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I like Ann. I just wish she weren’t so anorexic and unhealthy looking.
By: Byron York
Chief Political Correspondent
09/30/09 7:16 AM EDT
A new Gallup poll shows a sharp increase in the number of people who say they want the government to promote “traditional values.”
Gallup’s question was simple: “Some people think the government should promote traditional values in our society. Others think the government should not favor any particular set of values. Which comes closer to your own view?” In the new poll, taken in the first days of September, 53 percent of respondents say they want the government to promote traditional values, while 42 percent say they do not want the government to favor any particular set of values. Five percent do not have an opinion.
The results are a significant change from recent years. For most of the last two decades, a majority of people have been in favor of the government promoting traditional values. But that number began to decline in 2005, and the number of people who believe the government should not favor any particular set of values began to rise. Last September, when Gallup asked the same question, the public was split down the middle on the issue, 48 percent to 48 percent. Now, opinion has rather abruptly gone back to the old position, and there’s an 11-point gap between the two, in favor of traditional values.
By the way, the Gallup pollsters did not define “traditional values” when asking the question. “Thus, respondents answer in light of their understanding of the term,” Gallup writes. But Gallup adds that “the results by party and ideology…suggest that respondents understand traditional values to be those generally favored by the Republican party.”
The recent change in favor of traditional values has been most pronounced among independents, among whom Gallup says there has been a “dramatic turnaround.” Last year, independents were overwhelmingly in favor, by 55 percent to 37 percent, of the government not favoring any set of values. In the new survey, those numbers are almost reversed, with 54 percent saying the government should promote traditional values and 40 percent saying it should not. Gallup did not find similarly striking changes among Democrats and Republicans, although Democrats have also moved a little bit in the direction of wanting the government to promote traditional values.
But it is the turnaround among independents — Gallup also found similar numbers among people who called themselves moderates — that put a screeching halt to the shift that had been taking place in the last few years. “Americans’ views of the proper government role in promoting traditional values had moved in a more liberal direction since 2005, to the point that last year, as many said the government should not promote traditional values as said it should,” Gallup writes. “If that trend had continued, 2009 would have marked the first time Gallup found more Americans preferring that the government refrain from actively promoting traditional values. Instead, Americans’ attitudes reverted to a more conservative point of view on the matter. Now, Americans favor the government’s promoting traditional values by an 11-point margin, similar to the double-digit margins favoring that view through much of the prior two decades.”
There’s no way to know precisely what this means. But here’s one theory. In the last few years, public opinion on the role of government was driven by the intense unpopularity of George W. Bush and the Republican Party. Unhappy with Bush and the GOP, voters recoiled from the image of Republicans as the party of traditional values — even though they basically held to those traditional values in their own lives. Now, however, with a government completely controlled by Democrats, that is, by the anti-traditional values party — in last year’s poll, Democrats were 60-37 against the government promoting traditional values — the public has abruptly returned to its basic pro-traditional values position.
But that period of revulsion at Bush and Republicans from 2005 to 2008 left a legacy: a Democrat in the White House and large Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, at least until 2010. That is why you see Democrats racing to enact their agenda, even as they see the political conditions around them changing. They have the majorities, based on the public’s very temporary mood of 2005-2008, and they are determined to put their preferred policies in place no matter what the public thinks now.
The Gallup numbers also suggest that Barack Obama and the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate have fundamentally misread their own victories. Did voters elect Democrats because they desperately wanted national health care? Sprawling and expensive environmental regulation? Federal deficits triple the size of just a few years ago? No. The voters elected Democrats because they were sick of Bush and Republicans. Now Bush and the GOP are gone and out of power. Democrats are doing what they thought the voters wanted. And it turns out the voters didn’t want that at all.
In light of the breaking news at Breitbart’s websites, especially regarding the NEA’s push to enlist artists and others to the crusade for Obama’s agenda and to continue on from my blog about Cloward-Privan, I’m posting this. If you’ve read Alinsky, you will recognize how he incorporated these ideas into his “primer”. Of course my examples are written from a conservative point of view but you can find as many of these propaganda techniques used by Republicans, entertainers, political “comedians” and even used car salesmen.
