Monday, February 25, 2013

Another manufactured crisis

Over at ABC News, they offer this analysis: Americans are yawning as sequestration looms:
“Here’s yet another deadline, and everyone’s telling us everything will be destroyed if we go past it,” said Michael Dimock, director of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, which conducted the poll. “It’s very hard to get the same sense of urgency for a third time in a row, just two months after the last one.”
Too much manufactured crisis in too short a time span. The people are simply tuning out.

Is this good or bad?

Whatever it is, we may be witnessing repeat of a proven political strategy noted in the 1930s:
"What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it. 
"This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.
The words come from Milton Mayer in They Thought They Were Free, and chronicle a strategy that led Germany into something called National Socialism, the rise of a totalitarian state.

While I'm encouraged we Americans may be moving past manipulated panic, I'd feel better about things if more people condemned today's attempts at manipulation for what they are.

Merely growing fatigued, tuning out the ploy and politics while reengaging in everyday distractions, only risks allowing government to move at an ever faster pace in delivering what the president calls a fundamental transformation of America.

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