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You’re Either a Tool or a Target… Which is it?


Today I had a discussion with a few friends about how easy people can be swayed when they’re not informed.  One of my friends jumped into the conversation and said people are either tools or targets and it stuck with me.  So what did he mean by this?  Let’s take a look at the current Medicare and debt ceiling debate.  The left is counting on the uninformed to be swayed by their scare tactics.  They use these tactics to advance their agenda and it’s quite effective.  Think about this for a moment.  Global warming alarmists have been using these same scare tactics for years.  They proclaimed that there was some sort of global cataclysmic event just over the horizon if we didn’t modify our behavior.  They marched out so called experts to show us all the mounting evidence that supported their position.  Their goal was to rally the uninformed behind their banner and for the most part they were successful.  They gained the steadfast support of the UN, major corporations, and even our elected officials.  We were all doomed if we didn’t change our ways and the uninformed were carrying the global warming banner.  We were well on our way to passing cap and trade, that was until emails revealed that the data was being fudged.  This so call evidence the global warming alarmists put forward was nothing more than a lie and the uninformed took the bait hook, line and sinker.  They became tools for the left because they chose to remain uninformed and refused to look at different points of view on the subject.  These uninformed tools for the left are the most dangerous sort because they truly know not what they do.

I used the global warming case in point because in my opinion it’s one of the best examples of how the left uses the uninformed to advance their agenda.  These misguided souls are nothing more than tools; tools to be used by left or any radical group who tosses a few $100 dollars words their way and some skewed data.  They lack understanding.  They lack understanding of our history, our founders, our free market system, liberty, freedom, and the major issues that impact each of us.  I’ve written on this topic many times and I will continue to write on it because I feel it’s fundamental in understanding the strategy of the left and in some cases the right.  Both sides have successfully used this simple yet effective strategy over and over again and quite frankly I’m tired of it.  I’m tired of seeing good people maneuvered into a position to be used by them.  I often wonder when the people are going wise up.  When are they going to see these tactics for what they are?  Perhaps the answer is as simple as they simply don’t want to be informed.  After all when one is informed and engaged everything changes.

The first thing that changes is your eyes are opened and you understand things with a level of clarity that many will never know.  The next thing that changes is you become dangerous to the status quo.  You become the thing they abhor; something that gets under their skin.  You become a target because you see through their plans and schemes and you are threat to them.  This is the power of an informed voter.  An informed voter cannot be swayed so easily and sucked into the scare tactic trap.  An informed voter knows Paul Ryan’s proposal to reform Medicare is reasonable and long overdue.  And informed voter realizes the debt ceiling has more to do about out of control spending than the amount of revenue the government takes in.  These scare tactics rarely work on an informed voter and the left knows this.

This is why the MSM and the left aggressively target those from the right who can clearly define and convey the conservative message in an understandable manner.  When a voter is informed on the issues they tend to become passionate and engaged.  Their resolve to advance sound values and practical solutions is unwavering.  They’re not only willing to run the race; but finishing it becomes a necessity and this scares the hell out of the establishment.  If they can’t be used as a tool then they must be targeted.  And this is how things roll in our current political environment.  Just ask “Joe the Plumber“.

You can find additional posts on the how the left uses the uninformed when it comes to polling data atConservative Hideout 2.0 and The Other McCain.

Liberty forever, freedom for all!

Original Post: The Sentry Journal

  • Good post. It is amazing how many Americans are uninformed. I believe if the GOP would communicate better, this would change. They have Obama, the Dems, Liberal and the MSM working against them, so it isn’t easy getting their side of the story out. But now they have no choice but start communicating the truth effectively. The future of our country depends on it.

    • Paul Ryan is one of the most effective communicators in regards to the conservative message. Look at how he is being target. He’s not radical or far right, he just has a plan and it’s a good plan and this threatens the left. So they target him and smear him, painting him as someone who wants to kill grandma and grandpa. The uninformed fall this all the time. Thanks for the comments.

  • Because I fully agree with the essence and spirit of this post, I’d like to issue a challenge.

    Learn and study the issues as seen from the old conservative point of view. What would Robert A. Taft, Russell Kirk, Robert Nisbet, or Barry Goldwater have to say? Why?

    Learn and study the issues from a free market economic perspective. What would Mises, Hazlitt, Hayek, or Rothbard say? Why?

    Dare I say, learn and study the issues from a libertarian point of view. What would Jefferson, Acton, Nozick, Nock, or Paul have to say? Why?

    The most important question is always: “Why?” Because if you can’t answer that, you can’t make an informed decision.

