Well, maybe not you personally; but, the American people and much of the world are. And the manipulation, sometimes subtle and sometimes not, has been going on in our country since the Woodrow Wilson administration.
There are 2 basic root causes: Not becoming sufficiently educated on what is really going on around you and failing to follow the Golden Rule ("Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.").
What the heck am I talking about?
I'm talking about the actions and strategies of the progressive political movement.
Before proceeding, two statements:
1. Let me be clear here, I am NOT talking about Liberals, I AM talking about progressives. They are two different entities.
2. Of COURSE we all are entitled to our opinions - independent of how educated or ill informed the basis for our opinions are.
With that said, let me proceed.
We are being manipulated by a combination of actions by our courts, our own government, our willingness to accept what we hear without doing our homework, and our failing to follow the Golden Rule. This manipulation, actually being allowed by us, is contributing to the fall of respect for Americe across the globe.
I'll explain - with examples.
The progressives' game plan, from the beginning has used the strategy of "Divide and Rule" - an age old and very successful tactic.
If they can divide us so that animosity builds amongst the people, it is much easier to gain political control. It's the mantra of every socialistic nation that has ever existed. And, to date none has been successful in the long run. Note: a few smaller nations have had some success with being socialist - but not totally. But, when scaled up to larger nations, it has always failed.
And, as a refresher, what's the definition of insanity? Repeating something over and over expecting different results. So, why does our government keep on trying things that haven't ever worked? Perhaps this is why many feel that this is one reason our government is broken.
What are some examples of the "tools" used to manipulate us?
Let's start with Vladimir Lenin's famous quote: "A lie told often enough becomes the truth."
A by-product of this statement is that, over time, perception becomes the truth. When that happens we are in deep trouble.
Want an example? How about "Global Warming" - or, as its new title states "Climate Change".
Reading the news these days, you will be accosted with headlines such as:
An article identifying the whole concept as a hoax.
An article indicating that we might be heading to a mini-ice age shortly.
And, via misdirections, the Global Warming issue has been conflated with the "do not destroy the enviornment" mantra. Not even those who think Global Warming caused by humans is a hoax wish harm to our environment. But, you would not get that from news reports to the contrary. Thus, climate change deniers are castigated widely just because their opinions don't meet those deemed "OK" by the government and the progressive leaning press.
Marry the above with the administration trying to force upon us "Carbon Taxes".
This seems to be nothing but a way to effect greater control over private business and bring more $$$ to the government.
But, more importantly the whole discussion of global warming tends to divide the American public into 2 camps - those who think it's real and those that don't.
The very fact that Global Warming can NOT be proven to be caused by humans and that the government is telling us that it can, makes the government's claim a lie - pure and simple.
Expressing doubt of the government's assertion on this will present you with ridicule and even loss of a job.
Again, "A lie told often enough becomes the truth."
Now, let's move to my next example, the progressives' most subtle tool yet - the "bible" of the progressive movement, Political Correctness (PC).
When I started this I mentioned that everyone is entitled to their opinion. Well, apparently, independent of our 1st Amendment, expressing one's opinion may not work so well these days.
The most blatant example of PC is the use of the word "racist". You hear it so often in the news these days that one can become unsensitized to its true meaning.
If someone calls Al Sharpton a tax dodger or a hate monger, that person is immediately called a "racist". If someone disagrees with the current president, that person is immediately called a "racist". If someone offers that the current president lies, that person is immediately called a "racist". Remember, with PC facts have no bearing, it's only the perception that matters.
The use of the term "racist" is even applied when race is not even the appropriate word.
Take for example Donald Trump's announcement to run for president. He made statements relative to the illegal immigrants coming across our Southern border. He indicated that some of those illegally coming across our border were rapists, murderers, and the like. It did not matter that his statements were accurate, he was called a racist for his statements. The last time I looked being from Mexico, Central America, or South America did not constitute a "race" - it's only a geographic area. It's as if the only word progressives can come up with is racist
If any kind of fairness or accuracy were at play, one should assume that if a statement has sufficient evidence of fact to support it, that name calling would not be tolerated. That there is evidence that Al Sharpton is a "tax dodger", or that he does engage in hate mongering, or that the current president does lie, does not constitute racism - it offers truth until proven otherwise.
