I recently came to a realization. The conservative talking heads are doing us a favor, as long as we can be thoughtful and receive the underlying, subtle messages.
Recently, I mused upon the strange reduction that one of them was proposing about the rate of disease. It went like this: USA had 188,000 deaths, from which the talking head identified that of those 188,000, the deduced rate of death that could not be charged to an underlying condition reduced the count to around 9,000 deaths due to the virus alone.
I concluded the talking head was willing to adopt a eugenic attitude by accepting a higher rate of mortality than that adopted by medical professionals (who are, like all physicians on the planet, under oath to preserve life and do no harm) and let the Americans with underlying conditions die. I concluded that this eugenicist approach was similar enough to a practical eugenicist (a madman) from the middle of the last century. We might consider being very wary of adopting a eugenic attitude in opposition to the better judgment of medical professionals.
This week, I mused on another talking head’s railing against antifa, a group that cannot be pinned down or even made to truly exist, except in the imagination. However, if it does exist, it must be indeed a highly principled group. Again, in the middle of the last century, the same eugenicist from the discussion above convinced an entire country to adopt a fascist political existence, and a few other countries followed along. USA expended great blood and treasure defeating those countries, and USA is believed to have “saved the world from fascism.” So, is being against fascism now, in 2020, somehow NOT an American ideal? Antifa — the resistance to fascism – is being demonized where the principle (fight fascism) is obviously an admirable one. I cannot tell if the polemics are an endorsement of fascism, or a test of the acceptance of it, or maybe just a way of stifling opposition to it. I take it as a blaring klaxon.
These two instances of observed descent to adoption of un-American principles are worrisome, especially when the unwary adopt the memes presented by the talking heads. Plenty of regular citizens participate by repeating these views, perhaps unwary of the potential hazards. If purposeful, so much more concerning.
It is almost as if these talking heads are testing a propaganda machine, and the vulnerability of some people to its machinations. Or maybe they’re making us aware that if we are willing to adopt the machine, adopt the propaganda, their network is willing to be propaganda’s central cog. That, as they say, is “good business sense.”
This same source of news, classically conservative and previously willing to “support the president” has recently been less supportive, openly critical, and has been derided by the president. That is the third lesson. Despots and authoritarians and autocrats need to stifle opposition of all forms, and to cause the rise of a police state to maintain power. Thus, “support the police” also plays into this dynamic, and against citizens and democracy.
We will have see how many truly do “drink the Kool-Aid” when we vote in a few weeks.
Be very wary of any and every politician who goes along or propagates any or all of these.
As the Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller concluded, “Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.”