Here is how it’s done. Deny and Destroy reality then, moving right along, construct a new reality that suits your purposes. Hitler was a Grand Master of the technique as he constructed the Third Reich, the “Deutschland über alles” meme that is neither symbolically nor emotionally different from, “Make America Great Again”. Mussolini was not far behind in his similar accomplishments. Be the populist who gives the audience the binary world they so desperately want: Right or Wrong, Us or Them, Populists recognize the reality that their audience, their followers, don’t just want things to be simple, they are desperate for it! They want to believe because something is better than nothing, better than a complicated nuanced truth. The repetition of simplistic meaningless slogans, “Lock Her Up”, and “Make America Great Again”, binds them to you. Outright lies also bind your followers to an identity they can understand, embrace, and chant. It is these methods with their racist subtexts that inspire and normalize behavior thus far regarded as socially unacceptable.
Be sure to order ball caps and paraphernalia with your vacuous slogans prominently displayed. Identify groups of “others” and isolate them with racist subtext and degrading inference. Vilify and reject those groups as being illegitimate members of your society taking what is rightfully yours including jobs you won’t take. Demean immigrants and the countries they come from. Openly suggest your women and children are not safe with undocumented criminals lurking in the bushes. Create an energetic, irrational, but useful, distrust of “fake news”. Your sympathetic news outlets will repeat and validate the rant spreading it far and wide.
Once you have sufficiently vilified the “others” the next step is to attack familiar and foundational institutions. Call into question the integrity of the FBI, the CIA, public education, even the military as you undermine public faith and confidence in government itself. Also, mock and alienate foreign countries and their leaders. Use obfuscation and emotion to create mass cognitive dissonance to divert attention from what you and your colleagues are really up to. Keep repeating the lies. Discard the rules of civil discourse. Keep stirring the pot. Everything is in flux, dangerous, and vulnerable.
This is what we as a country have come to – not a celebration of Democracy but the destruction of Democracy. We are in the midst of an ongoing massive case of political propaganda that exploits “ressentiment”, a French word that “expresses a sense of hostility directed at that which one identifies as the cause of one’s frustration, that is, an assignment of blame for one’s frustration and anger”, an anger and ressentiment that can thus be easily directed and exploited.
My dictionary describes a demagogue as someone who appeals to the lowest common denominator in a society enlisting them to attack and resist those they are conditioned to believe are responsible for whatever reality they have been forced to live in. Demagogues don’t even spare children. With an ongoing all-out attack on public education and children in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, nothing is safe, no one and nothing is sacred. Repeat after me the demagogue says, “USA, USA”, shouts the crowd until they are hoarse. Perhaps even delirious. It’s mind-numbing manufactured cognitive dissonance and that, my friends, is the point. That is always the aim and purpose of deliberate manufactured anarchy out of which social control has historically emerged.
This is not Democracy. This is the destruction of Democracy.