The Big Lie Propaganda Technique
Bars Consensus Without Capitulation.
Can We Counter the Big Lie.
in Political, not just Juror Life
Needed: Education. A Political Consumer-Oriented Think Tank,
to Educate Voters against the Big Lies.
Truth and Transparency in Political Sales
How to examine whether there are Big Lies in the ideological indoctrinations of either side. The Big Lie: The idea originated with Hitler in Mein Kampf, a worthwhile examination that does not focus on the extremes of genocide, just how he got the job done by persuasion of the people. By way of update, see http://sassafrastree.blogspot.com/2011/02/unser-kampf-our-struggle-paraphrase-of.html
Consensus takes groundwork, as is already familiar to those on juries, and the groundwork is agonizing, see http://joyofequivocating.blogspot.com/2008/02/decision-making-choice-consensus-to.html. On juries, failure to reach consensus means that the system will probably begin again with a new jury, or the plaintiff or state will abandon the pursuit. We do not have the luxury of that time, to start over. Identifying any Big Lies can help, if it will be allowed by those whose interest lies in the lies.
For those not called to jury duty, the consensus concept may be mistakenly equated with "agreement". Not so. The agreement is not as to terms, but as to willingness to abide by, move forward on those terms. In political life, the concept is as important as it is to a jury, if it is to avoid mistrial by virtue of hung jury, and starting over.
- What is consensus;
- What gets in its way; and
- How can consumers of the political product (voters) unhook from learned behaviors, just as politicians will have to, in order to reach consensus.
IRAC is known to law students, but apparently avoided by lawyers in government because it works to clarify, lead to sensible positions. Are we overloaded with lawyers in government, trained to think there is no fact until a trier of fact formally finds it. Until then, spin a narrative and hope it flies. There is nothing sincere or necessarily true or "factual" about a trial position. It is aimed to win over a judge or public opinion. Different. The voter should learn what the lawyer-legislators (there is a difference in objective and mindset) already know about persuasion, and use against the voter for their own financial gain, is that so? See http://www.lawyeringskills.com/sorkin/irac.html
IRAC is analysis by defining issues, not just bandying about an ideological vocabulary; identifying relevant rules with historical support; applying those to facts and arguments (including ideologies in multiple forms) and come to conclusion. Can voters vet issues anew, and rein in recalcitrant ideologues making money off all of us. If not, we deserve the downgrade. Don't blame them. Blame us for buying in.
- Here, S&P was the judge. We knew it would be the first judge.
- Obama correctly assessed what that judge would need to find the United States' favor.
- Republicans walked out of negotiations at the most critical time, because their version was not to be adopted wholesale, and, indeed, even more would be required. Obama was right again.
- Where ideology cannot accept what is required in the real world for the common good, shelve the parts of the ideology that bar movement forward.
Consensus does not require agreement on all the angles of the agreement. Parties choose to act on concert, together, even if one or both parties retain strong reservations and disagreements on particulars. Those get shelved in favor of the totality.
- walk-out (do one at least once in each negotiation, lawyers are taught),
- demonize proposals of the other side as moving goal posts, while doing such yourself;
- refuse to return calls, delay, delay,
- then find the media and huff.
c. All oaths now to be rendered inoperable. Period.
Merit over Messaging Technique
Vet the source, the content. Who is really looking out for your interest. Are the most vociferous the ones who have not vetted on their own, who absorbed the big lies.
Analyze. -- Individually, or in Consumer-Oriented Think Tanks I.R.A.C. as an Analytical Process for Everyman: Reasoning for the People. See FN 1
Uses of imagery.
That means you, NRA. Public safety, public interest, rights to do whatever, are all part of our democracy's balancing process. Lighten up. Issues are matters of respective merit, not ideology. How else to get consensus, or do you prefer force?
d. Re-frame how we see our Democracy.
No more tricorns and fifes, if we are serious about consensus. Put away the stockings and knickers and muskets, at least until the Super Committee has completed its work.
Ask what image represents what we are at this point.
Is our Democratic way of life, in the total scheme of Planet Earth's cultures, a mere embryo. Is it in danger. Is it worth saving. At what stage. Who decides if it should be destroyed. We are not even 250 years old, one of the lights (we like to think) of the world. Who or what other ideology has the right to destroy it and for what reasons. Familiar imagery of flags has been abused, gets lost. Try another familiar image, but in this unfamiliar setting. Does ideology control, or facts, and what are facts.
The concept brings out issues of who decides what for whom, when, how, what does passage of time do to the issue, all that. Here is our democracy, compared to the age of most other cultures of the world.
Unhook from ideology as the first analytical tool.
Clashing ideologies and supremacism, before a factual analysis and conclusion, mean war. Unbrink.
e. Object when media treats opinion as "news."
Viewpoints are bought and paid for. Opinions without full statements of supporting facts do not move us forward, are reactionary. They take up time that is better spent on fact presentation. Instead, vote with your remote, with your news subscription. When any media treat views as news, or slips in persuasion to skew objectivity in the journalism, flip. Demand that the opinionator instead lay out what he or she would do. That is news. You can form your own opinion, after you have all the facts.
f. Messages to be based on merit of one's own argument, not demonizing, casting aspersions on the other.
Those who depend on messaging skills (persuasion tactics) rather than merits of an argument will howl.
- National stability, socially and ecomically, means matching revenue to needed expenditures so all have access to opportunity.
- Time, place, manner. To suddenly stop feeding someone, even though he may well need a reduced diet, is probably to kill him. Failure to feed the democracy aborts it.
- Funding goals: cut anything that fails to serves stability and growth.
- Productive people require less government support - an immediate savings in spending
"If the facts don't support your case, argue the law. If the law doesn't support your case, argue the facts. And if neither the law nor the facts support your case, create a smoke screen and obscure everything."
FN 1 IRAC. Voter tools for analysis. What is the issue here. What solution is proposed. Does the solution address the supposed issue, or another agenda.
Learn how to phrase an issue first -- what is to be decided. Then separate what proven rules should apply. Then apply those rules to the facts and arguments; and see what the conclusion is as to the issue.
In analysis, the principles of IRAC have long been available to professional training schools, see http://www.lawnerds.com/guide/irac.html. Can it be used by voters to demand information from the Super Committee, to explain to the public what is happening without reference to a particular member's ideology. Let ideology come in at the end, to see if it tweaks a result that all can live with, or not.
Bring tools to the public. A little IRAC exposure may enable a voter to spot logical weakness, despite emotional connection that may have already been made.
- Examine use of analogies and repetition and other persuasion tactics.
- Stop before committing to a position.
- IRAC: A step by step analysis tool. Simple.
- ISSUE. State the problem as a question to be answered. For example, "Whether the government has a role in job-creation in a recession, such that revenues are properly sought and used to that end." That is already getting thumbs up, as the best way forward even after the debt ceiling fiasco, see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-green/jobs-first----starting-la_b_919582.html
- RULE. What basic premises lead to a solution. These will be tested by the Application and Facts. Example,
- APPLICATION. Analyze the facts using the Rules.Where has it worked, not worked, in the past; with what conditions, and results.
- CONCLUSION. Government has a role in job-creation in a recession, and properly seeks and uses revenues to that end. The new IRAC works. Teach it. See the IRAC paradigm at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/94840/the_irac_method_of_written_legal_analysis.html
- See also http://www.law.msu.edu/rwa/IRAC.pdf
Balance in any resolution of anything leads to perception of fairness, thus stability. Here, ideology comes at the end of the analysis, not at the beginning. Period. If someone starts with ideology, flip the channel.