There has been a rise of phrases like misinformation, disinformation, and false news lately, which is a manipulation of information. These tactics have been around since the written word has been disseminated. Just search “yellow journalism” or look at the writings and cartoons of colonial America. However, we today are fortunate that we have the ability to be our own fact-checkers. So let us each show them that it will take more to sway us than just a sound bite.
The most effective propaganda is propaganda that the reader already wants to accept. Most news outlets, governments, and politicians are aware of this reality. So, a measure of their sincerity can be taken by not paying attention to the words they use but by the actions they take. Don’t be fooled. The media and politicians undoubtedly have speech writers that have been well-trained and taught what words and tones affect the most influence and many have made a career at being able to “read the wind”. The most perspicacious of them are quick to modify their themes and messaging in order to appease and soothe a crowd, but if they are truly genuine then they will back up their speech with actions. That is what you should watch.
I, like many of you, would like those that could affect the things that govern my daily life to always make the right choice. And when they don’t, whether it’s from ignorance or arrogance really doesn’t matter.
Everyone makes mistakes, so I try, sometimes failingly, to measure the person not by the mistake so much, but rather by how he or she acts to correct their actions. Or, if they just lay the blame somewhere else as it seems to be the case lately. Just admit it and try not to make the same mistake twice.
This is a simple lesson the current crop of swamp inhabitants has yet to learn, even after time has proven the folly of their actions. There seems to be an almost compulsive need to double down and reinforce a failure. I once heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. This not only accurately explains some politicians’ attitudes towards policy, but in some cases, us voters who keep electing them to the same office.
While trying not to devolve into pettiness, we should not allow our elected officials to be forgiven of their actions by a few flowery words. We should not be seduced by them saying what they think we want to hear, for lest we forget their past performance we will suffer the actions again.