The Poisoning of American Political Discourse
ANGLO AMERICA, 18 Nov 2019
In What Gore Vidal Calls “The United States of Amnesia”
Trump and gang (i.e., today’s Nixonian political and linguistic gangsters) are simply playing by the rules of the Newt Gingrich “Rulebook for Republicans” (actually titled “Language A Key Mechanism of Control, 1990,” published along with audiotapes during the Clinton Administration), in which Newt proposes that the best way to attain and keep political office is to lie on every possible occasion, equating Republicans with mom, apple pie, prosperity, the flag, safety, rule of law, and patriotism, while calling Democrats criminals, liars, communists, perverts, and traitors.
In other words, with astonishing (or not so astonishing) success, Republicans have achieved immense and dominant political power in recent decades by abiding by Hitler’s dictum – “If you tell a lie loud enough and often enough, it will be believed.”
As Speaker of the House, Gingrich allowed Rupert Murdoch (Australian billionaire and media mogul) to bypass traditional legal scrutiny and time regulations, and thereby overnight flood America with the neo-fascist shriekings of USA Today and FOX News (imitating the longstanding editorial practice of The Wall Street Journal).
Democrats and the mainstream news media went along with nary a whisper of objection, raising no warning flags, and meekly succumbing to the poisoning of American political discourse.
When Bill Maher asked former California senator Barbara Boxer how American politics became so divisive in recent years, she rightly said (and still unknown to most Americans) … “Newt Gingrich.” Gingrich’s pamphlet – “Language – A Key Mechanism of Control” – is only about 3 pages long, is easily downloaded from the internet, and ought to be analyzed in every classroom in the country for the nefarious championing of sophistry that it is (although most Americans don’t know the meaning of the word sophistry, even though they are ruled by it).
Philosophy teachers often talk about Socrates’ battle with the sophists, but most don’t know about Newt’s poisonous pamphlet (now the Bible of Republican discourse), and even most of those who do know about it don’t have the courage to use it in their courses.
They erroneously think they can teach critical thinking skills without reference to today’s most relevant history and to The Matrix (i.e., Plato’s cave) in which college students – recent graduates from America’s compulsory system of miseducation, K through 12 – now live and move and have their being, sleepwalking though history toward a political, economic, and ecological apocalypse.
Stefan Schindler taught philosophy, psychology, education, and religion for 40 years at institutions of higher learning, including The University of Pennsylvania, La Salle University, Berkley College of Music, The Boston Conservatory of Music, Dance and Theater, and the Boston and Brookline Centers for Adult Education. Co-founder of The National Registry for Conscientious Objection, a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, a recipient of The Boston Baha’i Peace Award, and a Trustee of The Life Experience School and Peace Abbey, Dr. Schindler received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Boston College (on Freud, Sartre, Hegel, and Jung). He wrote The Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Awards for Howard Zinn and John Lennon. His books include The Tao of Socrates and America’s Indochina Holocaust. His forthcoming book is titled Buddha’s Political Philosophy.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 18 Nov 2019.
Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: The Poisoning of American Political Discourse, is included. Thank you.
This work is licensed under a CC BY-NC 4.0 License.
Click here to go to the current weekly digest or pick another article: