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Old 06-23-2005, 06:32 PM
nohope187 nohope187 is offline
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Default Sheeple Bending Under Pressure from the State

By: Jim Moore
A headline in our local newspaper caught my eye and I couldn’t put the paper down until I read the article. The writer was Mathew Miller of the New York Times and his headline read: “Is the art of political persuasion dead in this country?”
Naturally, curiosity won the battle over indifference, and I read the article. I’m glad I did because Miller’s question was followed by another question, equally intriguing: “Is it possible in America today to convince anyone of anything he doesn’t already believe?”
To which I say, it’s not only possible, it’s a pushover. And it really doesn’t matter whether you believe the idea in question or not.
I’m convinced of that in spite of the examples Miller uses to prove his point, to wit: “Ninety percent of political conversation amounts to dueling ‘talking points’. Best selling books reinforce what folks thought when they bought them. Talk radio and opinion journals preach to the converted.” And, of course, political writers are singing to the choir.
All that would be true if we were dealing with typical blowhard politicos with inflated egos, who have personal agendas to push and will use every trick in the foot-dazzle manual to make you see things his way.
We used to call that “politics as usual”: you either swallow his bafflegab and take the consequences of your choice, or mentally tell him to “shove off” and go about your business. For all the phony falderal, there’s seldom any real harm done.
But the whole political picture takes on a sinister view when people begin to realize that the “politics as usual” security blanket they once had has turned into a terrifying shroud that portends the end of their liberty and the death of their freedoms.
Miller says, “Persuasion just isn’t relevant to winning elections or increasing audiences. Polls have it figured out that to get votes you don’t need to change minds.”
What Miller doesn’t tell us is–Why.
So I’ll give it a shot. Today’s political leaders don’t need to persuade anybody of anything, or change anybody’s mind, because the creative art of persuasion has morphed into the deadly force of political pressure.
We no longer need to be persuaded to do anything. More and more, we either do what we are told to do--- or it’s our job, our reputation, our assets, or maybe even our life.
“When habits of persuasion are buried,” posits Miller, “the possibilities of leadership are interred as well.”
That may have been true 20 or 30 years ago when politics was merely a slick, but relatively benign, way of wooing the electorate to accept certain ideas. Today, however, is a different story. Today’s politics isn’t simply down and dirty anymore.
Now it’s down, dirty, and dangerous.
“The resurrection of persuasion,” says Miller, “won’t be easy.”
That’s understated. The resurrection of persuasion will not be just difficult, it will be impossible, because politicians have already turned the art of political persuasion into a force of political pressure. As a matter of fact, today, political persuasion is no longer an art but pressure of the worst kind. What to do, what to read, what to say,, what to accept, even what to think, is decided for you.
Think not? You didn’t need to be sold that the Patriot Act is a good thing, you were pressured into thinking it is—even as it was stealing some of your personal freedoms. You didn’t need to be persuaded that war with Iraq was necessary, you were pressured into accepting the idea, whether it was true or not. You weren’t persuaded that our war dead and mounting cost of war were justified, you were pressured into thinking they were, even if they aren’t.
Let’s get even more to the point.
You didn’t need persuading that Saddam Hussein had to be taken out, your president pushed the idea and you accepted it. You didn’t need to be persuaded that we went to war with Iraq to make it a democracy, your president made that clear and you didn’t question it. You didn’t have to be sold on the idea that our job is to make Christians out of Muslims, your president fed you that line and you swallowed it. You needed no persuasion to believe that God talks to your president, he said so and you bought it.
Proof that a little political pressure can go a long way.
The war-making neoconservatives in this administration who are responsible for our disastrous foreign policy make no bones about their objective. They want the “new America” to give up its sovereignty, ignore its Constitution, multi-culture itself into a Third World status, and become part of the Global Family.
And they don’t have to persuade you to accept this insane idea. Because, with political persuasion a lost art---- having been replaced by the force of political pressure---- all you have to do is what you've done in the past: walk the political plank, and smile as you go under.
But not me. I can be persuaded by logic, facts, and evidence. But here’s one guy you don’t want to pressure.

So pardon me while I burst into flames.
I\'ve had enough of the world and it\'s people\'s mindless games.
So pardon me while I burn, and rise above the flame. Pardon me, pardon me, I\'ll never be the same. -Brandon Boyd
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