    Partisanship is not a reason, nor is “beating the left.” Ideas must be able to stand on their own, based on their own merit, independent of partisan claptrap.

    And last but not least, learn and study the philosophical roots of conservatism, libertarianism, progressivism, et. al. Dig into the “boring” stuff, the “abstract” stuff, and I promise that you’ll never look at politics the same way again.

    • Oh, forgot to add …

      All these intellectual traditions are alive and well! Modern writers are looking at modern issues from each of the above points of view. Seek and ye shall find!

    • Very sound advice CL. We must become a liberty loving enlightened people again and this is a very good first step.

  • Edward Keefe

    Here’s a novel idea. Instead of attacking the poor and unrepresented, how about lower the budget for the military? You claim to be an informed voter but you don’t touch on the fact that our military spending is beyond what the budget can handle. Paul Ryan is doing the bidding of others, he has no clear view of the future and when he’s asked to defend his position he can’t even make the numbers work. Our tax dollars are being used to support the wealthy, the war machine, the finacial collapse and anything the people in power determine. Supporting the needy is such a small amount of money compared to the billions we waste trying to govern the world. If you’re really informed speak about the all the issues that collectively drain off the budget don’t pick and choose to suit your agruement. You better hope you never need the assistance of your fellow Americans because they way you see it one false move and you’ll be left to fend for your self.

    • Did you even read my post Edward? I’m making the assertion that the uninformed are easily manipulated by the left because they have not taken the time to research the issues. The uninformed make for easy prey for the left while the informed are much harder to sway. The left counts on voters being uninformed. This is how they can successfully scare people into believing that Paul Ryan wants to destroy Medicare while ignoring the fact that Medicare has already been destroyed by the Democrats who voted in favor of Obamacare. I mean after all Obamacare cuts $500 billion from Medicare; that pretty much puts a stake in it. I agree we can find savings in our current military spending because there is plenty of waste. But this wasn’t an article on military spending it was an article on the need to become informed from a conservative perspective. However because you opened the door on this issue, maintaining and funding a military is a mandate required by our constitution. Nowhere in the constitution does it authorize the creation and funding of programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Obamacare. Here’s a novel idea, why not eliminate programs that are unconstitutional first and then start looking at programs that are actually authorized by the constitution? I’ve seen no amendment that permits these programs to exist. By the way Paul Ryan’s plan does not suggest we eliminate Medicare for those who are 55 and over, he proposes that we are offered another option if we are 55 and younger while keeping the current coverage for those 55 and over. How does this kill grandma and grandpa…it doesn’t. The $500 billion cut from Medicare by the Democrats is what’s really going to kill grandma and grandpa, leaving their fate in the hands of a few unelected bureaucrats to decide who gets medical care. That’s just evil if you ask me. So why does Mr. Ryan propose we reform Medicare? Because Medicare is unsustainable, even the CBO agrees with this. Social Security is also unsustainable in its current form and unless it’s reformed it will become insolvent and bankrupt the nation. These numbers are indisputable and until we stop playing partisan games we’re heading for financial collapse. Not because the wealthy are taxed too little, but because of unconstitutional programs that are sucking the financial life from our nation and stealing the future for our children. These are the issues that collectively drain off our budget Edward and every politician in Washington DC knows this. They’re just playing left and right games to attain more power; pitting the uninformed against the uninformed. They are counting on us to use their talking points against each other and that’s all they are talking points not backed by facts. If the serious problems with these programs are not addressed soon we will be in deep financial trouble. Additionally government has been trying since the days of FDR to impose policies and regulation in the hopes of stamping out poverty and leveling the playing field. Lyndon Johnson tried with his war on poverty and the great society. It hasn’t really worked out the way these social engineers had planned. They abandoned free market principles for programs that hand out government cheese and look where it has gotten us. As for seeking the assistance of my fellow Americans; well I don’t believe my fellow Americans should be responsible for funding my retirement or my medical insurance when I reach retirement age. That smells too much like Marxism to me. I believe I’m responsible for my own retirement and the planning for my own medical coverage. I believe I’m empowered to chart this course and not the federal government; I’m responsible. With freedom and liberty comes individual responsibilities and I take that charge seriously. I will not trade my freedom or individual liberty for a system that relies on the collective to make decisions that I should be free to make.

