When governments rely increasingly on sophisticated public relations agencies, public debate disappears and is replaced by competing propaganda campaigns, with all the accompanying deceits. Advertising isn't about truth or fairness or rationality, but about mobilizing deeper and more primitive layers of the human mind.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
Robert A. Heinlein per Lazarus Long
Consider. An animal of pedigreed lineage, bred for ferocity, weighing between 1,000 and 1,500 pounds, with tremendous strength and wicked horns faces an average sized man, perhaps six feet and 180 pounds armed only with a short slender sword and generally, the bull dies.
Why is that? The bull is chased and worn down by men on horses with lances and men afoot with banderillos (sharp pointed sticks). This does not kill the bull or leave him defenseless. Historically bulls have killed matador over 500 times. However, the most common outcome is for the bull to die on the matador’s sword.
This does not appear to be necessary. To win, all the bull has to do is run the matador over. He doesn’t have to gore him, although that would work too. He can just crush him. So, how come the bull loses?
The answer is simple. He ends up dead because he chases the cape. The matador waves the cape and entices the bull to chase it to the point of exhaustion and then steps in and slays the animal who is just lying there – defenseless.
People think the bull sees red, gets mad and charges the red thing. This is not true. The bull is colorblind. He chases movement. He has been stabbed and angered and is ticked off. His innate ferocity is peaked and he chases what appears to him to be the cause. The color of the cape is for the audience not the bull.
An interesting fact – if the bull survives, he is never brought into the bullring to face a matador again. This is because of concerns that he may have learned from his first experience and may change his attack strategies, making the contest much more dangerous for the matador.
When you consider the political dysfunction in our government, think of yourself as the bull and don’t chase the cape. It will be waved in many directions with twists and turns abounding. Some ways it will hit you:
SHIFTING BLAME: We do a poor job of testing for COVID19 and a worse job of attempting to fix the situation by the government not taking control and obtaining tests, PPE, ventilators, etc. Instead, they say the states are responsible to do this and then confiscate shipments the states have arranged and distribute them to suit their political purposes.
When called on this, their response is to blame the previous administration for leaving them unprepared and without guidance and supplies.
FACT: The previous administration left them a detailed 69-page report on the possible threat of a pandemic and guidelines of how to handle it. The administration ignored it.
FACT: The previous administration developed and left an agency specifically prepared to lead the way in dealing with a pandemic and a solid, professional, scientific hook-up with China researching viruses. The administration eliminated the agency and shut down the Chinese connection.
FACT: In three and a half years the current administration did nothing to ensure appropriate medical supplies for an emergency. The previous administrations couldn’t leave tests for a virus that didn’t exist when they left office. They had ventilators in reserve but the current administration declined paying for maintenance or obtaining additional supplies. When they began to pursue additional supplies, they set it up on the basis of private sector personal profit without any real concern for resolving the issue.
CONSPIRACY THEORIES: When challenged on their poor performance and lying didn’t work, i.e. Mitch McConnel lying about no pandemic guidelines being left, they changed their justifications to the conspiracy of Obamagate. A non-existent deep state program to destroy the current president. No evidence. No rationale. Nothing but their overwhelming belief that somebody else had to be at fault. They couldn’t be responsible just because they were in charge. I mean Trump stated unequivocally, “I take no responsibility.”
ATTACK THOSE TRYING TO DO THE JOB: The list is long. Two of the most recent: Rick Bright, Director of a governmental biomedical agency and Steve Linick, Inspector General of the State Department. Both have been terminated from their jobs for failing to adhere to the party line and fighting for the truth. This is a habitual response in the current administration. Intimidate staff to support what you want regardless of the truth and fire those who don’t.
There are many more examples of how we chase the cape and we will expire from it. Don’t chase the cape!
If you wish to find out what we can do to remedy the situation check out my book: UBUNTU: I AM BECAUSE WE ARE. A TREATISE ON FIXING THE FRACTURED STATE OF AMERICAN GOVERNANCE. (Available on Amazon.)
It sets out the only peaceful method to alter the course of American government to pursue a government that governs by the consent of the government with a commitment to the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness equally for everyone.