"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Pogo
"The enemy of our progress is irrationality. It destroys us, causes war, causes opposition, and creates all sorts of harmful effects. After careful consideration, I recommend against it."
Look at what is happening in the political arena and decide if you want to participate in and buy into the nonsense - and to be fooled by it all. What is your choice? What will you do to no longer be a part of the problem and to choose instead to be part of the solution?
Good results only come from fact-based, rational decisionmaking.
If we come to a biased conclusions, then we often selectively choose "facts" to justify our conclusions,
ignoring or minimizing information to the contrary.
If we drop down to hostility toward others, rather than understanding and using open dialogue, we are
operating out of fear and anger and we cannot get to creating better results - only lots of heat and
It is helpful to be able to "see" what is going on by knowing how to spot the "tricks" or "ploys".
LIST OF THE TRICKS THAT LEAD US AWAY FROM CONSTRUCTIVE SOLUTIONS (See below.)
Blaming someone else as an excuse
Guilt by association (If someone is associated with something, then they're responsible for it. Not valid!)
Misleading by implication (A version of "nontruth" to falsely "prove" another wrong. Politics!)
Winning by misleading (Is this something you want to align with and/or participate in?)
Winning by counterattacking (Old political ploy, used masterfully by Gingrich)
Generalizations that are invalid
Assumptions or imputed "code" of what was really meant
Tossing alot of mud and having some of it stick (even if not valid)
These things work if we do not listen and discriminate between what is fact-based with sound reasoning and the alternative of just being fooled by these tricks. (See Axelrod Tactics and Alinsky's Rules For Radicals)
One of the things I study and write about is rational, effective decision making, as this is a key to having people live a better life and is necessary for obtaining deep happiness.
I have a passion for having people stop their jumping to conclusions and stop from making others wrong - and even being hostile to others who believe differently than they do or to groups of people who are bad. Political parties, news stations, Israelis, Presidents, etc. - we seem to have ramped this up to hostility or to idealistic, unrealistic view points.
My only point here is that if we use objective, rational, fact-based decision making we will get a much, much better result - and that decision-making also includes paying attention to intuition and values.
I also want to have people around me who are "ethical", meaning that they operate for the greatest good of all concerned, without judging people or allowing politics to overrule getting results.
An example of encouraging non-rational decisionmaking: Saul Alinsky, which Obama taught classes about, is often cited for his book Rules For Radicals. But many of his principles and tactics are used by politicians of all persuasions. It is interesting to note how politicians accuse the others of lack of ethics, while using these tactics in an unethical manner!!!
If we all spend our time starting with our conclusions and then attempting to selectively glean so-called "evidence" to justify our conclusions, we will get nowhere. Selective evidence is one of the great destroyers of true dialogue and coming to a practical solution. If we only seek to justify our conclusions, we then will close out making better conclusions.
If you say enough mistruths about a candidate, some of it will stick, even if it is illogical and there is truth out there to refute it. I'm sure you can see that easily, as you look at the individuals and the parties doing that to each other.
And blaming the other for things that are not actually true but are represented as the truth is done widely.
An example: Two parties go into negotiations on an issue and agreement is not met. One party accuses the other of being the problem. Actually that just means the other party didn't do enough to be on "our side" - but then "we", on the other side of the negotiation, did exactly the same thing. We both failed to compromise and negotiate to a solution that was better than none. Watch for blame - and then look below it. Look for the truth that is "in between" what is said.
Guilt by association
Notice how Gingrich uses this tactic masterfully, as well as others who do it to different degrees. Romney is blamed for Obama using his advisers and the work done to create the Massachusetts health care bill. But he had no part in it; he was not the cause of it - nor does he agree with it as the modifications are ones he would never approve of, plus he has always said it would not be right to do it nationally (but ok only for states to consider as a possibility, to modify to fit their circumstances). See Video.
Mislead by implication
Gingrich says Romney put Planned Parenthood into his bill. But the truth is that the Democrats forced into the bill a provision to have a Planned Parenthood official be on the Connector Board. There is no other mention of it.
But people believe Romney inserted it and they have generalized to mean he did it several times (not true!) and that he originated it (not true!) and therefore he is not a conservative (not true) and therefore you shouldn't vote for him (not true!!!).
This is winning by misleading - do you want to align with it?
Although it seems almost everyone does this, some do it alot more. Gingrich is the master among men in this area, so everything he says has to be considered untrue until it is vetted.
Check out the facts first, of course
Take an item you believe about Romney and then go to the page on this site that has facts about that, using the search engine or, I think best, the Menu. Then just follow the logic (and the verifying links) and make your own decision.
Winning by counterattacking when confronted with giving a valid answer
Notice that Gingrich made huge gains by attacking the questioners in the debates. He tapped into an emotional issue (the elite media bias) and did it superstrongly, so they concluded he would be a strong leader (rather than just a bully or guy who is hard to get along with). But notice that he didn't address the issue, as that would reinforce the issue.
"That's irrelevant." "That's old stuff." "How could you be so stupid to ask that?" Etc., in various versions. When Wolf Blitzer didn't back down and then Romney said "I think that is an issue that should be answered", then he was caught - and fumbled. And Romney rushed in to correct the overtly false accusation meant to manipulate the voters. And Gingrich was confronted with the fact that Marco Rubio forced Gingrich to take down the ad because it was so false and inciteful!
Generalizations that are invalid
"I know that all (fill in the blank) ______ walk single file because I saw one doing it one time."
"All ________ are just whiny victims. One person I knew just complained all the time about her race being victimized all the time."
"_______ did this [once], so he's a ______."
Tossing alot of mud as some of it will stick
Unfortunately this does work. Gingrich and Santorum make false claims about RomneyCare (abortion is in it, failing to note that the courts put it in, not him; it is responsible for ObamaCare, while it is actually very, very different) and being a venture capitalist and being therefore heartless and mean (he is the opposite; and the examples use to "prove it" were false and misleading, such as in King Of Bain [see skit.]).