Propaganda: a Progressive Tradition

I won’t say that I woke up one morning and realized that everything I ever believed was a lie. In actuality, it took a long string of successive mornings, having spent the previous nights reading, studying, learning the things I was never taught as a youth. My faith comes to mind first, of course. Having been brought up in a world that glorifies greed, lust, and fruitless pursuits, it was both shocking and freeing for me to realize that life was meant to be lived on much simpler and purer terms.

From a political and historical perspective, however, my anxiety level only increased as I learned the truths of our past as well as our present. The lies shoved down our throats on a daily basis are so brazen and rapid fire that we’ve developed immunity and zero desire to even investigate the claims of the liberal left or the media (here’s a hint: you only need to find one lie, then you can properly identify the liar). We truly have come full circle. We cannot rely on the “free press” for our information, and certainly not on our politicians. Even those that claim to be conservative often develop liberal stripes upon entering office.

Am I saying that liberals tend to be less honest that conservatives? Not in their minds. It’s important to remember that liberalism/progressivism shares a common history with socialists and fascists, all of who believed that the utopia they would deliver justified any measure they had to undertake to reach it. Propaganda has long been a favorite tool of the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and the Progressives in the United States. Woodrow Wilson certainly embraced it. Franklin Roosevelt was no stranger, either.

And our current administration? Oh my. The propaganda machine is alive and well. No president since Nixon has kept a tighter grip on the media, bordering on outright paranoia. As I write this, the administration, through the FCC, is attempting to gain tighter control over the internet, the last vestige of true, unhampered free speech. He’s already taken aim at Fox News and conservative talk show hosts, which should be easily sunk by carefully placed regulations and “investigations” by the IRS and FCC. What we’re left with after that is a steady stream of state sponsored media propaganda. But at least the New York Times will regain some of its lost readership. NBC and CNN will get a much needed ratings boost as well.

Is any of this new? Not at all. Under Wilson, you could go to jail for even speaking out against America’s involvement in the war. Even that horrible George Bush didn’t try that. Under FD Roosevelt, you were labeled un-patriotic for not participating in the NRA (National Recovery Administration). One tailor in New York was sentenced to 30 days in jail for charging five cents under the NRA minimum for pressing a suit. What? You don’t remember that from history class? And if you speak out against Obama’s health care plan? Why, you’re a racist, of course. While Obama is not the first to openly ridicule his detractors, he has certainly taken it to a new level. I mean really, to plant your goons in Tea Party rallies with racist signs…really Mr. President? Somehow, I pictured “bringing the country together” in a different light. I had no idea it meant a national smear campaign against anyone who disagrees with you.

Speaking of smear campaigns, I need someone to tell me if another President has openly criticized an entire state for passing a law, then invited a president of a corrupt government to come and help him criticize the hapless citizens of said U.S. state. Perhaps next President Obama can invite Mahmoud Amhadinejad to lecture us on our anti-semitic policies. Oh, wait…we’ve already been a stop on the Iranian President’s speaking tour. We’ll have to wait for the next go ‘round.

Speaking of foreign dictators, did you know that FDR had big fans in Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini? They loved his New Deal. Il Duce even said that FDR was “one of us.” Goshdarnit, I know that’s in my 8th grade history book somewhere. Must have slept through that class (I had an early paper route). I don’t mean to keep painting parallels, but isn’t it odd that Obama has this huge fan base in Germany, France, Spain, and every other European nation that has embraced socialism like a big red teddy bear?

Feel free to chew on that last paragraph for the weekend. I have so much more to write. I know, I’m just one bloggist in the storm. But if enough of us lift our voice, even the giant propaganda machine can’t drown us out. Get loud, my friends. And never back down.