Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Now You See Her...

Sleight of hand is a tool that magicians use to perform magic tricks. They confound us by seemingly making things disappear and reappear right before our eyes. According to Wikipedia, “sleight of hand depends on the use of psychology, (and) misdirection…Misdirection is perhaps the most important component of the art of sleight of hand.”

The country has been victim to sleight of hand in politics many times in the past eight to ten years. Misdirection has been successfully used to distract us from the real issues while we watched in disbelief as our constitution was methodically dismantled, the economy destroyed and were left wondering how in the world we got in this mess. Misdirection is being used again, this time to distract us from the fact that Sarah Palin is unqualified for the office of Vice President (nevermind being a heartbeat away from the Presidency).

Sarah Palin’s seventeen-year-old daughter is pregnant and there will be a forced marriage. So, who cares? Not one soul that I have talked to is the slightest bit interested in discussing this non-issue. The only people who continue to bring it up are the talking heads on television and radio. So obsessed are they with this development that has absolutely no impact on the problems we face in this country or the choice to be made in the upcoming election, there is even some whisper among them that Palin will be “booted from the ticket.” They have taken the bait and are gobbling it up in a frenzy.

Ladies and gentlemen; your attention over here at this flourish of the cape while –abra cadabra—Sarah Palin is magically transformed into a person that is qualified, indeed desirable, for the position of Vice President. “Hey! How’d they do that??”

The whole time you were busy watching the media circus discuss whether this pregnancy is going to hurt John McCain, whether he properly researched his choice of Sarah Palin, whether this somehow reflects on Mrs. Palin’s parenting skills, commitment to family values, on and on ad nauseum, the Republican Party, has dispatched its agents and mouthpieces to repeat the absurd notion that Palin has just as much experience as Barack Obama. They are spreading this propaganda unopposed while the talking heads natter on about the pregnancy non-issue, working the old angle of repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth.

While you are embroiled in the “scandal” of this pregnancy, the Republicans are busy marketing Palin as a political outsider and maverick that “took on the oil industry” and “put the nail in the coffin of the ‘Bridge to Nowhere.’” Nevermind that neither of these assertions is true, the attention of the citizenry is being directed toward sensationalistic nonsense. They are painting a scenario wherein Mrs. Palin (and her family!) is being unfairly attacked by the media (and this will somehow be tied to the Democrats, though they have had, universally, no comment on the whole non-issue) in order to garner sympathy for her so that when she finally takes the stage they can then say, “Wow; she’s a real trooper! Isn’t she spunky? What a gal!” The whole thing was manufactured to make you look in the wrong direction, so you wouldn’t see that she is a frighteningly underqualified candidate.

This also from Wikipedia, “The magician choreographs his actions so that even the critical and observant spectators are likely to look where the magician wants them to. (More importantly, they do not look where they should not.) Two types of misdirection are time and movement. Time is simple; by allowing a small amount of time to pass after an action, events are skewed in the viewer's mind. Movement is a little more complicated. A phrase often used is "A larger action covers a smaller action." But care must be used to not make the larger action so big that it becomes suspicious.”

Did you know that the nominee for Vice President of the United States of America has been involved in an organization that supports Alaska’s secession from the U.S? Have you heard that she is currently under investigation for abuse of office? Are you aware that, although she claims to be against earmarks, she attended the Ted Steven’s School of Earmark Management? (Apparently, she was for earmarks before she was against them.) NO? Because the media is too busy pursuing the red herring and that is all you are going to hear about.

By the time Mrs. Palin hits the stage in Minnesota, the public will have grown so weary of the non-story, and so angry that the media won’t let it go, that they will find themselves rooting for her and the current propaganda will be well on its way to becoming truth.

How do you like that? Fooled again!

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