According to Joseph Goebbels, the Third Reich’s Minister of Propaganda:
If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.
Ignoring for now the obvious relevance of Goebbels’ thinking to the current debate in America over formally, legally, empowering indefinite detention, without any charges ever being filed – on Bill Of Rights (Memorial) Day, let’s look momentarily at the big lie Goebbels advocated.
CNN’s Erin Burnett recently interviewed a new Republican presidential candidate, Marvin E. Quasniki. What makes Quasniki so special is that he’s a muppet. He claims he’s running as a Republican because they’re a “bunch of clowns,” which is the type of company a muppet would most naturally keep, one would suppose.
Much of the interview is the typical type of low, thoroughly wonderful humor and gagging about that can – and should – be expected from muppets. Quasniki claims he doesn’t want to “disparage anyone’s personality,” so when asked to criticize his tragically far more serious comedic competition for the Republican nomination, he says he’ll just stick to “pointing out their physical defects.”
The “defects” Quasniki mentions are Rick Perry’s “good coif,” Mitt Romney’s “good posture,” Michele Bachmann’s “good eyes,” and Newt Gringrich’s quintessentially pinchable cheeks. In Quasniki’s words, Gingrich has the, “cutest cheeks I’ve ever seen. You could pinch him all day long.” Erin Burnett reacts poorly to the idea of pinching Gingrich, as might we all, one would hope.
Quasniki almost leaves Herman Cain out of his list commenting only that Cain, “didn’t do something he shouldn’t of.”
Ron Paul isn’t mentioned at all, perhaps the result of, as one of the video’s uploaders put it, being “the only candidate that makes sense.” Whether that is true or not, the observation has some relevance to this discussion as an aspect of propaganda propagation, since making people think about the “somewhat different” Ron Paul could have provided enough context and perspective to unmask some of the maybe unintentional propaganda content that comes from presenting Quasniki’s “campaign” in the first place.
Quasniki starts his interview out in typical candidate fashion by answering the question, “What do you have to say to America?” with a long, rambling “Thank you for inviting me, it’s great to be here…” In other words, meaningless distraction, just exactly what is required to get people to think he’s a serious competitor.
As he’s introducing his motivations, he gets bleeped out for including a reference to a male bovine digestive product that elicits a question about his frequent use of “provocative language.” The question is followed by a “heavily redacted” clip from a “YouTube statement” that Quasniki responds to with great redaction and a note that, “Back in Tonopah this is sometimes how we talk. I get heated. But my heart’s in the right place.” In other words, he responds with more humorous, but completely believable political babble.
Then, Quasniki fields the one heavy weight question in the short interview. He’s asked how he would fund continuation of the payroll tax cut. Quasniki’s reaction is quick and to the point, “Put rich people in jail. Take their money and then give it to everyone else.”
There’s a great “Haw-haw” moment for you! A Real belly-buster! A ROTFLMFAO remark for a cartoony clown character to make about solving America’s problems. The Presidentof the US of A throwing rich people in jail! Take their money and give it to everyone else! How much funnier can you get?
Which is exactly where the propaganda content, the big lie, reaches its apex. There are serious, consequential arguments with a great deal of substance to them that are essentially just exactly that – put rich people in jail and redistribute their wealth. Reducing the thought to very simple terms and having a muppet “presidential candidate” speak the words trivializes the idea so that it gets very hard for “serious” people to argue the point. Maybe that was the unconscious intent of the skit’s creator, too, although perhaps not in such bludgeoning language.
To some extent, it has to be considered that many of the people involved in producing Quasniki’s CNN “interview” sense they are a little more easily perceived as part of the 1% than the 99%. So, it would be entirely natural for them to ridicule an idea so ludicrous as recognizing the way theft of labor value from the many is exactly what’s required to produce the economic superiority of the few, and that a proper response to that class of crime is the same sort of confinement a common thief might expect, together with restitution to those whose just compensation was cheated from them.
Producing a fortune requires that the labor of thousands must be milked from them. To produce a great fortune the labor of millions must be harvested, for as little benefit to the millions as can’t be escaped. It’s only right that real justice would return the value created by labor to the laborers, and if not incarcerate the ones who stole value from them, at least reduce the thieves’ living standards to the same as those of everyone else and put them on personal improvement programs designed to remind them about all those good lessons they either never learned or completely forgot from kindergarten.
Erin Burnett finishes by thanking Quasniki and telling him that she thinks he’s “said a lot of things Americans are going to agree with.” For at least one of those things, we can only hope so.
Links directory (Really, visit them! The article text that the links link from is in parentheses at the end of each line. And yes, the music is commentary – especially the last one by P!nk. The lyrics for all the tracks have their own links so you don’t miss any of that not always very subtle messaging.)
- Huffington Post (Michael McAuliff) – Indefinite Military Detention Measure Passes On Bill Of Rights Day (on Bill Of Rights (Memorial) Day)
- AlterNet (Joe Conason) – GOP Hypocrisy: Rick Perry Consultant Outed as Gay, Even As Perry Keeps Gay-Bashing (Rick Perry)
- Washington Monthly (Steve Benen) – The rationale behind ‘bald-faced lies’ (Mitt Romney)
- ThinkProgress (Eli Clifton) – Fact Checking Bachmann’s Claim That Iran Is A ‘Few Months’ From The Bomb (Michele Bachmann)
- New York Times (Gail Collins) – The Last Herman Cain Column (Herman Cain) (This one’s terrific, humorous commentary with excellent historic footnotes!)
- Boston Herald – Ron Paul candidate platform (Ron Paul)
- Loop 21 (Zerlina Maxwell) – Is Newt Gingrich’s Surge Already Over? (Newt Gingrich)
- New York Times (Jennifer Steinhauer) – For Senate Tax Cut Stopgap, Odds in House Are Uncertain (payroll tax cut)
- ABC News – Lamb & Lynx Gaede (Prussian Blue) – Teenage Sisters Singing: Neo-Nazi Beliefs Have Changed as These Two Girls Grew Up (YouTube – ABCNews) (the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie) (The viewer comments for this one are, um, “priceless”.)
- Marilyn Manson – Tainted Love (YouTube – TheCazz93) (big lie) Lyrics
- Erin Burnett (CNN) “Out Front” / Marvin E. Quasniki for President – Funny Puppet Makes Fun of Candidates Except Ron Paul (YouTube – ScottCarhoun) (recently interviewed)
- Marvin E. Quasniki for President 2012 – Official YouTube site (Quasniki’s “campaign”)
- Girls – Honey Bunny (YouTube – FantasytrashcanTV) (typical candidate) Lyrics
- 4 Non Blondes – Dear Mr. President (YouTube – 4NonBlondesVEVO) (President of the US of A) Lyrics
- P!nk – Dear Mr President (YouTube – MegaMusicforlife) (presidential candidate) Lyrics