Given the ludicrous “arguments” conservatives have been bandying about lately, I thought it might be useful to examine the tactics of propaganda — specifically how words like “freedom” and “liberty” can be co-opted to transmit targeted messages to audiences groomed for maximum receptivity.
Though I’m not yet ready to write that essay, I did stumble across a link at Diabologue that looks at some of the ways the public can be primed for inculcation. The article is called “23 Tools To Brainwash and Influence People Through Media.” Most of it is provocative hogwash, but there are some choice nuggets. Again, this list isn’t about Political Power Words, but rather the means through which they can be effectively transmitted via mass media. Remember, the techniques outlined below aren’t party-specific — you can find them being employed by media organizations across the ideological spectrum. I think most of the list is obvious and not terribly tantalizing, but there are a few salient points. (My own commentary is in brackets):
We’ll get offer a more in-depth inspection of culturally-sanctioned Political Power Words and their propagandistic uses in a future post. In the meantime, check out this Chris Matthews interview with Ron Paul supporter William Kostric — the man who carried a gun and a “Blood of Tyrants” banner to President Obama‘s New Hampshire pop-in. While he’s clearly the most intelligent of the bunch, Kostric is eerily similar to political assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, who was also interviewed by TV reporters of his day. Anyway, this staunch individualist seems quite fond of Libertarian-approved placeholder words (and guns, obviously):
As the country song says, “I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.” Yeah, and mentally compromised.