“When a man ain’t got no ideas of his own, he’d ought to be kind of o’ careful who he borrows ’em from.” – Owen Wister (The Virginian)
American public opinion is shaped by “experts” of various political ideologies. Welcoming many ideas is a good thing, because we should be a nation that is not fearful of competing ideas. However, we should also be a nation that does not allow elites to rule which information we can access or a nation reliant on a small group of elite “experts” to feed us what facts, information or ideas we should believe. Efforts to quell free speech or rely on elitist gatekeepers, whether they be “journalists”, “military experts, “intelligence experts”, “medical experts”, talk show hosts, reality TV stars, etc., has created an American people who place their trust in other people’s ideas, usually without any independent research, fact-checking, or even thought.
America has become a nation of intellectually lazy people, who are easily led.
THAT is the problem facing our country in this fast-paced mass media information battlefield today, where aggressive foreign influence operations abound. Back when I was first on the internet and posting comments on the Excite message boards, I wrote about this problem, which even in the late 90s was referred to as the Oprahization of America.
Actually, I believe the trend started much further back, when talk shows like Phil Donahue started trying to mold the American conscience on politics and hot button cultural issues. In todays’ fast-paced information landscape, talk shows have now been upstaged by newsy talk shows, where cable TV pundits take “viral social media” comments or unidentified man-on-the-street videos and turn these into “national conversations”, except there is no real “conversation” – only slick media trying to mold public opinion.
Twitter, in 140-characters, is the fast-lane avenue for “debate” among America’s elite to shape public opinion on news and events. Along with journalists who sit on their butts retweeting each other’s stories, without even a cursory effort to check the facts first, Twitter is full of think tank, military and intelligence experts, who laud it over and take delight in dismissing the lesser mortals as nobodies who should not even be allowed to comment. They, like the “professional journalists”, retweet each other’s “expert” opinions and theories, while mocking and dismissing lesser mortals opinions automatically. Trump mastered Twitter too.
It’s a very insular world of elites, where only ideas and opinions they deem worthy of consideration become the accepted wisdom. If you are part of their elite group, even if you’re tweeting and retweeting total bullshit, you’re an “expert” or a “journalist”, but if you challenge their “expert opinion” and aren’t part of their elite group, you are dismissed as a hack.
Twitter is just the latest social media gathering spot for the politico experts to sit and argue back and forth online, the Excite message boards were a hub in 1998.
Russian influence operations is a topic of national concern now. I’ve been concerned about its reemergence since the late 1990s. Online, I’ve fallen for several sites, which were purportedly “conservative”, but which I now believe are Russian front operations. I’ve quoted some of them on my blog too and given credence to their information, because I believed they were conservative sites reporting facts that the mainstream media wasn’t. This election has brought the Russian influence operations out into the open, because they’ve been so flagrant and plentiful.
I have been looking for a way to expose the wholesale public corruption of the Clinton machine since 1998. I wrote my story, Messages of mhere, in a snarky manner, replete with pseudonyms, but the events happened. During impeachment I was attacked in my home by a Clinton hack retired general, who hates my guts over family support run-ins I had with his wife during Desert Storm. Letters I wrote to my husband’s company commander during Desert Storm, informing him about what was happening back in Germany, ended up at the Department of the Army afterwards. This general was my husband’s brigade commander during Desert Storm.
My comments on the Excite message boards were countering the Clinton spin there and some of my arguments were being picked up by actual conservative pundits, so I was silenced. Ever since impeachment – this retired general has been a faithful Clinton/Democratic Party hack. He was used many times to bash GWB’s Iraq War and travels the speaking circuit.
In 1998, being fairly new to the internet, plus technology-challenged, I did not save my comments that I posted on the Excite message boards, which was the only place I was posting comments online. I can’t prove my story yet, so I continue to use a pseudonym and to study, looking for a way to expose what happened. It wasn’t just being attacked in my home that keeps me working to expose what happened and it isn’t some deep-seated hatred of the Clintons – it’s because my husband was manipulated in this attack on me, by people in the Army he TRUSTED. My husband trusts this brigade commander and would never believe that he would attack me or harm our family. I also believe this brigade commander was fed fabricated information that led him to believe that I was a deranged, right-wing psycho and since he already hated me – I doubt it took much for him to believe the worst of me. My Desert Storm letters caused a big stink at DA – although I didn’t even know they had been sent to DA until several years after Desert Storm.
