This is what pragmatic shift can do to any belief system. If you make those who use the language appear crazy or ignorant, you've silenced their argument among the majority. This tactic has been around for so long that today it has reached a frightening level of sophistication. Even an attempt at explaining it might make me seem unbalanced, but that is the beauty of this medium - it doesn't matter here.
Example: I was discussing the lunar landing with a co-worker a few years ago, casually chatting about - at a contained volume - the radiation levels of the Van Allen Belt. "Where was NASA," I asked him, "when the Fukushima plant was going critical? If they can get a man passed the Van Allen Belt, a nuclear melt-down should be a cake-walk for these guys." This isn't a conspiracy, mind you, this is scientific reasoning.
Yet, I suddenly stalled my co-worker from commenting on that question with my eyes. A pretty young woman who had just been hired was walking toward us. He turned to look and nodded at my request for silence, holding his comment until she had passed.
"Thanks," he said.
"I know it's an ugly question," I said.
"Yeah," he said with a laugh, "it really wouldn't help me to look like Dale Gribble."
For anyone who doesn't know, Dale Gribble is the crazy conspiracy nut from the animated television show King of the Hill. Where I was living at the time, this show was pretty popular. His allusion made immediate sense to me. This Dale Gribble is portrayed as lovable and clever, but he is also weak and not very masculine. He has only one child, the product of his wife's on-going affair with the more masculine John Redcorn.
Pragmatics . . . I'm not attempting to dish on King of the Hill here, but the sign this show impressed into society - which was likely unintentional - is that anyone who questions the logic behind the affirmations of standard pundits is incapable of physically satisfying a woman. It gets a laugh, but what does it do after-the-fact? No, I am not saying this show is somehow bad here or that anyone who watches it is an enemy of the truth. This show is not a conspiracy. This is just one very small example - anyone who has studied the development of the standard logic behind the Libertarian and Tea Party movements has seen this type of shift used in excess.
Ron Paul was interviewed by Larry King back in 2010 as part of a debate against Michael Moore on the topic of Socialism. Click here to view it on YouTube. This debate was centered around healthcare, and many of us here have already seen it. But just before the first break, after Dr. Paul asserts that he and Michael do agree on a certain stance regarding corporatism, Larry King says, "Well, maybe the difference is one of semantics." But at this stage in the development of the rhetoric of both parties, pragmatics is more like it. There is no real difference in the context here - both parties know what end they are attempting to bring about. They are the context themselves. Moore already knows that any socialist government will maintain corporate hierarchy and that capitalism and free-market are detriment to this system. Linking Dr. Paul's argument with the rabid near-sightedness of Moore would only damage the integrity of his stance. This type of "degradation-by-association" is what has ruined the Liberty movement at every turn and what keeps the truth from being heard at ever-increasing volumes.
Want DP delivered to your inbox daily? Subscribe here: