Punchinello’s Chronicles

October 29, 2008

The Fairness Doctrine

Filed under: View from the Bottom — Punchinello @ 5:30 am
Tags: , , , , ,

It was shortly after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., when Jane Elliott in 1968 came up with an exercise for her third-grade students. She wanted them to have a first-hand understanding of bigotry, so she divided the class into brown-eyed and blue-eyed children. The results were a horrifying, real-life example of frightening proportions.

Ms. Elliott mandated that brown-eyed children would be superior, have special privileges, and be treated better than blue-eyed children. The blue-eyed children, “blueys” weren’t allowed access to a new jungle-gym, were disparaged for their work, couldn’t drink from the same water fountain, and had to wear special armbands of crepe paper.

The brown-eyed kids were praised for their work, told they were more intelligent, offered second helpings at lunch, and generally were held up as better than the blue-eyed kids. Countless discussions, studies, and analyses have taken place since then. Not so many of those studies speak to the issue of a fundamental, instinctive blood-lust in all of us.

Human beings emerged from predatory animals. We seem to have the unusual (if not unique) capability to employ empathy to virtually place ourselves into the mind and heart of other living things. The problem is this capacity isn’t automatic. It’s a learned behavior, probably coming into effect at or near puberty with the development of the “emotional center.”

Third graders haven’t yet got the overall structure to build a functioning conscience. That conscience is the internalization of a moral code, often strongly enough integrated that it physically prevents us from acting contrary to the code. As parents, we can choose what morality to use. But as children, we generally absorb the morality being presented.

Removing the moral code, having no conscience, people remain driven by the basic animal instincts and drivers. The distinction between a human being and a member of the species is this empathy and conscience. The argument is that a psychopath (sociopath) isn’t fully a human being, but rather a human predatory animal.

The key is the education of a morality. Elliott’s third graders quickly bought into the reality that children who happen to have brown eyes were actually and genetically superior to those with blue eyes. Within a short time, those children began to clearly reflect that larger social organization of bigotry against the black population.

It shows that this kind of attack mentality is deeper than social acceptance, laws, moral codes and environment. The fascist killer is in all of us. We all have seen the utter brutality of small children, the complete disregard for living things, ignorance about causing pain, and lack of distinction between truth and lies.

Without a moral education, children enter adolescence without any sort of basis to form a moral conscience. And we now see the results in a vastly larger “experiment.” That experiment is the progressive American education system.

A recent poll among Obama supporters indicated a majority favor the reinstitution of the 1949 Fairness Doctrine. The intent is to claim air-time, particularly on AM talk radio under the guise that conservative talkshow hosts “unfairly” monopolize the airwaves.

Government mandates would force privately owned radio stations to carry “equal time” for the presumably liberal or progressive “point of view.” In a nutshell, it’s government censorship. And the ignorant masses of Obama’s faithful believers think it’s a good idea.

When asked their views in the probable scenario of removing Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity from the radio, the percentage of pro-Obama supporters increased. Only in the independent and undecided categories did the percentage go down.

This aggressive antipathy toward any contrary views reminds me completely of Ms. Elliott’s classroom experiment. Further, it calls to mind the emergence of the Nazi party in Germany, and the shutting down then imprisoning of non-Aryan citizens.

Even in Hollywood, some liberals are starting to feel a slow sense of disquiet at the level of anti-conservative bias staring to take place. Quiet rumors circulate, of mainstream journalists wondering if perhaps Obama’s rise to popularity isn’t too similar to Herr Hitler’s rise to fame. Atrocious acts of hatred and bias against Sarah Palin happen repeatedly, and it’s even bothering some of those people in Hollywood.

Reading a forum discussion, a young poster echoed the polling results. He (presumably male) was obviously young, nearly complete in his utter ignorance of reality, and was adamant in his vicious desire to “shut up” people like Mr. Limbaugh. On what basis? None whatsoever, other than everyone he knew “hates” the guy.

We’re seeing an amazing time in American history. The Soviet KGB used to call these types of people “useful idiots” because they ignorantly went about tearing down the fabric of American freedom and society. Since that was precisely the agenda of the Soviet Union, those liberal-minded socialists were useful to their cause.

Nothing is more painful than disillusionment. Finding out there’s no Santa Clause, no Easter Bunny, and that there’s no Tooth Fairy all are saddening disappointments to little children. If Mr. Obama wins the White House, that childhood disappointment will be nothing compared to the stunned shock of the useful idiots who put him there.

Too many years of empty education, no moral values, sophistry, and political spin have gone by. Generations of children have grown up living an illusion, without having been taught the tools of critical judgement and analysis. The result is the mind-boggling level of utter ignorance being shown in the polling data and pro-Obama arguments.

