April 24, 2007

Slogans for Dummies

Do you know what the popular anti-war slogan “Bush lied; my son died” means? If you do, you are, believe it or not, a member of some kind of intellectual elite.

Put simply, the Americans who are outside the said "intellectual elite" interpret the slogan this way: “Bush said my son wasn’t going to die, but he did.” Let’s call that the A version of the slogan. These people fail to see that the slogan actually means: “Bush’s lies gave rise to a war, in which my son died.”

The important point is that the basic slogan sounds nonsensical to the people in the A group. Their plausible-sounding objection to the slogan is this: “In a war, some soldiers are going to get killed. That is the reality of warfare. So it is unfair to call Bush a liar.”

I think this is really more serious than a simple misunderstanding. It hints at the enormity of the task facing the progressive movement, because it shows that the basic presuppositions of a large part of their potential audience are different than their own presuppositions. This potential audience is so backward politically that it has failed to perceive the chain of events, so clear to us, that led from the lies of Bush and his cronies to the war in Iraq.


SAW said...

This is actually quite profound in its simplicity. So much so that I' thinking you are absolutely correct and that scares me. I've had relationships in which I swear the other person and I were both looking at a bird, but it turned out that the other person saw only a tree. This is an important observation. Thanks! Now we just need a translation device to bridge the chasm...

Fleming said...

Not only do "the masses" not understand reality except as it is distortedly presented to them in simplistic kindergarten tales, but they also just don't care. Their personal lives and bank accounts must be severely damaged before they will look beyond their TV sets, "celebrities", sports teams, and sex lives. . . and even then they will be suckers for slogans and sugar-coated lies.

Dave said...

The thing that kills me is that this bush character has his mug on tv cracking jokes, and making those damn smirks and all the while people take him serious. There is nothing about that man that makes me feel like we are represented in a positive way. These past seven years have been disgusting and I hope they clean up this dirt and let the truth be told sooner than later. P.S. No more Clintons, we don't need bush, Clinton for 25 years plus, cause you know Jeb or his other hell mongers are just waiting for a turn.

visit my blog www.unheardvoicez.net