The power of (two or three) words

There are two (or more) ways of looking at the average political IQ of a typical American:

  • One, people are busy. They are working, paying bills, raising kids, watching football. They have very little time for politics. Consequently, when the political world injects itself into their world at two-year intervals, politicians have to carry short, pithy messages that are easy to grasp and remember.
  • Two, people are not intelligent. Taken as a whole, they are no more than a bewildered herd.

Whatever the truth might be, in our society there are no serious attempts to engage the public in debate, educate them in the schools, or do anything more than divert them and lie to them in media. The most important aspects of our political debates are supplied by the public relations industry in the form of two and three-word slogans.

There are many, and they are highly effective as they are crafted to yield an emotional punch. “Death panels” was used in the health care debate, and even as it was private insurers who were killing 50,000 people a year by denying sick people access to the health care system, those two words placed the government in that role, and carried the day. “Drill baby drill” reduced a debate about conservation, clean environment, and controlling access to the commons to an immediate imperative to allow the oil cartel a prize. “Support the troops” deflected legitimate anger about aggressive war and government lies by making our ignorant young men and women in the military the victims of dissidents.*

There’s another two-word phrase that has been equally devastating: “conspiracy theory.” I offer a description of its effect here in the form of pictures.

First, just an image of the amount of work that has been done by private researchers on matters such as JFK, RFK, MLK, JFK Jr., Wellstone, Florida 2000 Oklahoma City, Jonestown, First Gulf War, Iran Contra, Tonkin, 9/11, Boston, Sandy Hook, The Second Gulf War, Libya and now ISIS … you know, all of the lies of our times that our government tells us and our media refuses to investigate.

Secondly, the impressive power of two words, “conspiracy theory” have in preventing normally intelligent people from even looking at the volumes of evidence uncovered by research over the decades:

"What you got there buddy, some kind of conspiracy theory?"
“What you got there buddy, some kind of conspiracy theory?”

Saker writes about the conspiracy theory thought control meme here. He too is frustrated at how incredibly effective the tactic is. He asks What is wrong with you guys?! Has basic logic just become extinct?!

No, it has not. But propaganda techniques are so highly refined that its agents merely have to invoke two words to shut minds off. That is amazing psychological control of the masses.
*Another one has surfaced recently, “Nyet neutrality,” removing the notion of “freedom” from people who want an open Internet, and ceding it to the communications cartel.

7 thoughts on “The power of (two or three) words

    1. Unsurprisingly, you have missed the point. The terms I mentioned have no underlying content and are meant only for psychological manipulation. They are aimed at people who lack depth and have inadequate reasoning skills, you know, like you.


        1. No. talk radio is a real thing and those are the shorthand words we use to describe it. You’re completely missing the point.

          I forgot a big one, “Hope and Change.” That came from an advertising agency, even won advertising campaign of the year for 2008. And notice that even as it invoked emotions in people, it has no content. Ergo, it qualifies.


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