Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Warren, Fake Indian Heritage, and Gullibility

Today, after this business came out with Senator Warren and her registration with the Texas bar association years ago as an American Indian.....I sat pondered over this.

Imagine yourself standing there and needing some lawyer, and you walk into this private office area, and here are a couple of American Indian paintings, a picture of the Indian warrior gal with some chief, and a stamped certificate noting her Indian heritage.  For most folks (at least from Alabama), this would have triggered you (the customer) to ask about this heritage.

Course, the lawyer gal would have told you some 3-line story about grandma such-and-such who was fifty-percent Cherokee, and how you were proud of the heritage.  But then the Alabama in you....would gone on to ask how Grandma was 50-percent Cherokee.   The 3-line piece simply wouldn't worked.  You'd basically be asked for the two-page story, which Warren would not have prepared herself for that chat.

The problem here is that so many Americans are just plain gullible.  You could make up some story that your Uncle 'Joe' ran off and joined the circus in the 1950s, and folks would believe it.  You could make up a story that your dad was a Mennonite who escaped the family farm in the 1960s, and fought in Vietnam.  You could make up a story about yourself, in that you took a month off in 1989....went to Alaska, and shot two grizzly bears.  People are simply gullible enough to believe these stories.

In fact, the further you can take in some university or US government job.....the more dramatic that the story can be.  There are probably 350,000 guys walking around the US today and claiming that they earned a Medal of Honor (since the Revolutionary War, there's only been 3,522 people awarded the Medal).

You can go over to a major American public university and ask them to state how many American Indians are attending, and find out that at least 300 students from the University of Alabama.....are American Indians.  Factual?  It's doubtful.

But that's the thing about this whole business.....people are gullible enough to believe just about anything you make you make up.  You could take two weeks of leave from the office....disappear totally, and show up in two weeks with bandages and wounds on yourself.....telling folks that you went on some safari to South Africa and got attacked by lions.  Folks would be all driven to believe the story and ask you to relate the lion attack story.

There's a problem here, but we seem to really enjoy being entertained.

Trump and the SOTU Speech

I normally don't watch these State of the Union speeches.   As a kid, I can remember two or three by Nixon, a couple by Reagan, maybe one of Clinton's eight speeches, and maybe bits and pieces out of the last twenty years. 

From the Trump speech yesterday, there were three things that I kinda noticed.  First, it was a direct and blunt statement to socialism.....which I think he's going to label the 2020 election about socialism.  Those Democrats showing up in the primary in early 2020....have a script already written out to hype socialism....which I have doubts that the bulk of Democratic voters outside of metropolitan areas will sign up to.  If Trump's team just runs ads of Venezuela and what socialism is all about.....then their candidate probably won't even cross the 60-million vote point. 

Second, as much as Pelosi tried to appear focused and busy in the background.....I just kept looking at her as he spoke.  I suspect a lot of people did.

Third, it just seemed like every paragraph to his speech....had some honored guest of Trump in the background and getting mentioned.  An agenda to each single person?  Yes.  You can't help but notice that angle.

As for the short opposition speech from the Georgia candidate for governor?  Meaningful....but it just wasn't as dramatic.   And the forty-odd people behind her?  I would avoid that in the future when you do another opposition speech. 

Mass Movements and Suddenness

"It is a truism that many who join a rising revolutionary movement are attracted of the prospect of sudden and spectacular change in their conditions of life.  A revolutionary movement is a conspicuous instrument of change." 
-- Eric Hoffer

This is the beginning of a seven-essay series I'm writing from True Believer, the 1951 book written by Eric Hoffer, which drills down into mass movements and how various agenda groups 'stage' an event or captivate an audience and drum up support for sudden change.

One of the odd features of mass movements is that they typically don't involve people over the age of fifty.  It's hard to convince older people of some event requiring you to stage a revolution for change.  This is the crowd with a skeptical nature....questioning the need for irrational behavior or the sudden arrival of some emergency.

A chief selling point of this mass movement strategy is that people are naive enough to think that sudden change (of any type) will bring about success or good fortune.  Statistically, you can't prove that statement though.

One of the great problems of this mass movement strategy is that you often find people who are in the midst of a great landscape, and they don't see a necessity to get hyped up for revolution.  These are the people least likely to buy into suddenness.  And on the other side of have the group who are frustrated with disenchantment brewing.  This is the group that would like to doors opened and problems resolved.  Suddenness is easy to buy into with this group. 

Oddly enough, all of this attraction involves 'sudden-change'....not something that occurs in ten to twenty years.....but in a much shorter timespan.  This is usually where some individual is telling you that climate change is underway and unless you do something in ten years....the world will end.  A naive guy will buy into sudden change pretty easy at that point.  An older guy will be skeptical and ask questions. 

So when you are confronted with some agenda and it just seems to 'tingle' or swing back and forth....with urgentness and suddenness attached, ask yourself if this is real or fake.