I offer this which is another product of Columbia University deep thinkers:
From Institute for Propaganda Analysis, Propaganda Analysis. New York: Columbia University Press, 1938. Quoted at http://carmen.artsci.washington.edu/propaganda/home.htm andhttp://www.vcsun.org/~ilene/secured_305text/propa.html
Bad names have played a tremendously powerful role in the history of the world and in our own individual development. They have ruined reputations, stirred men and women to outstanding accomplishments, sent others to prison cells, and made men mad enough to enter battle and slaughter their fellowmen. They have been and are applied to other people, groups, gangs, tribes, colleges, political parties, neighborhoods, states, sections of the country, nations, and races.
Example: countless, but here’s a few: Pelosi et al calling townhall attendees astroturf, manufactured masses, Un-American, mobs. And of course, RACISTS.
Van Jones and name calling:
We believe in, fight for, live by virtue words about which we have deep-set ideas. Such words include civilization, Christianity, good, proper, right, democracy, patriotism, motherhood, fatherhood, science, medicine, health, and love. For our purposes in propaganda analysis, we call these virtue words “Glittering Generalities” in order to focus attention upon this dangerous characteristic that they have: They mean different things to different people; they can be used in different ways. This is not a criticism of these words as we understand them. Quite the contrary. It is a criticism of the uses to which propagandists put the cherished words and beliefs of unsuspecting people.
When someone talks to us about democracy, we immediately think of our own defnite ideas about democracy, the ideas we learned at home, at school, and in church. Our first and natural reaction is to assume that the speaker is using the word in our sense, that he believes as we do on this important subject. This lowers our ‘sales resistance’ and makes us far less suspicious than we ought to be when the speaker begins telling us the things ‘the United States must do to preserve democracy.’ The Glittering Generality is, in short, Name Calling in reverse. While Name Calling seeks to make us form a judgment to reject and condemn without examining the evidence, the Glittering Generality device seeks to make us approve and accept without examining the evidence.
In acquainting ourselves with the Glittering Generality Device, therefore, all that has been said regarding Name Calling must be kept in mind.
Example: with many “glittering” words and imagery:
Transfer is a device by which the propagandist carries over the authority, sanction, and prestige of something we respect and revere to something he would have us accept. For example, most of us respect and revere our church and our nation. If the propagandist succeeds in getting church or nation to approve a campaign in behalf of some program, he thereby transfers its authority, sanction, and prestige to that program. Thus, we may accept something which otherwise we might reject.
Example: Although the AMA only represents between 18 and 25% of the nation’s doctors and few Americans know that, Obama touts them to the public because they have signed onto his healthcare reforms. Therefore, it must be a good thing for our citizens.
This is the classic misuse of the Testimonial Device that comes to the minds of most of us when we hear the term. We recall it indulgently and tell ourselves how much more sophisticated we are than our grandparents or even our parents. With our next breath, we begin a sentence, ‘The Times said,’ ‘John L. Lewis said… ,’ ‘Herbert Hoover said… ‘, ‘The President said, ‘My doctor said,’ ‘Our minister said ‘ Some of these Testimonials may merely give greater emphasis to a legitimate and accurate idea, a fair use of the device; others, however, may represent the sugar-coating of a distortion, a falsehood, a misunderstood notion, an anti-social suggestion.
Example: The president said “we are the ones we have been waiting for” therefore it’s considered a call to arms by his supporters.
“Plain Folks” is a device used by politicians, labor leaders, businessmen, and even by ministers and educators to win our confidence by appearing to be people like ourselves “just plain folks among the neighbors.” In election years especially do candidates show their devotion to little children and the common, homey things of life. They have front porch campaigns. For the newspapermen they raid the kitchen cupboard, finding there some of the good wife’s apple pie. They go to country picnics; they attend service at the old frame church; they pitch hay and go fishing; they show their belief in home and mother. In short, they would win our votes by showing that they’re just as common as the rest of us, “just plain folks” and, therefore, wise and good. Businessmen often are “plainfolks” with the factory hands. Even distillers use the device. “It’s our family’s whiskey, neighbor; and neighbor, it’s your price.”