Calling "a" person names or disagreeing with "a" person does NOT constitute racism. Denigrating an entire race of peoples is racist. But, the use of PC allows progressives to advance their agenda - their agenda of Divide and Rule, their agenda of misleading and misdirection, and their agenda of manipulation.
Here's a way to spot PC merely at a glance.
"Person A" does or says something with which "Person B" disagrees. If "Person B" ONLY attacks "Person A" with calling them a racist (or other such), then PC is at work. If, however, "Person B" offers a well structured, fact based agrument against the saying or action of "Person A", without name calling, then this is an appropriate response.
So, how do the courts factor into all this PC stuff?
Everybody knows, or should know, of the case involving the baker who is being put out of business for not desiring to bake a cake for a gay couple's wedding. They had no issue with serving the couple before; but, they did not want to give support to the ceremony due to their faith. (For stories on this, Click Here and Click Here.)
Personally, I truly believe a business should be free to serve - or not serve - anyone fitting their desires, belief systems, or business model - however noble or repugnant those may be. The "Marketplace" will decide their fate. They will either prosper of fail.
That is the nature of business.
In the above case and others like it, personally I wouldn't care who the persons were, what they believed in, what lifestyle they chose, or their ethinicity. I would be running a business to generate profit. And, more customers equal more sales which equal more profit. But, perhaps that's just me.
Using the "Commerce Clause" of our Constitution, in part as justification, the courts have consistently ruled that a business is NOT free to serve who they wish. And I do understand that discrimination is not - and shouldn't be - viable in our Nation. However, consistency should be - as equality under the law demands consistency. As I proceed, remember that last sentence.
For clarity, here is the "Commerce Clause" in its entirety (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the US Constitution): "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes." That's it, nothing more.
Progressive leaning courts have changed the original meaning of this clause into something else entirely. Upon its adoption, this clause was meant ONLY to "regulate" - or, to ensure that States could not impose tarriffs for interstate movement of goods .
In fact, the original view of this clause was that it was "a modest little power." Also, the word "regulate" did NOT mean the right to "prohibit". But, over time it has evolved, via government overreach, into one of the most powerful clauses in our Constitution,
There's a related news article (today - 06.28.2015) about this guy who went to Walmart to have a cake baked that looked like this:
The next day this same guy shows up at the same Walmart and asks that they bake another cake for him. They readily agreed. Here's a picture of the resultant cake:
I would LOVE to see how the courts react to this one.
If one believes the Confererate Flag is a symbol of racism, one does not understand history. Of course, via the "If you tell a lie often enough it becomes the truth", over time people have been led to believe otherwise. And, via PC, some people are just out to quelch freedoms - because of ignorance.
Consider: slavery legally existed in this country before AND after the Confederate flag held any official standing by anyone (i.e., during the Civil War).
If one believes that the ISIS Flag is NOT about hate & racism, one does not know current events. And, in fact, throughout the Muslim world slavery is alive and well today.
From my prior statement it should be clear that I feel both the "baker" and Walmart should have the right to refuse the respective business opportunities. But, consistency should dictate that either both have the right or neither has the right. One must not have it both ways just to satisfy political correctness.
In my reading of the US Constitution I can not find ANYTHING that requires (or gives the right to) the government, including The Supreme Court, to adjudicate laws based on the changing mores of our Nation as it evolves. Or, as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia (on the US Constitution) remarked: “The Constitution is not a living organism for Pete’s sake. It’s a law. It means what it meant when it was adopted." His remarks were made at the at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., on March 14, 2005.
Or, maybe I'm missing something here!
We see in the news daily how ISIS is applying torture, murder, rape, and child abuse against all who believe not as they do. We, of course, do none of these things. After all, we're civilized.
But, don't be so glib.
Here in America, should someone believe differently than do we, we denigrate them, call into question their adherence to the "bible" of political correctness, question their loyalty to our country, slander, and libel them. Why? Solely because they don't agree with us.
So much for "freedom of speech", I guess. And, don't even consider bringing things to light that go against the government's agenda. You run the risk of severe consequences. Perhaps even worse, such actions fuel conspiracy theories. And, these go far to sow seeds of doubt. Which, of course, further divides people.
