Huselkamp's run was heavily supported, in funding and activism, by the Club for Growth (first link). His winning opponent was funded by another conservative group.

So what to make of the claims re "special interests" and "outside money"?

That's the propaganda line and narrative. Broadly across right wing media now, "special interests" means any contingent of citizens (gays, women, unions, blacks, Latinos, liberals, media entities, etc) that are not aligned with the GOP and the Koch network. White christian conservatives are never, in this framing, described or conceived as a "special interest". If the funding sources arise from, say, the renewable energy sector, that's a "special interest" whereas the petroleum/extraction industries are never framed in the same way.

The goal, of course, is to delegitimize (as unusual, somewhat alien, perhaps un-American) any organized opposition and funding sources which are not aligned with the Koch operations or with the GOP.

When you hear or read "special interests", understand this is very often a propagandist move because of how it is used.

There's nothing wrong with some group of individuals or entities which belief similarly and who might cooperate to achieve sub-community goals (like women's rights). That's inevitable. But the manipulation of language as I've described is propagandist.

Another example I won't get into right now is "identity politics" as it is currently used on the right.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 13 • Views: 9,566 • Replies: 348

 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 11:01 am
@blatham,
Hasn't politics always been "dirty pool?" Everything goes to win.
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 11:25 am
@cicerone imposter,
No. Consider the number of conservatives who are now standing up against Trump.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 11:48 am
@blatham,
Isn't that part of winning? They surely will lose as Trump as their spokesman.
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 11:58 am
@cicerone imposter,
That would be the cynical take. I'm not nearly so cynical.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 12:12 pm
@blatham,
Quote:
Broadly across right wing media now, "special interests" means any contingent of citizens (gays, women, unions, blacks, Latinos, liberals, media entities, etc) that are not aligned with the GOP and the Koch network.


Do you think this is unique to what you are calling the "right wing media"? Can you see the propaganda from your side?

Quote:
She chaired the President’s Task Force on National Health Care Reform—and when the insurance companies and other special interests defeated that effort, Hillary kept fighting.


This is from Hillary Clinton's biography as recounted on hillaryclinton.com. Hillary Clinton is not aligned with the GOP or the Koch network.


0 Replies
 
Blickers
 
  2  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 02:30 pm
I think though, that Blatham is correct in saying that "special interests" is much more often used by right wingers against liberal causes or groups. In fact, cicerone's example of Hillary's using that normally conservative term against the conservatives themselves is an example of the Clinton family's hijacking of conservative language and issues and using it against them successfully.

Another example is Bill's use of language on the abortion issue, that he wanted to make it "safe, legal, and rare". This cut out the conservatives' campaign to characterize it as a spreading evil, (Clinton wants to make it rare, after all), and took advantage of the fact that most Americans, even then, did not want abortion fully out of the picture in all circumstances, (he wanted to make it safe). Of course, the Clintons wanted to make abortion rare by increasing access to and education about contraception, so that unwanted pregnancies would occur much less often. The conservatives wanted to prevent access to both contraception and abortion. But Bill's language did a fast sidestep around that and made the issue a plus for the Democrats.

This might well be the main reason why conservatives have such a deeply felt hatred for the Clintons-their ability to do this.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 02:43 pm
@Blickers,
I think you are indulging your own biases Blickers. I see no objective reason to believe that conservatives rail against "special interests" any more than liberals do. Liberals often obsessively rail against the NRA and the Koch Brothers.

Isn't "hijacking" the language of your opponent (as you accuse the Clintons of doing) an example of a propaganda technique?


0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 02:45 pm
@blatham,
From the Atlantic:
Quote:
At the moment, it looks like most of the Republicans willing to break with Trump have done so. It’s not as if Trump is an unproven quantity; anyone in politics knows what they’re getting. Pundits who are beholden to a party have already said enough is enough, but parties are built to win and back nominees, and so elected officials are largely staying in line. It’s hard to imagine what Trump might do to alienate more Republicans; but then again, it’s hard to imagine what Trump might do.


