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peggysue2's Journal
peggysue2's Journal
April 29, 2022

Have We Discussed the Democratic Senate Debate in Carlisle, PA?

I recall an OP on the Republican debate but thought the lack of discussion on the Democratic side was . . . strange.

I watched the debate in its entirety. The debate was held on Monday night at Dickinson College in Carlisle. In addition to Fetterman, Lamb and Kenyatta, Jenkintown Borough Councilwoman Alex Khalil was on the debate stage.

At the end, my first reaction was that Malcolm Kenyatta is a very good debater. He's sharp, clear and didn't miss a beat. He doesn't stand a chance in hell in this race but clearly is a strong voice for the future.

Up front, I'd say Kenyatta won the debate.

John Fetterman (of whom I'm a fan) was on the defensive most the night. As the frontrunner, he's a big target (in more ways than one ). What became obvious was that the debate forum is not Fetterman's forte. He looked uncomfortable for most of the debate and that affected his performance. His responses need to be sharper, cleaner, less vague.

He was, for instance, on point about reproductive rights being sacred, a litmus test for any and all judges. The moderator reacted to that answer and asked if the other participants agreed. Everyone said yes and repeated the once boogie-man phrase 'litmus test.' In that moment, John Fetterman had control of the stage.

But then, not so much in answering to the 2013 jogger incident. Kenyatta hammered Fetterman on that issue and in a way did the man a favor (at least, I hope so). It underscores the need for Fetterman to put this issue to bed, defuse it, before the Republicans attempt to crucify him. And they will try just that.

Conor Lamb, not unsurprisingly, gave a polished, poised performance. His main argument is that he's the more electable candidate, safe, middle-of-the-road, appealing to swing voters although he's somewhat defensive being reminded of that. He, too, went after Fetterman but not with the vigor or delight of Kenyatta.

And then, there was Councilwoman Khalil who reminded me of my favorite aunt. Very amicable, passionate, a bit frantic in some of her answers but genuine in her democratic values. Also kind, a virtue too often overlooked. Alex Kahlil is someone I could easily be friends with.

I suspect few saw this debate. I managed to catch it on C-span and it didn't start until 9:30 pm.

I really, really want John Fetterman to improve his debate skills, let himself go and come across as the man so many voters have responded to, the man we see at his rallies.

He does that? He'll win in a landslide.

April 1, 2022

The Power of Propaganda

Americans have had a taste of propaganda’s strong lure, seen the devastating effects on our body politic and discourse. Many of us have experienced family members being drawn into the circles of disinformation where no manner of reasoning or logic can make a dent. Too frequently, anger and frustration are the only winners in these endless debates.

So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that a rift in Russian families has been reported over the recent war/special military operation in Ukraine. Think Fox News on steroids, a constant barrage of disinformation from . . . everywhere over the course of a lifetime.

The Daily Beast has an article up today on the subject (sorry it’s behind a paywall). I found it interesting because it sounds so familiar—these splits between family members, parents disavowing their kids for uncomfortable ideas or speaking out against Putin on social media. Here’s a two-paragraph sample:

Even the most loving and tight knit Russian families are having painful fights over the war in Ukraine. Anna Zekria, a 42-year-old photo curator, told The Daily Beast she has always had healthy discussions with her 74-year-old father about political issues in Russia in the past.

But this time around, things were drastically different. “My father has always respected my political views, I am not even sure what happened. It was a sudden change,” Zekriya told The Daily Beast on Thursday. “My father is trying to convince me and my brother that geopolitics are more complicated than we know, that ‘Putin had no choice but to invade Ukraine,’ that ‘Nazis run Ukraine.’”

There’s another story about a young biracial man, now living in France, whose Russian mother raised him as a single mother and ‘always had his back.’ This is an educated woman, a linguist. No matter. She idolizes Putin, was mad as hell when the son refused to vote for the man in the last election. They managed to patch over that dispute. But now, the son’s distaste for a senseless war has irrevocably broken the relationship.

“You are no longer my son,” the mother said.

The power of propaganda can destroy families and friendships. Americans have yet to find an antidote for our own tidal wave of Qanon fantasies, white nationalist fervor, Trumpism, religious intolerance, racial bigotry, etc. Bothsiderism, whataboutism are off-shoots in the propaganda wars, techniques used by our own media, presumably for ‘balance.’

If everyone does it then it’s no biggie, right?

Using the Russian example where reportedly 83% of the population support Putin during this unprovoked invasion,


it behooves Americans supporting democratic institutions to find/use effective anti-propaganda tools before the endless lies win on our own soil.

Yes, right here in the good ole USA.

A good portion of America fell for the propagandized debacles in the Mideast, blood and treasure spilled in all the wrong places. The tentacles of that propaganda machine, now fine-tuned, have spread throughout the American ether. Putin may be the master of propaganda, but those who would reshape America in their own image or that of their favorite autocrat are catching up.

The Ukrainian war has offered a stark example of how powerful the tools of propaganda truly are. Zelenskyy has certainly won the world-wide information war zeroing in on Putin’s misinformation, rallying his own citizens to the cause of independence and democratic rule. The man has inspired millions around the globe with his transparency, courage and resilience.

But Putin has also won a propaganda war with most Russian citizens by closing off criticism and dissent, jailing protestors and disappearing any and all dissenters/activists using the hard fist of fear, intimidation. Projection, deception, deflection, gross hyperbole and/or gas-lighting have been used to great effect. The most recent gaslighting I’ve read? Ukraine is now ‘Biden’s War.’

Is there any better example of which country you’d rather live in? Is there any better contrast between a striving (though struggling) free society and a dystopian-like nightmare of a country?

I know what my answers are.

Oh, and btw? We have elections coming up.

Profile Information

Name: Peg
Gender: Female
Hometown: New Jersey
Home country: USA
Current location: Wilmington, DE
Member since: Sat Feb 6, 2016, 07:31 PM
Number of posts: 10,484

About peggysue2

Retired writer/editor, avid reader, political junkie, Mom to grown kids and endlessly kid-like puppies and Nan to our sweet Cassandra.

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