I thought of this today after reading a couple of articles about the results of recent social science research showing – and I simplify here – that in many cases people refuse to believe the truth about something they had earlier heard the Big Lie about. (Iraq attacked America, Jews plotted destruction of the World Trade Center and vaccinations are worse than the diseases they cure.)
Research also shows that subliminal thoughts of death – mere thoughts, not threats -- can cause otherwise rational people to radically change their views in favor of Republicans. (Note the GOP recasting another windfall for the wealthy as a “death tax.”)
And that, dear readers, is why Republicans from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush, keep winning elections. They scare the bejeezus out of Americans by claiming openly, as Dick Cheney does, or subliminally as political ads do, that Democrats will kill you.
Psychologists devised an experiment in 2004 in which college students were shown videos and statements about the U.S. political landscape, some of the presentations with words connoting "death" flashed subliminally between frames.
"The control group that completed a personality survey, but did not do the mortality exercises, predictably favored Kerry by four to one. But the students who did the mortality exercises favored Bush by more than two to one."
It is why a good friend who is now an ex-friend repeatedly ignored gentle arguments that the Bush administration opposed everything that would help her and her family and supported measures that would harm her and her family. She perfectly exemplifies the empty vessel that the chicken hawk Bushies fill with false propaganda that some undefinable “they” were coming to America to kill us in 2004 and that John Kerry would welcome “them” with open arms.
Another scary article (and I really ought to stop reading!) reveals the extent to which the Bush administration watered down and changed conclusions of the independent bipartisan commission it created to make recommendations on improving fairness in American elections. Why anyone thought anyone named Bush would NOT rig the report about election rigging is beyond me, but this article does put important information on the record.
Republicans, led by the Swift-Boat Smear Brigade, are already planning to steal the 2008 election, and, given the fact that Americans are astoundingly gullible to the Big Lie, I urge fellow Democrats to get smarter and co-opt the GOP’s winning tactics. That is, from this day forward, all Democrats should put their brains in the pause mode and begin lying, smearing, cheating and stealing our way to a bigger majority in Congress and occupation of the White House. Larry Craig was a good start, and the shotgun marriage of Jenna Bush is another. Of 33 already "outed" gays in the DC political establishment who vote against gay rights, 30 are Republicans. Go get 'em, Dems!!
Let any critic of my approach step forth and explain how it is that Republicans held Congress for 12 years and the White House for 36 of my nearly 60 years when on most issues the majority of American people disagree with them on most issues. On foreign policy, it is true, often a majority of Americans feel safer with Republicans in the White House. But only till their sons and daughters started dying in both Vietnam and then Iraq, not in vain but for the profit of Halliburton.
If there is a God, George Bush and his henchmen of hate will find that their politically expedient destruction of the rule of law will rebound against them, and they will rue what they have done – one hopes from the already built cells at Guantanamo.