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Monday, November 28, 2016

Trump is a propagandist

When the US President and his government engage in propaganda, what does that mean?

First, propaganda is information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view. In this instance, Trump would like Americans to believe that he won the popular vote and the electoral vote. According to multiple news sources including the President-elect's tweets, he claims widespread voter fraud propelled Hillary Clinton into the popular vote lead. If that were the case, then why would he not want an investigation?

Here is an email message from the Huffington Post.

"THE AFTERMATH OF DONALD TRUMP'S FALSE POPULAR VOTE CLAIMS The president-elect tweeted Sunday that "millions of people who voted illegally" were the reason Hillary Clinton won the popular vote after responding to a recount push in three states. The tweet appears to be based in a stat circulating from Infowars. And here's how the media plays into tweets like this. [Michael Calderone, HuffPost]"

The headline here is not just about the accuracy of the vote count. If Trump pressed for an accurate count amid allegations of voter fraud, then that would be warranted. Instead, he made a wild claim without any basis in fact. That is propaganda.

Authoritarian, tyrannical leaders employ propaganda. Is history making a repeat here?

"Propaganda in Nazi Germany 

Goebbels, Hitler's chief propagandist 
Goebbels sought to Nazify the whole of German culture, wiping away what Hitler saw as the ‘decadence’ of 1920s Weimar Germany, painting instead a picture of a Germany with traditional values and with Hitler as the beloved F├╝hrer. 
The promotion of Nazi racial policy was at the very centre of Goebbels’s message.
The re-writing of school books and the production of antisemitic books, films and exhibitions supported this policy. 
In 1929, Hitler chose Josef Goebbels as his Minister of Propaganda. Goebbels developed extremely successful campaigns using simple slogans and images repeated over and again in order to win public support for the party. The Nazis spent huge sums on newspapers, leaflets and poster campaigns. 
Once the Nazis came to power Goebbels developed the Nazi’s use of propaganda to even greater effect. He orchestrated large political military ‘rallies’ to build support. These were vast, highly organised events with banners and marching bands. Using his own skills of oratory Hitler appealed to the patriotism of the German people. 
Mass media 
Control of the mass media was at the heart of Goebbels plan as he developed the cult of personality around Hitler. The rallies and Hitler’s speeches were broadcast on radio, purchased very cheaply as they were produced by the state."

1 comment:

  1. The correct response to the call for vote recount is to respect the process, and to not editorialize about the legal right. The issue is not about the prudence of a recall, it is about Trumps pat response to things he doesn't like. He becomes a propagandist. Therefore, he can never be trusted. That is a significant problem.