It would seem like a very simple decision to remove Trump as their leader. Their excuse that they must support their party's leader show very weak
ethics. It insults all veterans and those who gave their lives for this country.

The GOP has a huge problem.
RABEL222
 
  2  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 02:54 pm
@blatham,
Consider the fact they are frightened to death he is destroying their republican party and may be depriving them of their living.
Blickers
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 04:16 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Quote cicerone:
Quote:
It would seem like a very simple decision to remove Trump as their leader.

You should consider starting a thread about that, seriously. I don't think it's that simple. For one thing, the part of the Republican party that did support Trump would be so furious that they screwed Trump out of the nomination that he won fair and square that they would go back to their Klaverns and militia hideouts in the forest and never vote Republican again. That's a big chunk of future Republican support right there that the GOP would be kissing goodbye to.

Second, about a quarter of the states have laws which say that if you hold a primary and send delegates to a convention, those delegates must vote for the person they are pledged to vote for by law. At least on the first ballot. If that happens and then the party two weeks later decides that the winner does not suit them, and so decides to replace him somehow, I wonder if that wouldn't be breaking the law that the elected pledged delegate must vote for the candidate. That is, by making the legally mandated vote irrelevant to the nomination, the party might be breaking the state law. As a result, the new nominee might not be allowed to run on the GOP line at the ballot box.

Just conjecturing here, but I think it might happen that way.
ossobucotemp
 
  2  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 04:18 pm
@Blickers,
I already started one. Just add to it..

http://able2know.org/topic/336487-1
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 04:22 pm
@Blickers,
Quote:
This might well be the main reason why conservatives have such a deeply felt hatred for the Clintons-their ability to do this [use language effectively in political communications].

That's right, I think, but I'd put it this way. Had Clinton been a maladroit politician, they would have had little reason to try and degrade his reputation. But he was the opposite of that, both strategically and as orator. The term "triangulation" still is thrown out as a curse word by the right in descriptions of both Clintons because the strategy worked in his favor. His oratorical skills, which were and remain extraordinary, included effective use of language.
cicerone imposter
 
  2  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 04:23 pm
@blatham,
Bill Clinton has been one of the best orators during my lifetime.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 04:25 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Quote:
It would seem like a very simple decision to remove Trump as their leader. Their excuse that they must support their party's leader show very weak ethics.

They can't remove him now. They have no legal means to do it. The only path is if he drops out. So they are stuck with him. But yes, there still remains the ethical questions of citizens' representatives backing a psychotic out of party/tribal loyalty.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 04:28 pm
@blatham,
They can easily remove him by voting for Hillary. He'll just be another has been.
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 04:30 pm
@RABEL222,
Quote:
Consider the fact they are frightened to death he is destroying their republican party and may be depriving them of their living.

Oh, I do. And it isn't just a matter of them maintaining their seats or their positions on various committees, etc. Because of the way DC works, these guys move in and out of office, consultancies, positions on corporate boards and other such well-paid gigs. To the degree that the GOP falls apart or shrinks in power/influence, to that degree the available positions allowing them to stay in the game and make money, hold status, etc are reduced.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 04:31 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Quote:
They can easily remove him by voting for Hillary. He'll just be another has been.

I gather then that you meant remove the chances he'll gain the WH. If so, sure.
0 Replies
 
ossobucotemp
 
  1  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 04:51 pm
@blatham,
Yes, they do, but not much time, maybe hours.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/08/03/the-rnc-can-legally-dump-donald-trump-but-it-has-to-act-fast.html
blatham
 
  2  
Reply Wed 3 Aug, 2016 08:47 pm
@ossobucotemp,
Seems to me rather dicey to imagine the "otherwise" could be used in this way (as contrasted with, for example, a serious car accident or a stroke, etc). But he's the scholar so I'll take his word for it.

They've obviously been scared as hell of the consequences with a large part of their base up until now. A move like that would tear the party asunder even more than now. Hell of a problem for them and they deserve it.

Thanks for the link, osso.
 

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