Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Don't Vote While Stupid

The Big Lie:
McCain and Palin tear page out of Hitler’s Notebook
I had an upsetting conversation with a friend yesterday-- a person I like and respect who “voted for Al Gore”. She plans to vote for McCain/Palin this time.
“Why” I asked.
“Because Obama is going to raise our taxes.”
“That’s not true. Most of us will get a tax cut.”
“Not if I make more than $200,000.”
“Do you make more than $200,000?”
“Then you will get a tax cut.”
“No. He’s going to raise taxes before he lowers them.”
“Now that’s just false.”
“His only experience in government is community service”
“That’s what he did right out of college. He’s been a state and U.S. Senator and is a professor of Constitu…”
Someone a few feet away said “That boy called our Governor a pig.”
My skin prickling I said “No, what he said was…”
But it was too late. My friend and the new entrant were comparing notes noisily.
I looked up at Fox News on the TV monitor and shuddered. We will get what we collectively deserve, I suppose.

For the record:
1. The tax “increases” McCain often references are of course a more complex deal than they let on. Of course they are, just look at your own taxes. It is fair to say, though that they mostly refer to closing tax loopholes used by companies like Exxon to avoid being taxed on real profits, and simply not continuing the Bushcuts-- tax breaks for our most wealthy citizens.
2. If you only watch Fox, or only listen to NPR, or only do as your Minister wills, don’t vote. This election requires us to crosscheck the facts and know your own mind.

As for McCain/Palin: This from the redoubtable Wiki:
The Big Lie
Used in Hitler's psychological profile
The phrase was used in a report prepared during the war by the United States Office of Strategic Services in describing Hitler's psychological profile:[3]
His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it.[4]
The Big Lie in popular culture
George Orwell's novel 1984 refers to the Big Lie theory on several occasions. For example:
“The key-word here is blackwhite. Like so many Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts.” [5]
“To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed...” [6]