The US Armed Forces chain of command was deliberately corrupted and used as a partisan political tool, to attack an UNARMED American citizen on American soil.
As a result of being attacked, I was involuntarily committed to a mental facility, I was repeatedly taken into a conference room by two different shrinks, who kept trying to coerce me to sign paperwork. One of those shrinks called my husband at home, at night, to try and convince him to agree that I should be committed to a state mental hospital – permanently. I had been locked up 18 days, a hearing had been arranged and NO ONE in this mental health facility ever told me there was going to be a hearing or advised me of my rights. They kept taking me to a conference room and trying to coerce me to sign paperwork. My one son, then a young teen, when he was visiting with my husband, whispered that the shrink had called my husband the night before and that my husband was crying. He told me there was going to be a hearing and the shrink wanted my husband to agree with sending me to a state mental hospital. This is the effort that went into silencing me. And this is the kind of stuff that happens in Russia and totalitarian regimes, NOT in AMERICA.
If it could happen to me, a nobody homemaker, it could happen to any other American too.
The foreign information warfare efforts aren’t just a problem with a few specific sites, in my amateur opinion. I have believed since 1998 that the Clinton machine & DNC were permeated with hostile foreign intel information assets. The SPIN cycle, replete with repetitive talking points messaging and endless polling data to convince Americans that polls (momentary opinions of a few people) reflect the “will of the people”, works to nudge Americans to get in line behind this majority opinion, as expressed in polls. The news media sells which polls are “scientific” and reliable… I also believe that there’s a lot of foreign influence within the Republican party and among “conservative” sites, but they’re harder to discern, because they wrap themselves in the American flag.
The Democratic Party is a bunch of disparate factions, whose only unifying glue is their rabid hatred of the right. The Republican Party used to be fairly unified on foreign policy and some social conservative planks, so that even with fissures, they were touting The Constitution. Then the Tea Party (red flag with that movement imo) came along to divide the Republican Party. This election cycle a leftover Marxist set out to fracture the Democratic Party and a populist, con man was recruited to demolish the GOP in a “GOP Insurgency”. This masterpiece agitprop theater, that was the 2016 Election, had massive influence for sure, in fact, I suspect that both of our political parties were dupes, because we’ve been conditioned in our rabid partisan responses by mass media, like some Pavlovian lapdogs.
I quoted The Last Refuge blog many times and although I didn’t like some of the comments there when I first saw their site – using the Andrew Breitbart aura and claiming to use crowdsourcing to expose information that the mainstream media didn’t report, I paid attention to their articles. I was looking for a way to expose my story and this site did come up with a lot of information on the black grievance industry – Treyvon, Mike Brown, etc., but I noticed comments that were racist and did not get challenged or moderated. I was banned from posting for commenting on historical facts about the Islamic Golden Era, because supposedly saying the Islamic world ever had a “golden era” is verboten. So, when Trump entered the race, the Last Refuge blog morphed into Trump Polling Update Central and that raised a huge red flag with me.
The omnipresent polling hype has been carefully cultivated to herd Americans to conforming to whatever majority opinion the Left & media are selling.
All Americans, but especially those who revere The Constitution, should argue principles on merits, not using poll numbers. Trump was sold as “winning in all the polls” and herding Republicans into “don’t you have to support the winner”, based on media-manufactured opinion cascades created by BILLIONS of dollars in free media, with endless rallies reported live and in their entirety.
Here’s one series of tweets from this morning, where I explained how I keep looking further back and wider, whenever something strikes me as odd:
libertybelle Retweeted John Schindler
Saw the ZeroHedge link on DRUDGE. Yahoo search shows InfoWars also reporting. Before congress.gov or news sites.