Popularity of outlandish propaganda doesn’t bode well for country

Posted 28 April 2021 at 7:24 am


We are being asked by President Biden to invest in ourselves and our future. I think the need for the changes he proposes is demonstrated by QAnon and the similarly outrageous tales that are animating by so many.

It seems to be the same phenomenon we see in the Mideast, South America, dictatorships, and third world countries in general – find someone else to vilify for your own failures. Conspiracy theories and hate speech goes a long way.

It’s true some people are gullible and also true that some are thrilled by the attention they get when repeating conspiracy theories or having “smart aleck” answers. But typically when  outrageous stories and propaganda gain traction it’s a sign that things are not working well.

Propaganda keeps politicians in power and lines the pockets of those who benefit the most.

A major reason President Biden’s proposals are so popular is that he was at the center of political power when things worked well! FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and to a lesser extent Carter all had our economy humming. They took a bankrupt country with people starving and turned it from the 20th ranked agrarian country into a capitalist country that dominated the industrialized world. Social policies served the needs of the many while not ignoring those of the few.

Since about 1982 in many ways the US has coasted and in other ways backtracked, both economically and in trust that change can accommodate all. By the 1986 tax act we started down the slippery slope in which taxation started to be paid disproportionately by the lower and middle class. There were cut backs in essential services. Four-year college started to become less accessible. Money started going into stocks rather than job creation. There have been incredibly enormous increases in the deficit (all under Republicans),  strategic goods started getting produced overseas, and the effective tax rate on corporate America dropped precipitously – now averaging 8% on multinationals.

As setbacks mounted and cooperation died, people have increasingly accepted the sort of outlandish claims those who were around used to chuckled at. Fables and conspiracy theories are so popular that TV ratings demonstrate people who do not get enough on Fox are leaving  Fox and turning to RT (formerly Russia Today) and OAN, both of which are Kremlin affiliated, and NewsMax.

Turning seriously complicated issues into TV entertainment with childish name calling demonstrates how bad off some are (or think they are) and how much some have to lose when we recapture what made us great.

The simple truth is we can recapture our greatness because we know our problems and we know what to do. We have done it before.  The other side, such as it is, prays on fear pushed by those who want to cover up the failures of the past 40 years.

Conrad F. Cropsey