The release of the Nunes memo brought into clear focus for me some very big concerns about the state of this republic. The memo certainly does not entirely undermine our government. But it shows just how far things eroded in one year. And that should concern all of us.
I saw a funny thing happening as two branches of the U.S. tromped their way toward either funding the government or triggering a shutdown. The alarming progression from republic to oligarchy to dictatorship in microcosm.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not declaring American democracy dead. What I saw was alarming, but not necessarily a full realization. Not yet. But it was disturbing and fascinating to see the transition happen in micro-view while still have everything remain technically within the normal confines of American governance and legislative wheeling and dealing.
Trump’s “Pocahontas” bit while honoring Navajo code talkers wasn’t the end of the world. But it still signals a big problem. Let me tell you why.
Sometimes I feel like I spend a lot of time yelling, “Look behind the curtain.” But a republic needs informed citizens, fully aware of what levers the wizard is frantically pulling while hoping we distractedly keep our eyes on the big floating head of Oz.
Let’s face it. Manipulation is a big part of what politicians do. Let’s take a look at two of the ways they do it: reframing and figleaves.
Modesty covering comes up in the darnedest of places. Even political speeches. Who would have thought it? It certainly took me a while to notice.
It is all part of the mechanics of political manipulation. Let’s face it. Manipulation is a big part of what politicians do. Being aware of the mechanics gives you better tools to assess what a politician is really saying. Maybe you will still buy what is being sold, but at least it will be with eyes wide open. (It’s sort of like dealing with used car salespeople. And I bet you’ve heard that one before.)
With that in mind, I thought I would introduce you to reframing and figleaves, along with a micro-analysis of their application. No. You did not just make a wrong turn into an art blog. And you will not need a magnifying glass and tweezers. You’ll see.