John Kerry, and Obama, have repeatedly claimed the only alternative to the terrible Iran deal is immediate war. This is a very stark, polarized statement that offers a false choice; peace or war. We instinctively know that war is bad and peace is good. The listener is immediately biased towards one of the choices, the Iran deal. This false choice is repeated over and over again, in interviews, advertisements, testimony, etc. Each time it is heard, the listener associates the phrase with feelings and thoughts evoked from the previous iterations; peace is good, war is bad. In this method, a person’s logical mind, which explains there are more choices than the Iran deal or War, can be dulled and over ridden.
To further this process, a negative reinforcement is used; if you are against the Iran deal, you must be a war monger, a supporter of the Iraq war, and an extremist. Combined with the false polarized choice, the Iran deal becomes more appealing. War is bad and we don’t want to be cast out from our social groups. No one wishes to be labeled a war monger or an extremist. Those things are bad too. In a speech recently, Obama said the atolyahs chanting “Death to America” in Iran are on the same side as Republicans. If you oppose this deal, you not only want war, you want the entire nation to be destroyed.
At the very least this can lead to silent opposition to the Iran deal, as those who realize it is terrible are too intimidated by proponent’s demonization to speak out. At most, it leads to an actual conversion of view as it is easier to be told what to think than to engage in honest evaluation of an issue and the facts.
This strategy has been used extensively by the Obama administration to silence debate on issues such as immigration reform, gay marriage, Obamacare, abortion, Bengazi, government debt, EPA regulations, global warming, etc. Listeners can support the administration’s plan or you are an ignorant, right-wing, bigoted, extremist who cannot be reasoned with. If opponents can not be reasoned with, there is no point in engaging with them, or attempting a compromise, they must only be subdued and defeated. More to the point, those suffering from this kind of indoctrination isolate themselves from other opinions, allowing only the reinforcing echo of their position to be heard. This serves to further entrench the dogmatic propaganda, strengthening the actions desired by the controller.
To facilitate indoctrination, politicians must reduce each issue to the “bad choice, good choice” formula; you approve of the Iran deal or you want war, you are for abortion or against women’s health, you are for raising taxes or you are against the poor, you are for gay marriage or you are a backwards bigot, you either support the EPA or are a “climate denier”, etc As an experiment, try to speak out against some of these issues and observe the response. Is it rational with reasoned support for their position? Or is it aggressive with broad characterizations and name calling. If you are able to continue to engage in conversation, present your rational argument and see if your opponent can refute your claims or present rational arguments of their own. If not, they are a victim of propaganda and that is very dangerous.
Liberty and democracy recquire work of its citizens, a willingness to investigate social, political and economic issues, to reason and discuss and debate rationally with both sides. This is a messy process, difficult for politicians to control, which encourages them to simplify the argument. To guard against this the Founding Fathers instituted layers of controls; powerful states that can counter the federal government, interlocking branches of government that can check the power of the others, the right of the people to speak freely (1st Amendment) and bear arms (2nd Amendment), but the greatest check was the limitation of government power itself. Even if all other checks failed, the power of a President would be limited what could be done with that power due to a small government.
Those checks and balances have been removed, eroded, or have failed. The United States is now ripe for tyranny and its beginnings can be seen in the propaganda dominating our television, radio and social media. All that is required for the loss of liberty is for people to abdicate their responsibilities as citizens, keep their heads down, and live their lives. Someone else will fight against tyranny, its not my problem.
Plato once said, “The penalty good men pay for ignorance of public affairs is to be ruled by evil men”