Sunday, September 11, 2016

Repeat After Me

Have you ever heard the story about bacon? Not Kevin Bacon, though, as a person only separated from him by six degrees, I kinda have a man crush on him. (And to be honest, who doesn't?) I'm talking about the salty, delicious, only-good-when-crisp, making a cheap piece of meat expensive by being wrapped in it, and (literal) heart breaker, bacon.

When the folks who make their living selling bacon wanted to increase sales, they took a poll by contacting doctors and asking them “Is it better to eat a hearty breakfast in the morning, or eat nothing?” As would be expected, most doctors said that eating a hearty breakfast was better. The bacon folks reported the results as “Most doctors polled said that a hearty breakfast was good for you, and a hearty breakfast includes bacon.” This got repeated over and over. Then later, when taking a second poll asking people whether or not it was good to eat bacon, most said “yes", because they heard that it was, over and over and over. And this was reported as news. And now you know, as the late Paul Harvey would say, the rest of the story. Bacon is the number one selling breakfast meat.

That is what is sometimes referred to as “polligana". Where polls are used to create “news" and sway public opinion by the very act of repetition.

In a recent interview, former Governor and Presidential candidate Gary Johnson was asked what he would do about Aleppo. His response? “What is Aleppo?”

First off, I want to say that I appreciate the honesty of Johnson. I seriously doubt Clinton or Trump would say they didn't know something. They would spew some political speak that answers the question by not answering it.

(Clinton said "You can look on the map and find Aleppo." Which was a clever thing to say once someone explained to HER what "Aleppo" was!)

This little piece of the interview (stopped JUST before he gave his actual answer - once being told Aleppo was the hotbed of what is happening in Syria) was played over and over in the media and social media networks.

Let me tell you, I'm not uninformed. But by that I don't mean I'm glued to the talking heads on cable news 24/7. Nor does that mean I spend every waking moment reading the same stories copied ad infinitum in every internet news media source. But what it does mean is that I know what is going on in Syria.

But until this interview, I had NEVER heard the word “Aleppo".

Now, if the question to Johnson was what he would do about Syria, he would not have skipped a beat and answered the question. (And you should check out that response – it is a GOOD one!)

Why the obscure question? To trip him up. And that is the only reason to ask the question in that manner.

Well, one other reason: to sway public opinion.

And there is a very good reason to want to sway public opinion against Gary Johnson. You see, according to a poll (yeah, yeah, I know), 62% of Americans want Gary Johnson in the debates. According to the Presidential Debate Commission, he needs to be at 15% in national polls. So, he's in, right? Wrong.

Most of the polls since the primaries started only included two parties: the Republicans and the Democrats (and, now that the primaries are over, only two candidates: Clinton and Trump). There has been very few that mentioned any so-called “third-party" candidates. So, based on repetition, the most bacon-like names are Clinton and Trump. So, when a third or fourth name is tossed in the mix, the number of people selecting someone that is not “bacon" is very few.

Until recently, the Presidential Debate Commission had never needed to explain what that precious 15% meant. Now they say it is an average of 15% based on five polls.

Why is this significant? Because the Presidential Debate Commission is made up of members of the RNC and the DNC. This 15% came about as a protection against any third-party candidate (like Ross Perot) who can “muck up the waters".

The only thing Republicans and Democrats care for is protecting their own. And that is it. Like I've said before, they don't give a rat's ass about what is best for the country, only for what is best for maintaining power. Ever hear of bipartisanship? That is where both Republicans and Democrats get together to cause the least amount of damage to themselves. And where the government is concerned, there is no such thing as nonpartisanship.

So, keeping any voices out that might shake up the bacon bits needs to be quashed. And that happens by repetition. And that happens by having those in the media repeat the desired opinions over and over and over. And those are the desired opinions of the Republicans and Democrats.

I say to hell with the "rules" of the Presidential Debate Commission, and let OTHER voices be heard!

Because we know EXACTLY what they are afraid of.

©Emittravel 2016

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