The Art of Manipulation

 

 

 

We are gradually morphing into a fascist society, yep, right here in the land of freedom & democracy. Fear mongering, exaggeration, being an alarmist, you say? A third of the American public believe that Trump is the populist champion of their dreams & he uses these tactics and many more and they believe him yet the majority of them most likely would dismiss my argument here? Okay, for those of you who are still able & willing to read an essay that’ll require 15 minutes of your time, here’s an overview of the subject for you.

It Can’t Happen Here, Right???

 

Most people are aware of the fact that Freud was the father of modern psychology but did you know that his nephew, Edward Bernays, was the father of the public relations industry or as we usually refer to it, the PR industry? There’s an old saying, “Advertising is what you pay for & Publicity is what you pray for.” Well Bernays soon became the darling of New York’s elite circle of businessmen because of his skillful use of his uncle’s insights into human behavior in his P.R. campaigns for many, if not most of the major corporations of his time. (by-the-way, Bernays published a book in 1928, its title was “Propaganda.”) 

 

And to give you an example of just how pernicious & powerful the P.R. industry became, let’s take a look at how he helped to make it acceptable for women to smoke cigarettes. Before this PR assault on America, it was considered a social taboo for women to smoke;

 

After WWI, Bernays was hired by the American Tobacco Company to encourage women to start smoking. While men smoked cigarettes, it was not publicly acceptable for women to smoke. Bernays staged a dramatic public display of women smoking during the Easter Day Parade in New York City. He then told the press to expect that women suffragists would light up “torches of freedom” during the parade to show they were equal to men. Like the “You’ve come a long way, baby” ads, this campaign commodified women’s progress and desire to be considered equal to men

https://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2012/02/27/torches-of-freedom-women-and-smokin  (by-the-way, Bernays hired dozens of young, beautiful women fashion models to play the part of female rebels defying social conventions).

 

Evidently, Bernays had stumbled upon the golden formula that generated millions in profits for the corporate cockroach class i.e. employing psychological appeals in their advertising & P.R. campaigns. By manipulating peoples’ fears & desires, corporations could sell their products that people didn’t need & condition them to want or desire the products which would serve as symbols of their elevated class status & thereby enhance their self-image. Need I illustrate? Look at all the car ads that show beautiful women flocking around a guy in a fancy sports car for example.

tell me again how different we are from Russia?

 

Well, as the 20th century rolled on, so did the power of corporations until the point we’re at today where these corporations are more powerful (in terms of wealth & influence) than many nations;

Walmart

Exxon Mobil

Royal Dutch Shell

Apple

Samsung

Amazon

Microsoft

Nestle

Google

 

And this is just a partial list. Let this sink in for a minute if you will? Private corporations so rich & powerful that they hire armies of lobbyists to seduce politicians into writing legislation that further increases their profits, protects them from lawsuits, provides them with millions & billions in tax subsidies for research & development, allows them to use the public infrastructure (highways, bridges, ports, airports, etc.) to conduct their business and most of these behemoth corporations pay little to no taxes—some even get back millions & billions in their tax returns.

What did our soldiers die for???

 

If this doesn’t morally outrage you, you are either a member of the corporate cockroach class or are a sociopathic narcissist like Donald of the Duck Dynasty Klan. By-the-way, Donny is a great admirer of authoritarians & dictators in case you haven’t noticed; (Saddam Hussein, Putin, Kim Jong Un of N. Korea, Mussolini, Gadhafi, 1980s Chinese Communist Party, President Xi Jinping of China, Duterte of the Philippines, President Erdogan of Turkey, Egyptian President el-Sisi, the Saudis, & Brazil’s new president, Boisonaro. And Trump not only admires these murderous authoritarians & dictators, he envies them & wishes he could be America’s authoritarian like the role he played on The Apprentice “reality” T.V. program. Note; Trump insisted that as part of his contract with the producers of that absurd show that every time his name was mentioned on the show, they had to also say that he was a billionaire. Talk about manipulating his public image, are you beginning to take my point?

So this is defending freedom & democracy?

