Like weeds overrunning a garden, the political landscape is being taken over by political weeds. These political weeds include voter suppression, wealthy individuals donating large sums of money to political candidates, the maligning of a political opponent, and propaganda. These weeds flourish because the political stakes have become larger-than-life as evidenced in recent and the present presidential elections.
The catalyst that gives life to the various problems that have tainted the political process is propaganda. It is perhaps the most effective method that politicians use to advance or promote their agenda. In 2004 when John Kerry ran against George Bush, the propaganda use against him was dubbed “Swift Boating.”
Propaganda is the lynchpin of corrupt politics – propaganda is not a rarity in politics; in fact, it is inherent in all political systems. In a Democratic society like in the US, with an abundant source of established news media outlets, you would expect very little political propaganda. This is because politicians would not want to be exposed for any misrepresentation. This is not the case though as Americans have been exposed to more political propaganda than any other time in its history.
In recent blog article, I referred to the propaganda agents as gremlins of propaganda (gop). We have seen the gop (lower case to distinguish them from the Republican Party) in action in their effort to destroy President Obama and currently Hillary Clinton. With the gop establishing their propaganda against President Obama, it was easy for the House Oversight Committee to hold several investigations that all came up empty.
Hilary Clinton is a prime target by the GOP because, she is an obstacle that will prevent the Republicans winning the White House. The GOP and /or their operatives apparently are not willing to contest the White House with her through the normal democratic process – an election. So they have decided to use similar tactics used against the president by holding several Benghazi hearings. With that failing to produce the desired results her e-mails on her private server is the new effort to get her.
Why political propaganda is accepted as truth –– prior to cable television and the Internet, politicians did not have the rapid mass communication technology we have today. The old analog television and radio that existed decades ago were not so effective in disseminating political propaganda and their broadcast format did not allow that. They reported political news with journalistic integrity or at least with fewer opportunities for propaganda. That all changed with technology in telecommunications making rapid advancement, to give us cable TV, satellite radio, and the internet.
With cable TV like Fox TV News, MSNBC, and CNN that dedicate a lot of airtime to politics using different formats (talk shows, guest contributors, and news with commentators) we get a blend of news that allows propaganda to flourish. This is more evidenced with Fox News who promotes the conservative agenda in a jingoistic manner. Because Fox TV has a large following and is a major TV network, their viewers accept their propaganda as facts.
Propaganda is not the only component of corrupt politics – propaganda by itself though is not responsible for politics in the US becoming more corrupt and divisive. The formula below shows other elements that contributed to the escalation of corrupt politics.
Propaganda + racism + campaign donation = corrupt politics
While most people will have little problem with the propaganda and campaign donation component of this formula, the racism component is a different matter. With America’s long history of racism that touches every facet of social life, it is not a surprise that it has an affinity for politics. With the exception of Jim Crow racism era, its presence in politics is for the most part subtle. This is no longer true though as starting with the 2008 election of Barack Obama as the first African American President, racism or racial incidents have become more frequent and blatant in politics.
Those who dislike President Obama will tell you that it’s not about his race but about his policies. It is hard to understand exactly what specific policies or agenda the president has implemented that has caused him to be so hated. This president took over the country when its economy was on the brink of collapse. His bold initiative to bail out the auto industry was condemned by the GOP, but it turned out to be a positivist strategy.
President Obama is not perfect, but for his detractors to suggest that he is taking the country down the wrong path is sheer propaganda. The propaganda includes comments like “he is weak” and “he is incompetent.” There is an obvious bias in all of this, because he gets no credit for accomplishments like the decision that killed Osama bin Laden, killing more terrorists with drone attacks, ending the war in Iraq, and implementing the first health care system. What is extraordinary about these and other accomplishments is that he made them in a climate of total obstructionism.
If you are still skeptical about racism being a factor in the crusade against President Obama, then maybe some examples will convince you. Let’s start with prominent people like John Sununu who used stereotypes to describe the president as lazy during 2012 presidential election; Rep. Joe Wilson who yelled out “You lie” as the president addressed congress; and Ted Nugent who made vile comments about the president that included calling him a “subhuman mongrel.”
If you are still not convinced, then go to the internet and do a Google search on “President Obama AND racist cartoons” and you will see unbelievable racist caricature of the president. And on various social media the racism knows no limit. One Facebook poster who lives in my neighborhood regularly refers to the president as the “Sambo in the White House.” When the president opened a Twitter account last year, he was greeted with a stream of racist vitriol.
Despite the overwhelming evidence that shows that racism is the driving force for the anti-Obama crusade, there are those who deny this. The reason for the denial relates to the effectiveness of conservative radio and cable TV promoting propaganda. If it were simply up to the GOP politicians to demonize the President by propaganda, they would not have been effective in doing so. What has helped them is the mass communication that is provided by Fox TV News.
Is Fox TV News a bastion of political propaganda or truth? – it is no secret that Fox TV News promotes the conservative agenda. Their political tone is strongly anti-Obama is not a secret. The TV network via its popular talk shows – The Factor and Hannity Live – and news reports have criticized President Obama at every step he makes. In effect, Fox has become a mouthpiece for promoting the GOP’s propaganda and they have been very effective in this role. Being a major TV network, with a large white conservative audience, Fox has managed to make themselves credible to their audience.
The GOP politicians are well seasoned in the propaganda they use against President Obama. They have been doing it for almost 8 years with the help of Fox TV news and other conservative media. Because they have learned this game so well, they are not afraid to use it to damage their opponents like the president. That is why they have trashed President Obama, demonstrated their disrespect and hatred for him (e.g., Gov. Christie’s “kick his rear end out of the White House” comment), and Donald Trump inferences that he is incompetent and stupid.
The politics of propaganda, racism, and campaign donation only serves to undermine the democratic process and further push America down the slippery slope of corruption and divisiveness. The only way to stop this destructive trend is for Americans to reject the corrupting elements that have become a cancer in politics. Americans must stand resolute and not let fear, propaganda, and racism influence them to accept negative behavior that corrupts the political process and undermine democracy.
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