Controlling the message
Nine months into the Obama Administration, the White House communications strategy is coming into clear focus. Demonize, harass and ultimately aim to silence opposition, while endlessly repeating the administration line, with the full cooperation of the old media. Anita Dunn, White House Communications Director, along with Senior White Advisor David Axelrod and Chief of Staff lead the attack. Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel continues to pile on.
This administration has seemingly adopted the Joseph Goebbels’ (the infamous Nazi Minister of Propaganda under Adolph Hitler) strategy that history has labeled ‘the big lie.’ Hitler was a master of manipulating large numbers of people. He intuitively understood that if you simply tell a lie, people who know (or find out) the truth will easily reject it. But if you tell a huge, enormous lie that is blatantly false, and repeat it over and over, people eventually will question their own ability to properly process the information, and they will come to believe it. In fact, as the lie continues to be repeated and reinforced they will believe it with great force — even when subsequently confronted with indisputable facts to the contrary.
Vice President Biden has been quoted repeatedly over the past several weeks proclaiming “the stimulus is working” when only a fraction of the $750 billion appropriation has been spent and most of that went to plugging state budget gaps. Mr. Obama himself pleaded to the Congress to pass the stimulus legislation otherwise “unemployment could rise to more than 8%.” Unemployment has broken through 8% and reached 9.8% as of September 30th of this year. The point here is control of the message. The administration says the stimulus is working and does not seek any opposition speech – factual or not.
In his radio address this past weekend, Mr. Obama claimed that “there is growing consensus for health care reform.” The fact is that more than 53% of all Americans (from several most recent national polls on the question) oppose health care reform as currently proposed. The point here is control of the message. The administration says that there is growing consensus for health care reform and does not seek any opposition speech — factual or not.
We recently were shown doctors gathered for a photo session with Mr. Obama in the Rose Garden of the White House. To make sure we all knew they were doctors; they wore white lab coats – some provided by the White House. The purpose of the image session was to tell the American people that doctors support the current healthcare reform measures. What was not told, until uncovered by the new media and reported on Fox News, was that the doctors in the Rose Garden were supporters of Mr. Obama and that some were part of an organized group that actually worked for his election? Again, the point here is control of the message and total disregard of the facts.
Climate change (let’s not call it global warming anymore because science is beginning to challenge the basic premise) is the force behind the recently passed cap and trade legislation by the House of Representatives and waiting debate in the Senate. It has been presented as an issue that requires dramatic changes of our economy and our way of life in order to save the planet. The amount of wealth that will be subject to transfer is staggering with whole industries and millions of jobs in jeopardy, but where is the public debate – not a word. With all of the money and concentration of power that is at stake, the message needs to be controlled regardless of the facts and regardless of the potential disastrous effects on the American people and the American economy.
Over the past 50 years many of us simply did what we thought was proper. We went to school, studied hard, became employed and worked diligently. We raised families. We voted every Election Day. We were free and busy living the American dream. Unfortunately, freedom has never been a spectator sport. It has always required deliberate action and sacrifice. Freedom certainly is not free and – if I may use one more cliché – freedom is always only one generation away from extinction, perhaps only one election from extinction.
American blood has been spilled on our soil, in Europe, Southeast Asia and the Middle East so that we could speak freely in opposition; and so that we could face any issue with facts and not lies.
While we were busy enjoying the fruits of freedom, 58,000 names were added to a granite wall in Washington because a few of us answered the call in Vietnam. While we were busy dealing with expanding our net worth, another 5,000 of our brave young people made the ultimate sacrifice because they answered the call after 3,000 Americans and others were murdered on American soil only 8 years ago on September 11, 2001.
All of the American blood that was spilled was done in order for all of us to continue to enjoy the basic guarantees of the Bill of Rights. Among those rights is our freedom of speech; our freedom to speak in opposition to any administration’s agenda; our freedom to be respected for our willingness to assemble and to debate; our freedom to push back organized lies and misstatements with the facts.
We had it easy for 50 years because a few of our brothers and sisters did the heavy lifting for us. If we continue to stay out of the action, we will see our freedom lost. We will not lose it to a foreign enemy; we will lose it to our own apathy.
Freedom to speak in opposition is not a liberal or conservative issue; it is not a Democrat or Republican issue; it is an American issue and we should all be alarmed by what we have seen in only nine months. Disregard of free assemblies; individual and personal attacks on average Americans; and the use of manipulative lies should shake all of us to our core!
We need to reach out to all our elected officials and let them know that are no longer going to remain sidelined by our busy lives and that we will go to the polls and institute real change. We need to make it clear that our elected officials need to be sensitive to only one voice — that of the American people.
So while Anita Dunn and others in the Obama administration are declaring war on Fox News, they should be aware that they are really declaring war against opposition speech and essentially she is declaring war on the American people. Our elected officials need to understand the same. We need to work for truth in debate; to defend opposition speech no matter if it agrees with our positions or not; and we need to stay engaged. The enemies of freedom will not give up — will we?