 

Moreover, speaking of Trump’s admiration of Mussolini, some have credited Mussolini with saying;

 

“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”

 

I know how die-hard most of Trump’s “base” is but I am a proudly stubborn (determination undisciplined) Irishman & I don’t give up easily either so here’s a sampling of the mountain of evidence proving Trump a malignant, greedy, megalomaniac:

 

*Trump consistently attacks peoples’ characters when he can’t refute their argument

*he’s a non-stop braggart i.e. I’m the smartest, I’m the best, I’m the greatest negotiator, etc. etc. etc.

*his biggest lie is his wealth & that’s why he will never reveal his tax returns

*he’s intentionally vague so he can deny having said what he’s said because his words are often open to a variety of interpretations

*he’s been exaggerating his wealth, his popularity, his skills, etc. his entire life

*he minimizes others so he can exaggerate his own significance

*he is fond of making false equivalences

*he likes to use the lesser of two evils argument (which is bogus)

*repetition ad nauseam is one of his favorite deceptive tactics i.e. I am the most famous president ever, the most successful real estate developer in New York City, etc. etc. etc.

*Scapegoating was his lead-off in his presidential campaign i.e. Mexicans are rapists, murderers, etc. & he blames everyone except himself for everything that doesn’t go his way

*Emotional Appeals—a favorite tactic used by dictators throughout history i.e. Hitler’s constant claim that the Jews were behind all of Germany’s problems (using fear, guilt, & calls for loyalty to him)

*Bandwagon—everyone else is doing it, so why not me or we

*Black & White/Either-Or; it’s us against the democrats

Burden of Proof—trying to turn the tables & demand his accusers prove their credibility rather than answer a question

*false flattery—try to flatter your opponent to keep them from attacking you

*Incredulity—I am offended that you would even ask me such a question

*labeling—any journalist who criticizes him or disagrees with him is with the “fake press”

*Ridicule/Mocking—his shameful mocking of handicapped guy during one of his rallies

*slippery slope—if we don’t stop the illegal immigrants, we’ll soon be overrun by terrorists, etc.

*Dehumanizing—something Trump has a particular talent for especially when it comes to anyone who dares to say a bad word about him

*Slogans—replacement for serious thought i.e. America, love it or leave it

 

I could easily provide you with hundreds if not thousands of examples of Trump’s manipulative techniques/tactics but I realize that no matter how much proof I provide, Trump supporters aren’t open to logic or rational thought but are ruled by their passions & Trump is a master at pushing peoples’ emotional buttons in order to win them over. So, why should I waste my time talking to the willfully ignorant or rather trying to persuade them to reflect & trust their own judgment rather than the circus master Trump the Vile?

Trump as Jim Jones & the kind of loyalty Trump expects

 

I am providing a public service that some may seriously consider or may pass it on to some of those who haven’t drunk the Jim Jones Kool Aid yet, and that is my only solace. And in that spirit, here are the eight signs of malignant narcissism, and if you dare, see if any of them are accurate reflections of Donald the psychopathic narcissist:

 

  1. Sense of entitlement
  2. Lack of conscience and empathy
  3. Sadistic streak
  4. Egocentrism
  5. Grandiosity (I am the greatest, smartest, richest, etc.)
  6. Paranoia (it’s a witch hunt by the democrats)
  7. Manipulative nature
  8. They project their bad behavior onto others

 

In conclusion and to prove that this isn’t merely a one-sided attack on “republicans,” Obama bears a large part of the responsibility for Trump becoming president. In fact, Obama was so good at his “bait & switch” tactic that he used on us to persuade us that he was going to be the champion of “Hope & Change,” that his campaign for his first term as president won two awards at the Cannes Festival for Advertising:

 

“The campaign that drove Barack Obama to victory in the US presidential election has claimed two top awards at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Awards.

The campaign, submitted by Obama for America, has been hailed as a masterful combination of new media, door-to-door and community grass roots campaigning with a clever tactical use of traditional TV advertising.

The campaign won two grands prix in the Titanium and Integrated Lions categories.”

