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It would be perverse to suggest the recent Matt Drudge-delivered blitzkrieg against Newt Gingrich was anything but a massive, coordinated propaganda campaign to incinerate his candidacy to cinders and ash. Of course, it would also be unfair to insinuate Newt is anything but the father of many of his own current struggles. But, be that as it may, it is hard to see how such a scorched earth policy against a lively and talented Republican with vast leadership experience helps the GOP or harms Obama.
Such propaganda campaigns are not unknown in politics, but are rare in healthy democracies. That such a firebombing maneuver is being waged within the GOP against a viable member in order to transparently benefit Mitt Romney—the most progressive candidate—cannot possibly bode well for the future state of the party or of our union as a whole
Jacques Ellul wrote one of the great modern works on Propaganda, tapping deeply into the psyche of the masters of political mischaracterization and mass manipulation. He observed one added aspect to the traditional dark arts of the propagandist – making the goal of propaganda the moving adherents towards a mystical ideology and false religion. According to Ellul, the purpose of propaganda is to exhaust man’s freedom, and so to make him directable in all his words, thoughts and deeds. The subject of modern propaganda is the topic of this essay.
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