Right Wing Sophistry; Ambush at MSNBC


Lawrence O’Donnell, sitting in for Chris Matthews on Hardball, (which I do not normally watch), let loose onto some US Representative he was interviewing; Rep. John Culberson (R) of the Appropriations CMTE.  Apparently, this Representative thought tough questions should not be asked. You know, as in the manner it is done on liberals on Fox news.

The Rep. did the usual diversionary tactics; going his own way instead of answering questions.  He went on to paint it in conceptually; that unfair to me way the right does if you do not completely agree with them.  Hello.  It’s an interview where you answer questions and not just spout your own plans as the answer.  Seems we are used to softball politics when questioned.

O’Donnell was seemingly perturbed at this guy;  you know, like they do on Fox News to libs.  It seems the host wanted to cut to the chase on all this government is bad and evil in health care that the right is fueling their blowtorches with.  Mr. O’Donnell wanted to know if Rep. Culberson would stand up against the socialist(*) programs of Medicaid and Social Security.  It seems the Rep, although hedging the concepts, would have said yes to them back in the day.

But today, as far as being interviewed?  A new kind of don’t ask so I don’t need to tell. The Reps sense of being abused seemed as tough he was insisting on the way he likes to “answer” questions.  Kinda; Why don’t you like and respect me cause I’m smiling, and just ask me what I want you to?  You’re so unfair!  And again; ‘You don’t know me, so how dare you call me a liar!’

The host was wanting a direct answer on this socialism issue; where this Rep is allegedly–as in agreeing with the anti government health care reform; all about it being all bad, then claiming to be actually for socialism where it is popular.  Seems something is wrong with such ideological dualism as if fuels confusion and propaganda campaigns to induct the naive.

(I have a new respect for Fox news and the grilling of interviewed liberals; without mutual respectful dialogue, certain demands need be expressed to get something like an honest answer.  Otherwise it seems; avoid, avoid, divert attention from questions.  Am I really saying this!  Hurray Fox News!)

Back to this interview I witnessed a half hour ago:

A yes or no was being asked; are you for socialism’s usages as now long manifest in the USA, or against it?  The Rep. went back to his explanations of not quite knowing the history.  But he thought that in the Great Depression some people needed help, seems his father did.  It was not perfectly clear if he thought other people may need help if they are elderly or whatever today?

But then Rep. Culberson did the ad-hominen stuff, kinda like the woman at a health care meeting whom he called his new hero, which had just been played on tape to him on Hardball.  The Rep. accused the MSNBC host of being unfair, of not knowing him, ‘This is why MSNBC is so pathetic and not liked’ as I paraphrased the Rep. again.  Good argument?  Liberals mad=bad, so called apolitical folks saying reforming health care=socialism=good.  So OK to be mad.

It is amazing, how whenever one seems to turn these guys own tables on them, (town hall  attacks dialogue supresing information exchange in the name of free speach), it degenerates to mobish name calling and personality failure “characteristics”.  Why?  Why do the facts on the table disappear and ‘The trouble with you people’ become the focus of consciousness?

Once this was called sophistry, using substitutes for truth in context in argument as if these devises were still legitimate.  In the liberal context our society presumably still exist in, where free speech is allowed, community standards of respect are thrown out and allegedly trumped by propaganda dialectics being directed by right wing media sources.  How quickly some of these so called conservatives become the opposite of what they were just a year or so ago. After all, we do fall for a good bias leading argument, even where many a fact or connecting concept may be intentionally withheld, if it feels good to our ideas proofiness. I am touching it a bit here myself, by using personality and attitude in places as if they were actual fact.  Right wing radio, about 90% of political talk radio, uses this inherent manipulation gimmick/trick most all the time.

And that is the trouble with faith mixed into politics; it ( ones beliefs) seemingly beg to be told what and how one wishes to hear. This moves us out of the present moments relationship context, Its fullness, and overlays ideological lenses as the means of “seeing clearly”.  Some folks know how to turn our ignorance into social, political and economic capital.

Wow!  Now I see so clearly!  It all makes sense!

One can lead and manipulate in darkness by pretending to be the light.  To represent the unabashed truth in context favors no one per say; for It leads us.  Not the kind of insight manipulators nor predators would wish to see, nor have we see.  So divert attention and blame.  Hiding the darkness (ignorance and confusion) with attitude and illusion.

That is how you succeed at getting seniors to be against any government run medicine, when they are on Social Security and or worried if their Medicare is going to be effected by changes.

The power of sophistry? Allows ignorance and confusion to be used against oneself while not knowing it.  To some this represents a kind of winning, of getting their way.  When manipulation succeeds, it is seductive to some.   But when called on it—unfair to me!

But Mr. Rep, the show is called Hardball.  There is perhaps a hint there?

{My take on much of the ideological conflict below}

* Note

On the right, many words, like socialism, tax, government, etc. are used as Thought-terminating clichés.  Hearing some of these folks speaking up at the town hall meetings is often an exercise in a conglomerated list of fears, suspicion and innuendos put out by the right wing propaganda machinery. It is the words tag frame that is directing the question being professed, like “death panels” or “government bureaucrats between you and your doctor”.  Do you really think there are “death panels”? or that there already are not corporate bureaucrats standing between you and your doctor?

