|Source: Daily Koss|
Today I hope you’ll take a few minutes to view two insightful videos.
Yesterday, Mr. Trump walked out of an infrastructure meeting with Democrat leaders demanding that unless Democrats suspend all investigations into his misuse of the office of the presidency and a host of additional illegal activities, he will cease his administration’s cooperation to begin rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure.
Mr. Trump, an acknowledged distraction / manipulation king and master flimflammer is not alone in the art. Others, like him, have succeeded in remaining in power by misleading their followers with a blizzard of B.S. and costly distractions.
How this is accomplished is discussed in the first video interview by Rob Kall (publisher of Op-Ed News, opednews.com) with Dr. Roy Eidelson, a clinical psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania and author of, Political Mind Games.
“In Political Mind Games, psychologist Roy Eidelson presents a unique and illuminating framework for understanding and combating the manipulative ploys of the 1%. He explains exactly how the rich and powerful mislead the American people--about what's happening, what's right, and what's possible--by targeting basic questions we ask ourselves everyday: Are we safe? Are we being treated fairly? Who should we trust? Are we good enough? Can we control what happens to us? Our doubts and confusion about these issues enable today's plutocrats to craft messages artfully designed to misdirect our outrage, fragment our opposition, and garner our support for an agenda that serves only the privileged few. That's how so many have come to believe that climate change is a hoax, taxes are too high, the military budget is too low, public education needs privatization, workers have it too easy, voter fraud is everywhere, healthcare isn't a fundamental right, poverty is deserved, and more.”
The other day I listened to Stephen Henderson (Detroit Today, WDET) interview two psychologists discussing why people believe “wild conspiracy theories”.
Henderson wanted to know, “How might we open a dialogue with people who believe in something that seems to defy all known facts and evidence?”
Toward the end of the interview I was struck by what I consider to be a simplistic method of determining which “conspiracy theory” is false.
Dr. David Ludden, professor of psychology at Georgia Gwinnett College, explained, "As a general rule, I think you want to ask, if you have multiple explanations, which one is simpler? And probably the simpler one is the correct answer...That's how science works as well when we have competing theories... which one is simpler. This conspiracy theory is awfully complicated compared to the other explanation, so, I think, probably the conspiracy theory isn't true."
Wow, I thought. This guy has just ignored the past 100 years of U.S. history. Just one example, the outing of the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird, underscores his method for sorting truth from fiction is simplistic and dangerous. See Carl Bernstein’s 1977 article, The CIA and the Media.
However, Dr. Ludden did provide an insightful explanation of why people follow master manipulators, such as Mr. Trump, who often utilize false conspiracy tropes:
"The reason people believe in conspiracy theories is because it empowers them. It gives them the sense that they are in the know. They know something that most people don't know, or they understand something that most people don't understand. So, this gives them power. I think you're going to find that people believe in conspiracy theories when they feel that they have a loss of power and this gives them some way of taking back control, control of their lives.”
In the second video, James Corbett (corbettreport.com) explains why when you hear someone say: “Oh, that’s just another one of those crazy conspiracy theories”, you might consider listening with an open mind. Why? Because often they are based on fact and are eventually revealed as “true”.
Episode 356 – Top 5 “Conspiracy Theories” That Turned Out To Be True
“We all know the old trope of the tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorist who believes crazy things like “the government is spying on us” and “the military is spraying things in the sky” and “the CIA ships in the drugs.”
“Except those things aren’t so crazy after all. As it turns out, many of the old “conspiracy theorist” fantasies are actually true.”
“Here are five examples of things that were once derided as zany conspiracy paranoia and are now accepted as mundane historical fact.”