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8 Comments »

  1. I’m starting to have a little less respect for your blog these days.Though well written, Comparing Obama to Hitler is outright ridiculous.You do realize what you’re saying, right? If you want to write an objective blog post concerning what you view as the extremely ignorant masses ( or in this election the majority ignorant masses who blindly follow Obama) on the basis that they are uneducated and conditioned, then you’re going to have to use other writing tactics because what you’re writing is on the same level as what you claim to despise.

    But let’s get some facts straight since I realize that human memory is limited and in many cases erases what is crucial. You seem animate that all of the negative bias against poor Mrs Palin is unfounded. That’s pretty inaccurate. I’m sure you won’t believe any of this since I know that you must surely be aware of these things. But they’re worth repeating.

    Mrs Palin crossed the line by far when she was at rallies where people in the crowd actually made death threats against Obama for being a “terrorist”. That alone is reason enough to be highly suspect of such a woman being anywhere near government. That she did nothing to suggest that uttering such threats was inexcusable is key here. If you love Palin so much, then perhaps you should mention some of her fabulous virtues. That she has “executive” experience doesn’t mean squat either since she ran her first Alaskan town over 20 million in debt and has in several cases abused her powers as Governor.

    The Republican party has lost control in this election. They did so because their party decided to focus on the lowest, stupidest, least educated chunk of the US. They incorrectly assumed that by preaching uber-right wing fundamental garbage without anything resembling actual political policy would somehow shoo them into office just like GW, with the exception that at least for his part, Bush did in fact discuss actual political affairs to some extent.They believed that the uneducated hicks at these rallies would loudly support their negative campaign so wholeheartedly that they would surely sway those “other” Republicans- those who come from the more fiscally conservative, more socially moderate side to go ahead and vote for Mccain since he’s just another Republican… right? Wrong. Mr Mccain turned his campaign into an outright circus with Mrs Palin as the ringleader. Their mistake was assuming that the majority of their Republican voters support extremist right wing, religiously based politics. But frankly, there’s plenty of evidence to show that many Republicans are actually disgusted with this turn of character. Its almost embarrassing to watch.

    I say this as a person who grew up exclusively in a Republican household, who voted Republican in the past, but do not recognize the current Republican party. That they will likely lose will be good for them so they can kick out all the loose nut-jobs in the party and get back to politics and not spreading a culture war across the country.

    and you’re right- we need better education. The sheer numbers of complete morons at Mccain’s rallies is evidence of this very problem.

    Comment by bob — October 29, 2008 @ 11:29 am | Reply

  2. First, this blog is totally biased and I make no bones about it. My purpose is to do my part to eliminate liberalism as an ideology. To accomplish thst, my main interest is in defining the concepts and principles used in the conservative value system. Secondarily, to show how those concepts are used by liberals, and the false logic applied.

    Second, I’m not comparing Obama to Hitler, I’m writing about the news journalists who are mumbling about their perception of parallels in the unfounded rise in popularity.

    Third, the reports out of Hollywood regarding the unfair treatment of Ms. Palin come from a story about Hollywood liberals and their concerns.

    The story about Obama supporters wanting to “shut up” people like Limbaugh and Hannity is only unusual in that it was reported at all. Use of words like “extremist” in regard to people with core values is a supreme irony, coming from liberals who have no core values; only core feelings.

    My own opinion and analysis is that Mr. Obama will do whatever he can to destroy the capitalist foundation of America and move the country as quickly as possible into socialism. He won’t succeed, of course, because the President of the United States is only one of three branches of the government. Congress will do the same, should it become a simple majority of Democrats.

    But over and above the US government is the historic move toward globalization and international economics. Without money, there won’t be any US government, and Mr. Obama will discover (should he end up in office) that he really has very little to say about much of anything in the real world.

    Sadly, most liberals and anti-Bush fanatics don’t realize any of this. Mr. Obama will have as much “power” as G. W. Bush has had: almost none.

    Comment by Punchinello — October 29, 2008 @ 2:20 pm | Reply

  3. I at least give you credit for coming out with it, all raw and un-edited. We agree to disagree, which is by virtue perfectly healthy.

    Let me give you a bit of perspective from both sides. Why? Because I’ve lived in both places- both mentally and physically. As I mentioned before, I am from the rural South. I had quite a few friends who had absolutely no problem calling black people _iggers, nor talking openly about their hatred towards “queers”, liberals, and basically anyone else that wasn’t to their ideal standards. That wasn’t to say everyone there was like this. In most respects, people were somewhere in between. In general, racial discrimination was frowned upon. If a friend was Gay, well so what. That was his/her own life to live. If you didn’t go to church, well so what. So be it. People would cut off their right hand if it meant helping you. If someone got sick, the phone rang off the hook. If you broke down, two people would stop- one to get the spare out of the trunk, the other to jack up the car even if you didn’t need the help. Food was always brought over to friend’s houses. And so on.