It is about using ignorance as political and other capital.

As for “socialism”, most modern societies are highly “socialized”.  We spread many cost across society, socializing them.  We can even say that corporations socialize their cost across society.  They raise prices just as government raises tax, only in government, we presumably have some say. Most societies always were socializing cost one way or another.  human being and the world are all connected, deny it as one wishes to be foolish.  If there is a fire on the hill, liberals and conservatives expect the firefighters to try to put out the fire.  How different is illness and disease? Of no interest to us all?

This is socialism; the cost socialized to society, just like the military, the police.  If I live in a desert, do I then demand my tax money back for firefighting that I do not need?  What kind of people do that? How about; I might never leave the house, so I don’t want to pay for air and water pollution that I am not causing, being it is not just and fair to me? But what do some corporations (funding much right wing media) now do? Tell us how pollution controls by government mandate will make them raise the price on us, so this equals government bad, for government wants to increase your cost of living.  Government detached from yur real life concerns. How typically callus that government is.  Trick delivered.

Most argument on the right is actually differed to selfishness and self centeredness vs those “others”.  Those others, society, whomever, wants to take from you and give to someone else.  This is then perceived as a kind of theft, while ideals of responsibility to common interest, or to consequence of individual actions upon the whole, are erased from the radar.  Usually these intrinsic connections of consequence are replaced with platitudes of individualism’s nobility and honor.  Except, of course!, when corporate or individual behavior gets us in trouble in the world, and with that worlds competing interest.  Suddenly we are to be for protecting our country and way of life together; socialized.  We differ again, to those with money above the average person, yet claim that average person shares the exact interest of the wealthy.  The reverse does not apply!  How convenient to whom?

This is how our common interest regarding The Commons–the connectivity of Life, is manipulated to have us shoot ourselves in the foot for our alleged best interest, usually construed as saving money. Just as the government does not then give you a bill for the helicopter and air dropped fire retardant to save your families home, society would degenerate into infinite islands of the individual versus the world, then having to pay directly for any use for all this to be perceived as exactly “fair”.  This, if we follow this philosophy of self merit to its honest and principled conclusion.

We have common interest as a nation or world, or we think we do not.  For the right wing’s reactionary list for word/concepts cliché diversions, nuance and ambiguity are enemies to “clear” thinking.  This kind of conceptual divide and conquer can let ideology pick apart any common good and reduce it to rubble, if opportunist can get the access to public ignorance and convince us we know. Since money does have more access to free speech, it has a more than equal opportunity to direct attention.  This is what can lead to Democracies downfall.

Enter right wing alienation propaganda, driven by think tank proved wedge on The Commons issue manipulation.  The Pros. know language can convolve most any concept to become the opposite of what it is. Ignore The Commons; ignore global warming, ignore that the cost will be socialized later and likely at much greater cost than prevention. Ignore, bury, then divert attention to buzz word bagged and tagged conceptual lead weights.

Overall, the modern conservative movement seems driven by manipulators with personal interest to gain at the expense of the whole, yet claiming It as their cause.  They would rather have it be; “Your money or your life”, as the operational paradigm, enslaving society to opportunist driven schemes.  And what kind of culture is that? We will hear it proudly proclaimed that this is actually how America and the modern world has succeeded at so much. Behind the chants of “socialist” and, not an American, and all this other baloney; it is the kind of nation the right will deliver if allowed to; corporatism, with theocratic overtones to direct followers spiritual concerns to those that support authoritarian structures.  And all while ranting and railing against just those creations.

I suggest that the modern world has a major accounting being delivered by our environments.  I would suggest that we do things; not because of “you money or your life”, but because we love life, want to live, and do what it seems we must to exist.  This can succeed, and succeed much more fully, being motivated by Love, instead of driven by fear, for that latter falls victim to ignorance, while thinking it is truth.

The subjugation of human interest to commercial interest has rendered much of the worlds population into a population, not only fiddling as Rome (the planet) “burns”, but worried over where the fiddle string replacements will be coming from.  I am not arguing for blind trust of government.  As long as opportunism is a threat to common understanding, in democracies, even the will of the people can be diverted and subverted.  But in a democracy; if you hate government, you by inference, hate all the rest of us, for we are the government by vote.  Back in the day, some conservatives would tell the protesters of the 60’s and 70’s; ‘America, love it or leave it.’  I guess that proclamation was highly conditional.

The Bigger Issue (You know; the deepest one most of us avoid like the plague for as long as possible.)

Unconditional love, on the other hand, is self proved, requiring nothing of ignorance.  It is where true faith in Life can reside, becoming a threat to darkness; those that would use ignorance as capital.  Love is thus spiritual, in the full sense of that word, permeating existence with light, yet visible only to those with open eyes to see.  An open heart is a requirement for eyes to see greater truth and union, otherwise pain can divert attention, attention that can be lost, and so, misdirected.

We each have the spiritual challenge to be in this Love, agents of this Love, or I will likely be an agent of something other.