Adolf Hitler’s most devoted supporter and associate, Joseph Goebbel, was first a failed romantic novelist, playwright and journalist. Hitler, however, saw potential in Goebbel enabling him to rise in position and stature in the National Socialist German Worker’s Party (NSDAP) or better known as the Nazi Party, alongside him in 1933. Appointed as Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, Goebble’s first step was one of censorship—the burning of books. Goebbels became the master of propaganda, employing numerous principles of propaganda that unified the German people, ultimately influencing them to accept the atrocities of experimentation, starvation, and the mass murder of about six million of the German Jewish population and nearly five million others.
How, we would ask afterward, could an entire population permit such horrors committed on a group of human beings? The answer: Through propaganda and censorship.
Propaganda is the organizing and dissemination of information with the express purpose to orchestrate certain conclusions in the minds of people. The intentional manipulation of information is done by emphasizing, or deemphasizing, denying, lying, or propagating a line of thinking through communication craftsmanship that often includes deceptive techniques. So propaganda can be part truth or a blatant lie to serve the intentional purpose of the communicator to distract, mislead, or misdirect the focus on something. Censorship, on the other hand, suppresses or omits information or ideas that would interfere with the desired train of thought developed. It removes choices leading to a different conclusion. “Propaganda,” Goebbels wrote”, has absolutely nothing to do with truth.” However a collective conscience may be stronger than deceptive propaganda and censorship schemes.
Recently, President Obama while on his economic tour at Know College in Galesburg, Illinois said, “With an endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals, Washington has taken its eye off the ball.” Apparently, the American people do not agree that the strings of recent scandals are phony. A recent Fox News poll showed that most voters didn’t buy into President Obama’s message:
- IRS scandal: 59% disagree that it’s a phony story, where 33% say it is.
- NSA scandal: 69% disagree that it’s a phony scandal; 26% say it is.
- AP scandal: 59% disagree that it’s a fake story; 31% say it is.
- Benghazi scandal: 78% disagree it’s a phony scandal, 17% say it is.
When isolating the Democrats, a near majority, 49%, think that the IRS scandal is serious; 42% who do not. Regarding the NSA scandals, 68% of the Democrats believe it’s a serious concern while 27% do not. And the disdain by Democrats is even more significant on the AP scandal, finding 59% agree that the search for journalists’ phone records is serious, while 32% do not. Benghazi, however, is by far the most recognized and concerning scandal of the group, with 70% saying it’s serious to the 25% saying it’s not. Nevertheless, the Democratic Party spin machine is weaving the reason for the continued investigation of Benghazi, which resulted in four dead Americans, as a political ploy by the Right to harm Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid in the 2016. But 56% of the Democrats polled think Benghazi is a cover up by the White House.
Hitler said, “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think”.
It seems to me that the Fox Poll is evidence that Americans are still thinking. What do you think: Phony sandals or phony messenger?