    But there was an ugly side too. This rather shielded lifestyle was one that many had lived with for generations. Indeed, my family has been in Tennessee for over 230 years. We are essentially some of the oldest Americans ( besides native Americans) here. With this came the sometimes morbid fear of change. But at the same time, negative change- such as building too many Wal-Marts and generally turning beautiful farmland into nasty urban sprawl was largely ignored. The fear of change was more based in idealogical perceptions of a rigorous social order. My people ( as I call them) have a sort of strong, unfettered belief in the idea that America is a static country, static in status quo,as in what was good for Grandpa was good for us. An unchanging notion that we are always right. Any largely perceived threat was loudly protested.

    But the underlying theme to all of this was an unwavering sentiment of confident self-righteousness. A confidence that only Christian values were worthwhile, and that by being “humble” in god’s ways, they were somehow elevated above all others- be it yankees from up north, or people from other countries. Again- what I’m describing is by no means the majority of the South. They are in essence the exact equivalent of the group of people I live with now out in California.

    In California, believe me, there are tons of conservative people. More so than many other states combined. Once you leave any city, it turns into outright rural nothingness for hundreds of miles. Its way more rural than anywhere I experienced in TN. Its large cities are what make it liberal leaning. Of most liberals I know, they are of the same composition in terms of moderates and extremists as those in the South. Most are generally willing to listen and most see several sides.

    But just as in the South, extreme liberals have some far-out beliefs too. Such as that all Christians are nut jobs. I take offense to that because I’m Presbyterian. Many also write off entire chunks of the country. My state is lumped into a generic cluster called “the red states”, which is a derogatory term meant to indicate stupidity, ignorance, and intolerance. This too is meaningless. My Aunt lives in Memphis, has numerous Gay friends, practices Yoga, and dates men of all races. Not exactly the tell-tale sign of a conservative enclave. Additionally, extreme liberals have less concept of the importance of functioning communities. My take is that since most liberal cities are very expensive, it creates tension via class division, which ironically leads to social, class, and race segregation. That flys in the face of liberalism. Ironic.

    The bottom line is that the loudest groups from both parties are often the least informed and the most out of touch, having devoted their time towards hating the “other side”. I do think that for the last decade, Republicans have pandered openly to the extreme conservatives in their group, which in turn has created a greater cultural divide- at least perceptively- in the eyes of most Americans who ironically would likely find there are vast similarities even amongst people from rural and metro backgrounds.Extreme liberals haven’t helped either. Extremists hate other extremists.It brings out the worst in humanity.

    It is in our best interest to unite ourselves. The road we are heading down could very easily lead to vast social unrest, a further disparaging of class, and a fall from the international order. If we sink into internal fighting and the creation of more divides, then we all lose.

    I say this as someone who has lived in both places, who sees that most people are decent and tolerant. Yet those that represent us the least get the biggest reception. It has to stop.

    Comment by bob — October 29, 2008 @ 3:46 pm | Reply

  4. The thing about convictions based on principles is that it produces certainty and confidence. Principles are logical structures, not transient feelings. They’re permanent unless or until changed by rational logic. “Integrity” is the unwavering subscription to principles.

    If the principles are wrong, or they don’t correlate with reality, that’s a whole separate discussion. But all of us have the option of choosing a set of principles—a philosophy, ideology, or theology. Following that choice, anyone making it will also have unwavering certainty.

    The most annoying problem for conservatives facing opposition from liberals is that liberalism rests on ethical relativism, not principles. Liberalism cannot have that unwavering certainty, and anyone who holds to such a certain path can only, according to liberalism, be holding a grudge. Or they’re extremists, fanatics, fundamentalists, and other words the refer to “blind faith” in an unexamined belief system.

    Liberalism holds beliefs that match a consensus at any particular moment or time. Conservatism rests on principles having nothing to do with consensus. Liberalism values opinion highly and modifies strategy, tactics and argument as consensus opinions change. Conservatism acknowledges consensus and opinion, but never changes excepting with a clearly reasoned, compelling, and persuasive argument.

    As such, liberals are enraged (often) by the seeming “stone wall” of what appears to be stubborn adherance to incomprehensible “beliefs.” Conservatives generaly ignore the “hysterical” anxieties and resulting hollering of liberals who have no consistent arguments.