All this is where our failing to follow the Golden Rule makes us "parties to the crime".
Were each of us cognizant of the meaning of the Golden Rule and followed it, nothing related to PC would exist. We would want others to treat our opinions in a rational way. That doesn't mean others should agree with us necessarily, just that we could express our opinions without fear of retribution. Or, "Do unto others . . ."
It should be a curiosity that PC is ONLY used against caucasians - and, occasionally, specifically directed at certain groups; e.g., Christians and Jews. You'll never hear the charge of "racist" being thrown at a black or hispanic. Why do you think that is? On the surface it would seem logical that if "dividing" were the progressives' goal, then the use of PC against everybody would be advantageous.
But, that would not play into the progressives' next "tool" - Dependency.
Creating dependency on the federal government may take many forms. I'll address only two - safety and financial.
First, safety, and I'll make this one short.
Above, I addressed how Global Warming was being used as a tool by the progressives. Do youself a favor, if you haven't already, and read Michael Crichton's 2004 novel 'State of Fear'. See what correlation there is between the book and Global Warming. You may be amazed!
News stories abound about Obama reducing the size and capabilities of our military. Especially worriesome due to the growing terrorist threats and actions against our Nation world wide. If our military becomes weak enough, havoc may reign down upon us. The American people will agree to - and do -almost anything at that point just to be safe. Think about it.
OK! On to financial dependency.
The progressive agenda will not work if people are not dependent on the government for their daily "survival". The basic logic of people employed and not needing financial assistance from the government would not allow the agenda to flourish - beyond an insignificant minority.
Consider for a moment: 50% of our population pay no income tax and 35% of our people are provided financial support from the government. What is the likelihood that these people would, or will, vote for those who would decrease their benefits? What's the old saying? "Not a snowball's chance in . . .!"
The above point is exactly that which Mitt Romney was criticized for with his "47%" comment.
What's more, if people are fully employed they don't need subsistence from the government. So, you may well ask yourself why is that fully 93,000,000 people in our country are not in the work force - when they could be employed without interference from the government?
Don't think for a second that this is by accident. Increasing unemployment guarantees dependence on the government.
Oh, I know, the latest reports show that the unemployment rate is a little more than 5%. This rate/percentage comes from the U3 rate vs. the U6 rate, the U6 rate being the more accurate. Recognize that the 93,000,000 people not in the work force are NOT counted in the U3 percentage. Remember, "Figures lie and liars figure".
Even further, consider the deplorable state of our immigration system. Laws are being ignored, thousands upon thousands are being allowed - and actually encouraged - to enter our country illegally, and we the taxpayers are footing the bills for their housing, travel, food, and medical benefits - while many of our own citizens go hungry.
Building a larger base of dependent persons, this is - nothing more. And, we just sit and do nothing.
While we're on the progressive political movement, back in the early 70s the United Negro College Fund came up with an ad campaign to try and better the lives of black youth in our country. Their slogan, still in use today, is: "A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste".
Great slogan - short and to the point.
During that same time a comedian, seeming to parrot the slogan offered, "A Mind Is A Terrible Thing". Not all that funny, by the way. However, his parody seems to be useful to the progressive movement.
A mind, an educated mind actually being used, would immediately see the flaws in progressivism. Their goal is to "rule" over all of us - except for the "elites" of course. And who would be the "elites"? Those chosen by the financial backers of the progressives. Sound kind of familiar? It should. It's the mantra of every socialistic nation that has ever existed.
Before closing, here's a suggestion:
No matter which news source you trust, and don't trust any of them, do your own independent research.
For example, if you hear that a politician has said something with which you agree or disagree, find the video or the text of the speech. Believe it or not, both Google and YouTube work well for this. Often, you'll find that the reported statement was taken totally out of context. Thus, the original story you read was a lie - pure and simple.
Don't allow our freedoms to erode. Don't be manipulated - by anyone or anything!
In summary, remember, follow the Golden Rule. Just because someone feels differently than do you, it doesn't mean "right or wrong", it means different. Or, " judge not, lest ye be judged".
And, in this Nation differing opinions are supposed to be allowed - SO FAR!