Example: The rose garden beer summit hosted by Obama for Officer Crowley and Henry Gates. Obama playing basketball or bowling on the campaign trail.
“Card Stacking” is a device in which the propagandist employs all the arts of deception to win our support for himself, his group, nation, race, policy, practice, belief, or ideal. He stacks the cards against the truth. He uses under-emphasis and over-emphasis to dodge issues and evade facts. He resorts to lies, censorship and distortion. He omits facts. He offers false testimony. He creates a smoke screen of clamor by raising a new issue when he wants an embarrassing matter forgotten. He draws a red herring across the trail to confuse and divert those in quest of facts he does not want revealed. He makes the unreal appear real and the real appear unreal. He lets half-truth masquerade as truth. By the Card Stacking device, a mediocre candidate, through the “build-up,” is made to appear an intellectual titan; an ordinary prize fighter, a probable world champion; a worthless patent medicine, a beneficent cure. By means of this device propagandists would convince us that a ruthless war of aggression is a crusade for righteousness. Some member nations of the Non-Intervention Committee send their troops to intervene in Spain. Card Stacking employs sham, hypocrisy, effrontery.
Example: “I didn’t even know that ACORN was getting a whole lot of federal money,” Obama said.
“We have more important things to be talking about than ACORN.”
The propagandist hires a hall, rents radio stations, fills a great stadium, marches a million or at least a lot of men in a parade. He employs symbols, colors, music, movement, all the dramatic arts. He gets us to write letters, to send telegrams, to contribute to his cause. He appeals to the desire, common to most of us, to follow the crowd. Because he wants us to follow the crowd in masses, he directs his appeal to groups held together already by common ties, ties of nationality, religion, race, sex, vocation. Thus propagandists campaigning for or against a program will appeal to us as Catholics, Protestants, or Jews…as farmers or as school teachers; as housewives or as miners. With the aid of all the other propaganda devices, all of the artifices of attery are used to harness the fears and hatreds, prejudices and biases, convictions and ideals common to a group. Thus is emotion made to push and pull us as members of a group onto a Band Wagon.
Example: The $5 and $10 donations to Obamas campaign that his handlers said numbered in the millions. The use of campaign rally attendees to call 3 non-attending friends on their cellphones to encourage them to vote for Obama.
Jump on the celebrity bandwagon:
I’ve said this before but I think Obama’s czar thing is an end run around congress and an attempt to shift all power to the executive branch. Roger Simon thinks so too and he puts it in much better words and perspective than I have.
Obama is appointing all these people to policy positions that we know nothing about. Congress has no idea who’s in charge of what and who these people are. And at a time when we have almost 10% unemployment, Obama keeps filling the executive branch with more employees, growing government, paid for by our tax dollars: our tax dollars and they are not answerable to anyone but Obama. None of these guys are accountable to you or me but we are paying their wages.
It’s just now starting to concern congress and it’s about time. From Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana: “The president should suspend any future appointment of so called czars while the administration and the Congress carefully examines the background and qualifications of the more than 30 individuals who’ve been appointed to these czar positions,” said Pence, speaking to reporters. “And the Congress ought to initiate a thorough inquiry into the constitutionality of this practice which has spanned Republican and Democrat administrations.”
While I thank Pence for bringing it to the attention of the people and congress, “the president should suspend” is pretty mild language. No, Congressman Pence, the president MUST suspend these appointments until congress and the people know who and what Obama has in mind with these czars.
I’m afraid it will end with that: concern with no action from congress. Congress can’t do much because it’s packed with Democrats. They aren’t going to challenge Obama and remember, they won. They don’t have to do anything that conservatives, the American people or the Republicans in congress want done. Can this be constitutionally challenged? Not for long because he’s planning to load the SCOTUS with progressive, policy-setting judges. He’s on that path already with the recent supreme court appointment.
The LameStream Media isn’t at all concerned. They aren’t asleep at the wheel, they are drunk with Obama Kool-Aid. Unless Fox News takes up this topic and pounds the dangers of it home, no one will realize the dangers in these czar-ships.
The point of these czars is to set policy and regulations that congress has nothing to do with and nothing to say about and by extension, you and me. Just as we have been making great moves against Obamacare, we have got to make noise about this.