  • Edward Keefe

    John, first of all, I did read your entire post. Second, I am in agreement with the statement that uninformed voters are easily swayed by whomever decides to push their agenda. I take issue with your assertion that it is always the left. A recent article in Rolling Stone magazine, among others, points to the power and control of single man within the FOX News/ NewsCorp agency, Roger Ailes, as having more influence on the American public than any other organized news feed. Americans are content to sit in front of their television and have their opinion dictated to them and the viewership numbers prove it. Your assumption that our Constitution doesn’t authorize the creation and funding of social programs is incorrect. Our Constitution spells out clearly what is expected of our elected officials, provide for the common defense, PROMOTE GENERAL WELFARE and secure our blessing of liberty. Our problem, among many, is that our elected officials are not taking their oath to uphold our Constitution seriously. Regardless of any outside influence, our elected officials should, by law, uphold the precious document that has clearly outlined their responsiblity. If you consider yourself

  • Edward Keefe

    To be a conservative, then the concern for spending should include all spending. The fact is that there is no real threat from other counrties as far as sceurity is concerned. We should be concerned with the citizens of our own country and their welfare before we dictate democracy to anyone else. Our Constitution is based on real events and the concerns surrounding those events. It doesn’t give us the authority to influence other countries, regarless of our motivation. I’m also in agreement with your statement on responsibility concerning retirement, it is our individual obligation to determine our future need but that does not negate our responsibility to those who are less fortunate or just don’t have the means to provide for themselves after an accident or any other life changing event. It’s not Marxist to want everyone to share in the benefits, to some degree, of what this great country has to offer everyone of it’s citizens. It you’re a farmer in the midwest and the Mississippi decides to flood it’s banks to historical proportions, your thought is to leave the farmer to his own devices. That may suit you well in the short term but when it comes time for the farmer to bring his crop to the free market, he needs to raise the price of his product to cover his loses. If he decides to raise the price beyond what anyone decides is reasonable, his price will lower until he gets a buyer. What if he’s the only one providing that product? He can choose to let his product rot if noone pays the price or we could collectively come together and help the man recover his loses in the short term and suit the need of everyone. That isn’t Marxism, it’s being responsible to the farmer and the buyer of the product. I’m not saying that we should have our hand in everything that is manufactured in this country but we need to determine the need and adjust to promote general welfare. If someone has a job that doesn’t provide for the security of retirement should we determine that the job is not neccesary or should we afford the worker an opportunity to buy into some thing that can help cushion the costs of the golden years? According to your thought, we should leave them to their devices and allow them to lose everything they’ve worked all their lives for. Wouldn’t it be more compassionate to help the person with the struggle so they can maintain their comfort. If you work and live in this country, you have a responsibility to your self and to everyone else around you. Our Constitution dictates it. It is a living, breathing document that requires everyone who lives in this country to have the same responsibilities under the law, provide for the common defense, promote general welfare and secure blessings of liberty.

  • MK

    “I often wonder when the people are going wise up. When are they going to see these tactics for what they are?”

    I do too and unfortunately i think most will stay asleep because that’s the easy way out, or the easy road.

    Knowledge and questioning are the lefts most dangerous enemies. Stupidity and ignorance are their biggest allies. They can accomplish so much when people remain ignorant and choose the stupid road.

    • Edward Keefe

      First, MK, we should be able to agree on some basics. We could probably all agree that the system is broken. We could probably also agree that there a lot of people taking advantage of the system. We need a starting point. We need to stop pointing the finger at each other, which is exactly what they want us to do, and start making our elected officals accountable for their actions. We need to be truthful with our questions and not be afraid of the answers we may get. We can probably also agree that our Constitution holds the answers to a lot of the problems we’re facing. If we take the time to read it, we may find just what we’re looking for. I think the majority of the problem is based on money. We are the wealthiest country in the world and everyone wants to take from our tax dollars. Our taxes belong to us. Our taxes should always be spent on the American public not on other countries. If banking systems and corporate profiteers want to spend their money outside our country, that is their choice but we need to keep our taxes on our shores. We need to recognize that other countries aren’t a threat to our national security on a large scale. If it determined that they are a threat then retaliation should be swift, calculated and short lived. Spending 10 years in a country with the hope of them becoming a democracy isn’t valid. We need to prevent corporations from becoming so big and powerful that they need our tax dollars to bail them out. If they can’t control their spending habits, it shouldn’t be the countries responsibility to balance their books. Those are just some of the problems, I’m certain there are more, but resolving those small issues could go a long way to getting us back on the right track.

  • Edward I plan on responding to your response. I have been busy help people evacuate the flood zone of our city and have had very little time to blog. I feel your well thought out response deserves a response from me. Again I apologize for not getting back to you sooner.

    • Edward Keefe

      John, wish I was there to help. Hope all goes well and take your time, some times action is the only course and matters of safety are more important than a response. I appreciate your time.