“I've got no opposition whatsoever to shooting, but for heaven’s sakes, I don’t think that the general population needs to have automatic weapons.”
I read elsewhere he had said that.
"No reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons."
Since the 1992 and the election of Bill Clinton, the NRA and its fellow travelers have been funding loony conspiracy-theory groups obsessed with things like the New World Order, mandatory government confiscation of guns and a liberal effort to create a socialist police state. Many of the ideas espoused by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols ----radical and fringe in the 1990s-----are now far more commonplace in Republican and conservative circles.
I think the conservative elite is starting to realize that they've created a Frankenstein monster of sorts. Since Newt Gingrich, they've been spiking the kool-aid to create a radical, grass-roots organization that, through hateful elan, could overcome the dominance of the Democrats. That has helped them in countless ways.
But having won power and destroyed that 40 year Democratic lock on Congress (which now teeter-totters back and forth), they find themselves increasingly beholden to the monster they created---the radical right-wing vanguard.
This is a very interesting phenomenon. Leaders often create propaganda and advertising to sell a point, or set of complex ideas or policy proposals. They are a way of framing the debate in a simple, easily understood, memorable way, without having to engage in an encyclopedic discussion of complex policy issues. In a sense, ideology and marketing are a way of simplifying and organizing a philosophy. But it has always been understood as an hermeneutic or heuristic device----an epistemological short-cut. When Lenin said "Workers of the World Unite," he didn't literally mean that all they needed was to have all the workers join together in a square and have a party. It was a symbolic phrase. Semiotics addresses this.
In a sense, the policy platform is like Hamlet. And the propaganda is like the Cliff's Notes. Smart folks can read Hamlet and take the test and are enriched. Others who can't understand it, or are rushed for time, use cliff's notes. Propaganda is like a cliff's notes way of understanding politics.
The problem now is that the propaganda, having been laid on so thick for so long, has now replaced the underlying source material. It's been going on for so long, that the GOP rank and file don't even know there's source material. They don't understand the policy debates that led to the rise of certain phrases and rhetorical paradigms. The symbols, phrases, images and the like have all taken on a life of their own and now exist apart from the original substantive understructure.
The circumstances of alleged Spanish trickiness and the desire to paint them as evil, led us to coin the phrase "Remember the Maine," when it exploded in Havana Harbor in Cuba. It was a rallying cry. But it was always known that the phrase was a way to quickly encapsulate America's position in the war, its "moral superiority," and the "wickedness" of the Spanish, as well as the "need for revenge."
But what happens when a phrase takes on a life of its own, long after the events that gave rise to it have passed into oblivion? It would make no sense for US servicemen to shout "Remember the Maine" when fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.
And yet, that's the political equivalent of what we're seeing from the GOP rank and file. They are over-propagandized.
The rhetorical constructs they use don't even make sense anymore. They are like Don Quixote, fighting the imaginary enemies of centuries past. (Cervantes was a master at semiotics). And their simplistic reductionist manner of addressing everything in antiquated Cold War terminology which seem anachronistic and eerily out of place in modern parlance.
And Trump drank the Kool-Aide and its' become truth for him. The original underlying grounds giving rise to the rhetoric are alien to him.
This is why the GOP leadership is trying to reign in the propaganda machine. There have already been attempts at Fox to do this, but they are back to their old ways, once they realized this Kool-Aide is helping the rich get tax cuts.
And this will be the biggest issue----the wealthy members of the GOP. Now that they have their tax cuts, do they still need the rank and file to drink the kool-aide? Or are they going to order the troops to hold fast? If they keep going full-steam ahead, on the Kool-Aide, they're going to destroy and over-extend themselves.
This is a little like what Arab governments did to themselves in the Middle East. They found Israel a useful tool to demonize to get their populations to ignore how badly they were getting screwed by their leadership. But in doing so, they contributed to the rise of the Islamicists, the radical fundamentalists, who turned out to be a much greater threat (which Israel wasn’t really to begin with). Now most of the local governments - Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia - find the Muslim Brotherhood and their related organization Hamas to threaten their existence. The problem is that their populations have been told that Israel is the major evil for so long that they now believe it. What’s worse, the Iranians have taken advantage of this and are spearheading the current efforts against Israel in order to take advantage of the image the Arab governments created but now justifiably find inconvenient, so Arab governmental cooperation with Israel has to be behind the scenes so as not to anger the public relations monster the Arab governments created.
this is a relatively new challenge in foreign policy. didnt happen before advent of mass media. interesting...
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