By Garen Yegparian
It’s all over except for the certifications various state authorities must make. George W. Bush actually got elected this time. And that’s what boggles the mind. Somewhere in the vicinity of four million more voters chose to vote for a consistent liar than his somewhat bland–but at least decent–opponent.
This man and his regime and the so-called neo-conservative movement’s minions lied to pave the way for invading Iraq. They continue to at least obfuscate to keep the true picture of events in that country from gelling in the American public’s mind. They lied about the true cost and resulting price points of medication for seniors with Medicare ‘reform.’ They refuse to reveal the participation in Dick Cheney’s energy task force meetings–clearly masking some nefarious machinations. They promulgated a Healthy Forests program that chops the trees down to save them. Despite a term marked by a NET LOSS of jobs for the first time since the Great Depression–they assert that jobs have been created–relying on the partial truth that jobs have been created in the LAST FEW MONTHS. They boast about a No Child Left Behind Policy while funding it insufficiently and forcing teachers to prepare students for standardized exams as if they were robots. A so-called Clear Skies initiative lets polluters off the hook so they won’t have to reduce emissions. They claim to have made the US safer but animosity towards the country is rising all around the world and they issue unfunded mandates to local and state authorities who–as a result–cannot hire and train the requisite first responders–police–firefighters–paramedics–nurses–etc. They reject the Kyoto Protocol designed to reduce greenhouse gases that cause global warming by contending this phenomenon doesn’t exist–despite massive scientific evidence to the contrary. They promulgated hundreds of anti-environmental regulations–usually announced on late Friday afternoons so no one–particularly the media–would notice.
But how can people not see this? They’re not stupid–right?
That’s the beauty of the con job. Because a solid bloc of people backs these "crazies" (as they were called by other government officials during Papa Bush’s presidency)–duplicity is channeled through these supporters. So–when Chief of Staff Andy Card says "President Bush received the most popular votes of any president in our history" (quote is approximate)–the dittoheads made famous by Rush Limbaugh and others like them start echoing it. Wow–what a surprise–someone in 2004 got more votes than someone else got in 1904–who in turn got more than someone in 1804. Gee–I wonder if the country’s steadily growing population has anything to do with it?
But now this "fact" will be used to aggrandize Bush. It will be repeated so many times that its echoes will drown out all else and it will become relevant reality. Reminds me of the Nazis’ approach to propaganda. Then–if someone dares point out salient facts–people will have become so used to the original ‘fact’ that this poor Johnny-come-lately will be vilified as a partisan–liberal hack.
This explains how so many otherwise decent people could stoop to voting for a mass-murderer (see GOVERNOR George W. Bush’s executions record).
A number of the California propositions were drowned similarly. In this case–the echo-chamber effect was initiated by that ‘paragon’ of moderate Republicanness–Arnold Schwarzenegger. I’ll focus on two of them through which people cut their own throats then precluded the prospect of treatment.
Prop 64 passed. As a result–people and public interests groups can no longer pursue legal action against–let’s say a company dumping toxic materials illegally–unless they have themselves been directly harmed. What was the selling point the governator and other advocates of this measure used? They claimed people were initiating frivolous lawsuits as a means of extorting money from innocent–small businesses. While a miniscule number of such cases do occur–is it worth eliminating something that’s been on the books for decades and protecting the PEOPLE–instead of cracking down on abusers? Here’s the pattern again. Use a partial truth or outright falsehood (abuses)–get an echo chamber (Arnold)–confuse concerned citizens–and let them vote against their own best interest.
Prop 71 did not pass. Here–the contention was that small business owners would be saddled with onerous employee health insurance bills. A false advertisement–complete with an actress pretending to be the owner of a restaurant that WOULD NOT have been impacted by this measure–claimed the establishment might go under or have to fire employees. Then Arnold got into the act. Walmart–McDonalds–and other big abusers of employees funded the opposition. Despite the fact that well over 90% of businesses in California already provide health benefits to their employees–people were duped into voting against this measure. The VERY FEW–but very large–businesses who opposed this proposition got their way and now ALL OF US will pay for their employees who have no alternative but to resort to emergency–county facilities where they can get treated for free. See that pattern again?