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Fri Jun 9, 2017, 01:22 PM

How we got here, and what do we do about it?

The Russians waged information war on the US election, and had considerable success. However, I don't think they would have succeeded as much as they did unless a segment of society was susceptible to the messages they used. Here are some thoughts on why they were so vulnerable to the Russian/Trump message.

To be as fair as possible (?) to Trump's voters, they have been subjected to relentless brainwashing through AM radio and other media for a generation and a half now. The brainwashing is a form of the technique called "psychic driving" developed by Dr. Ewan Cameron for the MK Ultra program in the 1950s and 60s. It 's a very simple technique that involves relentless exposure to a single repeated message or theme. Success depends on there being no counterbalancing information available to the subject.

There is an arc that runs from the Powell Memo of 1971, through the co-opting of public discourse by business interests, the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine, media consolidation, the rise of monolithic right-wing AM radio networks, and finally to the Citizens United ruling. That set of interlocking events created the necessary information bubble, and plowed and fertilized the social soil in which the malignant seed of Trumpism germinated and flourished.

I think the social damage can be undone, but it will require a wholesale reset of laws governing business, the media and politics. If that can be accomplished - which is a tall order on its own - and a deprogramming effort instituted, then a generation and a half later some semblance of sanity may return.

Once the immediate problem of Trump has been resolved, we are still left with a society in which a large number of people appear to have deeply flawed perceptions of reality. Where do we start to fix the broken pieces of our society?

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Reply How we got here, and what do we do about it? (Original post)
The_jackalope Jun 2017 OP
kimbutgar Jun 2017 #1
Oden Jun 2017 #2
The_jackalope Jun 2017 #3
kentuck Jun 2017 #4
The_jackalope Jun 2017 #6
hurple Jun 2017 #10
ymetca Jun 2017 #5
The_jackalope Jun 2017 #7
Thirties Child Jun 2017 #8
hurple Jun 2017 #9

Response to The_jackalope (Original post)

Fri Jun 9, 2017, 01:46 PM

1. My husband works with a guy that is so brainwashed it is scary

He has been experiencing a long commute from San Francisco out to the suburbs for 20 years. 1-2 hour commute in the am and 2-3 hours in evening. Nobody but rush, levin, savage and hannity on the radio. He is almost insane in his beliefs it's is scary. I tell my husband stay away from him he is so far gone. But my liberal hubby likes to poke at him pointing out his crazy right wing ideas. This is a guy who if he walked down a street in a red area he would be scooped up by ICE because he is such a Mexican looking guy. I think a klansmen would go after him in a heartbeat.

I actually think his brain has been reprogrammed and it is seared in his pre frontal cortex.

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Response to The_jackalope (Original post)

Fri Jun 9, 2017, 01:52 PM

2. Trumpsters

I've been thinking about this problem and we are indeed in deep water. Conservatives have enlarged Amygdala which makes them more motivated by fear. Because of this they are easily prayed upon by psychopaths, con men and women and totalitarian types. In addition to this they seem to lack the ability to reason and use logic when making decisions, note our complaint about them being impervious to facts. Couple this with constant propaganda from the conservative media and Russian exploitation of it and you have a very dangerous stew.

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Response to Oden (Reply #2)

Fri Jun 9, 2017, 01:58 PM

3. Have you read Bob Altemeyer's book "The Authoritarians"?

It speaks to this issue as well.

https://theauthoritarians.org/

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Response to The_jackalope (Original post)

Fri Jun 9, 2017, 02:03 PM

4. It's not just their exposure to right-wing media...

It is their exposure to hatred for anything and everything "liberal". "Liberals" are more hated and more dangerous than Russian influence or Russian propaganda. If they must choose between Russian influence and "liberal" viewpoints, they will choose the Russian propaganda.

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Response to kentuck (Reply #4)

Fri Jun 9, 2017, 02:14 PM

6. The Russian propaganda is "liberals are hateful and dangerous"

That's what made it so insidious - it camouflaged itself as propaganda they had already accepted. They never suspected a Russian influence.

The Russian effort simply leveraged conditions and attitudes that were already in place. That's why this isn't a "Russian interference" problem so much as an American social breakdown. It will be here long after Trump and the Russian influences are gone. Until the breakdown is repaired, our society will be vulnerable to such Trojan Horse attacks.

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Response to The_jackalope (Reply #6)

Fri Jun 9, 2017, 03:15 PM

10. right

And the LOUDEST part of the repeating message from conservative media for the past 50 years has been "LIBERALS ARE BAD!" in some form or another. We're anti-family, unpatriotic, anti-religion... whatever.

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Response to The_jackalope (Original post)


Response to ymetca (Reply #5)

Fri Jun 9, 2017, 02:32 PM

7. I've thought about Teilhard too, especially his "Omega Point" idea

As you say, it's a great dream. The net is the closest we've gotten to a noosphere, but it looks like no matter how close we get we'll still be naked apes. That's simultaneously our glory and our downfall.

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Response to The_jackalope (Original post)

Fri Jun 9, 2017, 02:56 PM

8. My son, the long-distance truck driver, called yesterday afternoon to ask

...called to ask why all the other drivers at the truck stop were cursing "the damn liberals". They had to be talking about the Comey hearing. Comey a damn liberal? The Republican senators damn liberals? I grew up with those kind of people, in fact was raised by them. I know them well, and as far as I can tell, they aren't going to change.

Because I knew so many of them so well and saw good in them, I hesitate to use the word deplorable. I think their deplorability is due not to evil but to ignorance, a large amygdala, a lack of curiosity and a lack of exposure.

When we lived in New Mexico, we had a neighbor, probably in his late 70s, who cursed not the damn liberals, but the damn Commies. This was ca 2010 and he apparently hadn't gotten the message that it was now the damn Muslims. Everything about him screamed Trump voter, and he must be tied in knots over Trump and the Russians.

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Response to The_jackalope (Original post)

Fri Jun 9, 2017, 03:10 PM

9. This is good

And you are absolutely correct in the cause.

The solution, however, is a pipe dream. Ain't gonna happen. Not until the very people benefiting from the continuous repetition of the message are driven out of office, which won't happen so long as the message is being continuously repeated to the voters, which is going to continue because those benefiting know they're benefiting and won't let it stop.

It's a serious Catch-22.

The only thing that will wake them up is to let them hit rock bottom, then stage an intervention... just like with an addict.

Which they are.

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