 

Yep! Obama swore up & down and everywhere he went that he was going to enact real changes, be the transparent president, etc. and what did he do within the first few weeks of his presidency? He appointed several of the top Wall St. wolves to the most powerful positions regarding our national economy i.e. Summers, Geitner, Bernanke, etc. And right then & there I knew I had been suckered just like the millions of other Americans. I detested all the racial attacks on him & Trump barely concealed his own racist campaign against Obama with his “birther” issue which he beat the drums for ad nauseam. But Obama’s refusal to prosecute the Wall St. culprits, the “Super Bankers” who were “Too Big to Fail & Too Big to Jail,” his war on Whistleblowers, etc. etc. etc. only fanned the flames of anger in America which should rightfully be directed at the corporate cockroach class because the politicians are merely the willing tools of these creatures who have no loyalty to America whatsoever. Look into how Obama sold out the residents of Flint with stunt pretending the water was safe to drink. Obama the Oreo President!

 

And Trump with his appeal to peoples’ fears and hate using his racism, bigotry, & the other techniques I listed above, managed to slink into the oval office. I recently permanently deleted my Facebook account for several reasons but a significant factor was that every time I criticized Obama, many so-called Progressives came unglued and practically accused me of being a. troll for Trump. Yep! A sad reflection of the myopia on the Left that just like the so-called conservatives who are blind to the crimes of their party, are willfully blind to the crimes & betrayals of the democratic party.

Lastly, what should really worry us all is what my intellectual hero, Noam Chomsky has been warning us about for quite some time now i.e. the catastrophic, perhaps already irreversible destruction of our climate or environment. Exxon Mobil & several of the other oil & natural gas conglomerates have spent millions, perhaps billions pushing their fake news sowing the seeds of doubt about climate change. Of course, Donald Duck is doing his part by claiming it’s all an elaborate Chinese hoax. In this Alice in Wonderland World where Trump is the leader of the most powerful nation on Earth, and can start a nuclear war in a childish fit which he is notorious for, we should all be quaking in our boots!

May we persevere!

Rob DeLoss, Trinidad, CA 1/28/19

 

P.S.  It must be a sign of old age but I forgot some juicy tidbits regarding Trump that I want to include. Trump’s supposed War against the “Fake News Media” would be laughable if it weren’t so destructive of a vital institution in any democracy. Moreover, where would Trump be if it weren’t for all the free media coverage he received in his campaign for the presidency—some estimate over $5 billion while Bernie got a tiny fraction of coverage. Trump learned from his slimy mentor, Roy Cohn, that any media attention i.e. publicity is good whether it’s scandalous or not because it keeps you in the public eye. Cohn’s “wisdom” which Trump assimilated into his very DNA was “to always hit back & never apologize.” You see, Trump’s “brand” is his most prized possession because he sells his brand i.e. logo, all around the world & people pay him millions to use his logo. Sadly, far too many Trump supporters believe that everything that has Trump’s name on it, is owned by him. And once again we witness just how destructive advertising & public relations can be.

Addendum

 

Oh yeah, another minor little detail i.e. our government launches P.R. campaigns to “motivate” us to go into wars. The Iraq War is one of the most blatant campaigns of lies to date. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, et al spent weeks & months going on the Sunday morning talk shows warning us what a threat to our freedom & democracy the Iraqis were, how they had weapons of mass destruction, etc. and it was all proven to be a grand conspiracy of lies afterwards but not a single one of these war criminals was held accountable. In fact, Cheney got rich off the war because his stock in Halliburton went through the roof because they just “coincidentally” were awarded the lion’s shares of the contracts for supplying our troops & rebuilding Iraq’s infrastructure but neglected to do most of what they got paid for. And oh yeah, billions of dollars went missing, but what the hell? Moreover, the New York Times, the supposed bastion of liberal thought in America, beat the war drums every bit as loudly as FOX “News.” So, to some extent, Trump is right about the fake news of several of our “news outlets” but he clearly uses this label in his pathetic attempts to silence all his critics. Let’s see, officially we lost 4,486 military personnel & 32,226 casualties but if you dig deeper you’ll discover that our casualties are much closer to half a million if you count PTSD, depression, heart & breathing problems, etc. etc. etc.

 

And can you tell me again why we’ve been in Afghanistan now longer than any other war in U.S. history? Well, as Calvin Coolidge said, “the business of America is business.” Or to put it more bluntly, Welcome to Amerika, where the Corporate Cockroaches Rule!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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