This is a wake up call. Everything that you think is actually a clever manipulation. Modern propaganda techniques are so clever, that most people
don't even realize they are being "told" what to believe. The biggest example, and easiest for people to identify in their own lives, are
political campaigns. I will be putting some examples of techniques that both major political candidates are using, and let you draw your own
Lets start with the democrats, and the Obama Campaign:
The biggest methods employed by the Obama campaign are Bandwagon, Common Man, Glittering Generalities, and virtue words.
The bandwagon stratagy is also called "Inevitable victory". In the latter days of the Obama campaign, the MSM has been writing stories on the
assumption of an Obama presidency. A prime example is this :
What they are not telling you, is that the McCain campaign was ALSO briefed, instead reporting to make it look like the current president has come to
believe the election will result in an Obama victory. This strategy is an appeal to people who are metaphorically "sitting on the fence", to chose
to vote for Obama. It all but comes out and says "come join the winning side"
Common Man tactics are when the propaganda-ist tries to appeal to the average person, making the argument that the position being presented reflects
the common sense of the average citizen. These tactics work even better when put into layman's terms, and spoken in person using less lofty
language. Obama is attempting to do this by simplifying how he explains his tax purposals.
Glittering Generalities are charged words, usually strongly tied to emotions within the common person, but is really vague in nature, or sometimes
offers no substance. Obama is going to "Change" washington, and gives some ideas on how this will happen, but in general is very vague about the
idea of change.
Virtue Words are words that people tend to view as positive. Peace, Love, Truth, Freedom and leadership are all examples. The intent is to attach
these words that conjure images of virtue to a particular person, to make them appear much more positive than they really are.
It is important to note, that almost all methods of propaganda used by the Democrats this election cycle, are designed to appear to be positive, and
non-negative methods of running a campaign. This gives the perception that the Democrats are running a much more positive campaign, with fewer
attacks, and appealing to the american desire to see more "Honest" politics.
The McCain campaign's favorite methods of manipulation include Appeal to fear, appeal to prejudice, Labeling, Transfer and unstated assumptions.
Appealing to fear is an attempt to trigger the "fight or flight" response in the target listener/viewer.
Appeal to Prejudice is not what it sounds like. Instead it is using terms to attach "goodness" to believing a certain view. The newest appeal to
prejudice attacks are using the "Joe the Plumer" style attacks, using phrases like "any hard working taxpayer", "hard earned dollars" and the
Labeling has always been quite prevalant in the republican campaigns. Labeling is designed to, for lack of a better phrase, "devide and conquer".
A prime example is the use of the dysphemism Liberal. The republicans have drivin it into the minds of the people that Liberals are bad. Therefore
if you vote or believe in X, you are liberal, and therefore also bad. labeling is actually a complicated propoganda technique that can also be filed
under the category of "Logical Fallacy" (for those researchers out there
Transfer is also called "association. Successful transfer is done by attaching positive, or negative values of any given person, idea, party, etc,
to another to make it more acceptable or less acceptable. This "guilt by association" attack style is most prevalant in the Ayers and Wright
comments made by the McCain campaign.
Unstated Assumption: This is when the propaganda-ist stops just shy of making an all out accusation that could be proven false, instead leading the
audience's subconcious to make the connections themselves. i.e. by saying some of obama's ideas are socialist, the campaign is stopping shy of
blatently accusing Obama of being a socialist, leaving the listener's subconcious to do the rest of the work.
Some of these examples are overly simplified, as a good propaganda artist will use more than one technique at a time to ensure that the listener gets
the message loud and clear. Most of the time, you are not even aware that you have been manipulated.
However there is an additional catch that makes it extremely difficult to rise above the propaganda: If their message has gotten to you, and affected
you, you will not know it. there is no possible way for you to realize you have been manipulated into your beliefs until after you have been
deprogrammed, which is not an easy process. Identifying and researching the methods of manipulation is only the first step on a long journey of self