Propaganda Fascism & The Alt-Right

October 11, 2016 § 4 Comments

Those who have studied the rise of fascism in the 1930’s have explained one of the tactics that enabled it: using propaganda to repeat lies over and over until they overpowered the truth and became “common knowledge”. During the three decade political career of Hillary Clinton, the “alt right” (i.e. fascist) propaganda machine has used this strategy to defame her: One: She hired private investigators to find information to discredit women who accused Bill Clinton of rape and infidelity; Two: She is a liar and untrustworthy.

The truth: When the accusations were leveled at Bill Clinton, he denied them and his wife, Hillary Clinton, believed him and, therefore, believed that the accusers were goaded into making false claims by his political enemies. Based on that belief, Hillary was justifiable outraged and lashed out against his accusers. After he finally admitted to his trashy behavior, she was hurt and angry at him but chose to save their marriage because she cared for him, shared his political beliefs and wanted to preserve a stable home for their daughter. She did not – repeat not – continue to attack his accusers.

The truth: While Hillary Clinton has been guilty of exaggeration and misstatements, she has not built a political career based on blatant falsehoods. Every fact-checker has identified far more lies from her opponent, Donald Trump, than from her. Still, for some mysterious reason, it is Hillary, not Trump, who is repeatedly tagged with the “untrustworthy” label. Trump’s “birther” lies repeated for years; his absurd claim Hillary “enabled” Bill’s affairs; his groundless accusation that Hillary was responsible for the rise of ISIS; his false claim that Hillary was responsible for the attack on Benghazi; Trump’s refusal to disclose his income tax returns based on a false claim that being audited prevented it – a lie exposed by the IRS’s response that the audit does not affect it; Trump’s implied claim that Hillary attacked Bill’s accusers AFTER she knew her husband’s denials were not true; the list goes on and on – despite this avalanche of lies, it is Hillary, not Trump who is regularly described as “untrustworthy”. When Hillary’s statements have been shown to have been false, she acknowledges her mistake. Trump’s “apologies” are wrapped in attacks on the Clinton’s.  He is incapable of entertaining the possibility that he has been mistaken about anything.  He has the personality of a five-year-old.

The New York Times has produced a balanced and comprehensive account of Hillary’s reaction to her husband’s infidelity;…/p…/hillary-bill-clinton-women.html…
It shows that Hillary neither approved, enabled or excused Bill’s behavior after Bill’s confession. It does not show she attacked any of his accusers after she realized that her husband had lied to her.

§ 4 Responses to Propaganda Fascism & The Alt-Right

  • The danger of repeating a lie over and over and over, e.g. for 30 years making an anti-Clinton tirade your lead story (Fox News) is that the risk is run of inculcating fatigue among all except for your base. My sense is that a corner is being turned and a growing number of voters are simply done listening to accusations which, for 30 years, have proved largely groundless.
    A second problem with The Big Lie(s) strategy in our multi-media age is that there are enough exposures to fact that sustaining a lie is becoming increasingly difficult. How does one imagine moderately conservative women in places such as Bucks County, PA, Hamilton County, OH and Wake County, NC – the very voters Trump needs – are reacting to his recent ad depicting Clinton as “too frail” to be president when they have, with their own eyes, seen a perfectly healthy HRC in the last two debates.
    Thanks for linking to the NYT article, Robert.
    Kind regards,
    Jack Donachy


    • Bob Hall says:

      Thank you for your thoughtful response to my post. I wish I could agree that the internet makes available indisputable evidence to discredit the lies that have plagued our politics since the days of Ronald Reagan. This is an understandable belief from liberals, especially educated liberals, who have confidence in rationality and who believe that policy choices result from that rationality. I spent a large part of my life believing that I and others made decisions as follows: “I hear, see or read a proposed idea. I consider it, based on my experience and knowledge of its subject matter. I then either reject or approve of it based on that consideration.” Six years ago I read a book by George Layoff, a linguist and a serious student of brain function. He has written several books on this subject. The first one I read was “The political mind”. I summarized my understanding of it in a post on this blog entitled “Some Random Thoughts”. That post consisted of reactions to four books I had read. Layoff’s was the fourth. I invite you to access that blog post. It is a long essay. You can skip past the comments about the first three books. [Just use the “search” function to find “Lakoff”] What I learned is that we don’t make choices in the way I had assumed. Our first reaction is based on the oldest evolutionary relic in our body, the one that governs “flight or fight”. That reaction is overwhelmingly affected by the kind of “framing” that has occurred in our brains by previous repetitions of a set of synapse patterns, similar to the process by which we learn to type. Then, if challenged, we craft a rationalization to explain and defend the decision and choice we have made. This was an humbling incite for me, but Lakoff convinced me. He contends that we must engage in a long term effort to embed in the brains of our fellow citizens with whom we now disagree a new set of synapse patterns different from the one that now insulate them from perceiving the error in their reactions. Lakoff cites persuasive research to support his thesis that we must match the job that has been done by rightwing propagandists, using such tools as the Teaparty and Fox News. I would like to offer an easier solution, but I think Layoff is right. I am hopeful that, after this election, we will create a new political and social movement, led by Bernie Sanders, to reprogram the brains of as many as possible of our fellow citizens. By the way, I recommend Lakoff’s “The Political Mind” and I am now reading his latest book “Moral Politics – How Liberals and Conservatives Think” 3d edition.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bob Hall says:

        In reading my reply, I notice that my computer stubbornly insists on correcting my correct spelling of George Lakoff’s name to be “Layoff”. Please ignore this programer’s unhelpful editing.


  • Terry says:

    Thanks Dad. Based on my own experience, I believe that much of what has been “baked” about Hillary is because she is a woman.


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