Posts Tagged ‘elections’


Managing Elections Through Chaos

March 27, 2018

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Elections are decisions.  Before a voter can make a good decision, the voter must be comfortable enough to regard the basis for the decision as being true.  If the truth is in doubt, the voter must weigh the various possibilities and try to sort the facts from the fictions. The more facts and fictions that exist, the more difficult the task.  At a certain point, the scales tip and chaos is achieved.  While some may understand the truth intuitively, chaos will invariably skim off many who hold uncertainties and the result will always be that some have elected to follow the course laid by falsehood.  Others will be reduced to inaction through a stalemate of opposing ideas and give up the cause.

Disinformation is a practice that has been and is being used today, by every intelligence agency in the world.  It is used to manage whole populations and affect national and international policy. In its mildest form, it is called propaganda, which does not necessarily contain falsehoods but can strictly by omission represent a form of heightened opinion supporting a policy position with a firm bias.

The purpose of disinformation is first to short circuit decisive action. This is typically done through fake news, saturating the media with many alternate versions masquerading as fact in order to create confusion and force a stalemate of democratic response. By spreading chaos, the truth becomes irrelevant because the numbers of those who can identify the truth are reduced. Chaos is effective.

Plausible deniability incubates in such an environment and allows the offenders, the creators of the disinformation to point to the chaos of their own creation and label it as simply conspiracy theories or ironically, fake news. It allows them to represent an unsupported position as a real possibility.

To be sure, it has created chaos.  Chaos is the very purpose of disinformation.  In this light, we must take Donald Trump at his word, “I like chaos” and recognize him for what he is, the chief agent of disinformation, the disseminator of fake news, not the victim of it.  He is not plausibly deniable. He revels in his fabrications, preying on the gullible, the naive and the innocent, the ones who think times have changed for the worse but do not understand why. Neither he nor anyone else can take us backwards to a future of greatness reveling in the chaos of disinformation.


A New Civics Book is Needed

April 16, 2017



Try to imagine what it must be like to look at our democracy from the outside looking in.  What would citizens of other democracies think about our systemwide process?  Worse yet, what would the peoples of third world countries living under dictatorships or monarchies think?  If we made an objective analysis of the sequence of accepted practices from candidacy to office, promises to policy to law, would we be comfortable in rewriting our civics books to conform to a reality that we would be proud to teach our children?

If we printed the truth, here’s how the civics books should read.

In the United States candidates for President compete against one another in election party primaries.  The candidate who can get the most funding from corporate donations and (wink, wink) external support from organizations called Super-Pacs, who can spend unlimited amounts of their own money, makes implied promises to support their benefactor’s goals with favorable policy and by their combined and overwhelming  marketing efforts will, more often than not, win.

To further their mutual aims, a candidate is allowed to malign the competition with what are known as smears and dirty tricks.  It is not important that either are factual or true and it is best that they are most outrageous and even unbelievable.  To assure that they are memorable a candidate will invent a name for his or her opponent that marks them for the duration and will repeat the name calling at every opportunity.

Opponents are obliged to respond in kind and in righteous indignation call the offender to task, only fanning the flames of the controversy.  In a last ditch effort, with their dying breath, they exclaim the dark truth regarding the offending candidate, who after winning the primary, they will support in the national election as if their words were never uttered.  This is called party unity.

At some point there will be a debate.  The winner of the debate is the one who commits to nothing regarding policy but talks in broad terms about American ideals, patriotism and values, and more importantly has clever and witty retorts that play well in the news in the following days.

Once in office, the winning candidate must “pivot.”  To pivot is to change direction from stated goals to working policy which are always quite different.  The new President will praise his opponents and offer them positions in his administration. These much maligned losers will run to support their leader with new found praise extolling his or her “winning” virtues.  This is called building a consensus.

At the end of every chapter there is always a short quiz.  Here’s the one I think should be included.

1.) What is party unity and how does it advance democratic ideals on issues opposed by a majority of voters?

2.) If a pivot reflects what a candidate should have professed and truly believes, then why do they make promises they do not intend to keep?

3.) What is the value of a consensus if it sweeps the ugly truth “under the rug?”