Thursday, August 26, 2010


How ignorant can we get?

The half-truths and innuendo put out by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and the other purveyors of false information increases our ignorance rather than our intellect. The Reverend Franklin Graham, the son of the Billy, is in the spreading untruths arena pandering to Christian ignorance. What have we become?

We are a gullible people. We are a lazy people. We'd rather believe what we want to believe even if it is not true. We are OK with what might be true especially if it fits within our prejudices. We don't take the time to check facts or even question the absurdity of an insinuation.

Believing anything anybody with a bully pulpit says without using your own gift of discernment is an affront to common sense.

We have a history of being manipulated.

George Creel was an old-fashioned Mississippi newspaper editor. Rugged, sometimes radical, but a man President Woodrow Wilson liked and trusted. That made Creel the President's choice for a job never done before.

When America entered World War One, the public was divided. To win public approval President Wilson needed unity, enthusiasm, and a lust for enemy blood.

Creel was named to head a committee of public information. It was his job to shape public opinion for winning the war. Creel managed the war news. It had never been done before.

There was a little domestic propaganda during the Civil War and some excitement came from sensation seeking newspapers during the Spanish-American war. It took George Creel to invent modern public relations, and until he did it, no one thought it possible for a central government to control the emotions of its citizens without force.

Creel created the Uncle Sam poster that says, " I want you." It's still in use today. He rallied school children to donate dimes for a warship and he selected a preacher for the House of Representatives who prayed against the "wolfish Hun whose fangs drip with blood" and he had propaganda movies made showing the Germans plundering Belgium.

Creel and his team shaped history. It was only after the war that people saw the questionable use of such tactics. Public manipulation was loosed from Pandora's box and truth would never be that simple again.

It worked again in Iraq with "weapons of mass destruction."

The government learned it well, but "We The People" have forgotten to question, to verify and to demand accountability.

1 comment:

Topher08 said...

I argue the point with friends, colleagues, and adversaries that it is good and just to be on opposing sides of issues, just as long as you know why you are on the side you are on. Your points today about society being “lazy” are accurate and alarmingly true. It never ceases to amaze me to ask someone about why they support an issue. When doing just that, I have received some grand and idiotic glares or, in some instances, I have received the response of “Pastor said so” or “Because Rush said so, or the paper said so, or Channel X said it was true.”

People, in general, do not want to take the time to research an issue, to truly examine the relevance of the issue to their station in life, and then choose a side based on their earned knowledge. That is especially sad in this age of technological advancement we live in where all types of information, albeit some more credible than others, are within our grasp within minutes of typing in any subject we so choose to find.

I do believe that it is healthy and very much necessary to have varying and differing beliefs, thoughts, opinions, and disagreements about each in our country, with the opinions of these thoughts, beliefs, and opinions being based on some valid research, practical knowledge, and self-experienced insight pertaining to personal relevance. It is just as unhealthy and counterproductive to have whole communities and societies (as we do today in mega churches and those who are guided by News and Media Markets of questionable integrity) who are mislead by, as you put it, “the bully pulpit.”

We do have a freedom of choice in the great USA, however, I don't think our forefathers meant us as a citizenry to be blindly lead by those who shout from the highest roof tops with the loudest bullhorns.

As always, thank you for your musings and opinions. Have a good day and a great weekend.

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