Sunday, March 26, 2023

OPINION: American fascism

by BRENT REGAN/Common Sense
| December 16, 2022 1:00 AM

Despite decades of investigation, researchers have failed to find definitive proof of mental telepathy, the ability of a person to read the inner thoughts in the mind of another. Yet you will find claims in nearly every comment section that the writer knows what someone “really thinks” or “really wants” or “secretly believes.” Why do people claim they can do something they clearly cannot? One word, projection.

When someone tries to understand a situation they can only judge the events from the perspective of their own experience and then extrapolate what they would do in that situation. It is natural for you to consciously or subconsciously imagine yourself in the circumstances you observe and then form a conclusion based on the information at hand. The problem is that your experience and knowledge is unique and definitely not the same as the person you are observing.

The result is that how you judge others is deeply biased by your own personality. Honest people see honesty in others. Criminals see criminal intent. Conspiratorial people construct conspiracies to explain the actions of others. As a general rule, when someone offers a comment or critique about someone they do not know, what they are actually doing is mentally projecting themselves onto the situation and telling us how they would behave.

It is for this reason that when you observe someone in a situation, your perspective is just as important as the observed events. Two people with different perspectives can view the same events and come to conclusions that are very different.

Take the events of Jan. 6, 2021. One person would describe them as a violent attempt to overthrow the government while another person looking at the same events sees patriotic Americans with serious concerns about the integrity of the election calling for an investigation. Both people are sure about their assessment and neither appreciates the perspective of the other.

If perspective is so important to understanding reality, where do people get their perspective? Since very few people actually witness events firsthand, most of us get our perspective from the media, and since the media business model has devolved away from reporting the news and more towards entertainment, then your perspective is programmed by the media outlet you prefer to watch. CNN viewers will have a significantly different take on reality than FOX watchers. We see this every day.

We see the effect of perspective even in our local paper. When liberals interrupt, yell insults, try to force and agenda change and pull the fire alarm twice at an NIC Trustee meeting the headline is “Sebaaly turns down trustees” but when conservatives concerned about mask mandates in schools gather outside the school district building the headline is “CDA school board meeting disrupted, then canceled.”

If most people get their perspectives from the media, where do the media get their perspectives? Mostly they get it either directly or indirectly from social media and especially Twitter.

I am not claiming that Twitter, through the media, can tell you what to think. They don’t have to. They only have to tell you what to think about (headlines) and then provide the prospective. You do the rest yourself.

If you have read this far you may be thinking this is nonsense, and for you it probably is…for you. But this doesn’t have to be true for everyone, or even most. If it is true for a quarter of the population, and you know it is, then that’s all it takes to drive attitudes, policies, and even elections.

Elon Musk purchased Twitter with the express goal of preserving free speech. Musk has implemented multiple seismic changes to the administration of the platform and in the spirit of transparency released documentation concerning past practices. In those documents we discover that the federal government was heavily influencing who could and who could not exercise their free speech in the world’s largest public square. Your ability to express an opinion which does not conform to the official narrative was drastically curtailed. Those that weren’t outright banned could still criticize the government but their words were made invisible.

Consider the degree of control this administration can exercise over you. They control the monetary supply. They control the energy supply and through the energy supply they control the food supply (farming, fertilizer and distribution). They control healthcare and they have just demonstrated they control the supply chain (railroads). They control education. They control nearly every industry through regulation. We are finding out through Twitter, they controlled those that disagree with their policies or actions.

What form of government controls the lives of the people, the economy and industry while preventing the people from disagreeing with the government?

Hint: Read the title.

It’s just common sense.

• • •

Brent Regan is chairman of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee.

Recent Headlines