    Liberals hold that certainty derives from a feeling of certainty. Conservatives feel certain as a consequence and result of convictions. It’s why many conservatives “feel” very uncertain but will continue on a path of action regardless. Liberals see this as simple mule-headedness and total unwillingness to consider anyone else’s opinions.

    Any and all arguments about the underlying reason for certainty can only begin with a clear definition and comprehension of the genesis of certainty. But anecdotal stories that demonstrate acceptable or unacceptable certainty don’t qualify as definition. Liberals wish that anecdotes and examples would replace definitions, and teach modern linguistics and deconstructionism to accomplish just that mission.

    Conservatives hold that definitions are logical constructions. Either something matches a definition or that something is something else. The entire debate over the way to interpret the US Constitution, and the conflict over today’s legal system rests completely on this opposing philosophy of semantics.

    Examples are not definitions. Definitions provide examples, but not the other way around. Certainty and confidence are entirely different from and totally unrelated to stubborn extremism.

    As a postscript, I’ll add that not only are many people concerned over the similarity in Obama’s rapid popularity growth to Hitler’s, an even larger number of people are astonished at the Messianic idolatry so many Obama supporters exhibit. People seem to think Obama is some sort of “second coming.” Yet there’s no substance at all to most of what Obama is saying.

    This article post is about the base-level, nearly instinctive violence and aggression held within all of us and how one way or another, today’s politics is keying into that aggression. The only question is whether such predatory bloodlust will be held in check (in favor of reason) or unleashed on society in a return to a time prior to the Civil Rights movements.

    Comment by Punchinello — October 29, 2008 @ 5:09 pm | Reply

  5. The problem with your assessment is that you simply cannot have an all-conservative or all-liberal system. That’s why most countries have such a system ( unless they’re a dictatorship)

    But let’s assume that conservatives were the only party, and what they said went. First of all, Black people would likely have no rights. Secondly, religion would be used as political doctrine, in essence turning the US into a theocracy- not at all different from a country such as Iran. Thirdly, there would be little if any pollution standards. We would have the same air quality- if not worse- than China. The desire to ensure outright capitalism would mean that car companies would’ve never had to install catalytic converters.

    On the other hand, if liberal were the only power, we would be riding bicycles to work, religion would be frowned upon, we would never react to hostile threats- including actual ones- with any military action. Additionally, businesses would eventually go broke from countless laws protecting workers and the environment. (use California’s example)

    Neither part is 100% right. Neither have what I’d call superior principles. Neither can claim to be the better party to represent the average American.

    In closing, your overall concern about Obama is his popularity and success. The explanation isn’t that he’s like Hitler, a socialist, or dangerous. The reason is that he ran his campaign like a modern day advertising equivalent. Let’s say that Obama really is a terrible canidate ( I don’t agree with this but lets just pretend anyway) But instead of Obama, lets replace Obama with Coors Light beer. I love beer. But Coors, Michlob, and Budweiser are all watered down swill that taste identical. Yet since they spend BILLIONS of dollars on advertising and built and image, they’re the most popular beers in the world. Not because they’re great products nor because the companies that run them are socialist. They are advertised, and by doing so they change people’s perceptions.

    In Obama’s case, he’s simple run a far better, more efficient, well-oiled PR campaign. From choosing to not accept party funding and go public ( which I donated too) he built his funds in which to overtake mccain. Secondly, Obama recognizes the effects of well-designed graphics and iconographies. His site, printed materials, and ads are all extremely polished. He has a army of dedicated Graphic designers.

    Secondly, Obama realized that Mccain would likely use mainly negative attack ads against him. Mccain has unquestionably been very thin on issues, and heavy on accusatory rhetoric against Obama. This only helped strengthen Obama’s lead because people in this economy don’t want to hear mud slinging. They want to hear how the candidate will lead. Mccain sounds like an old record. Additionally, his campaign has been disorganized, poorly designed, and poorly managed.

    What you’re perceiving as Socialist is the result of good advertising. Again- use the Beer example. There is no difference here. Socialism is not the synonym for Success.

    Comment by bob — October 29, 2008 @ 5:46 pm | Reply

  6. Anyone (with real skills) can market socialism as a great product, just as they can market a rock as a pet. That doesn’t mean the product is good. Of course Obama had a fabulous marketing campaign, certainly as opposed to McCain, but that’s not a sufficient explanation for his popularity. That popularity crosses over into the nearly “fanatic” levels. Maybe a better example would be the Beatles, and “Beatlemania” of the 60s. (Another example would be Hanna Montana.)

    Something is keying into the hearts of a lot of those supporters, and it isn’t at all reason and analysis. It’s an emotional appeal, and I’m saying it lies in the metaphorical darker side of human nature. Class envy, punishing the “rich,” redistribution, socialized medicine, and so forth, all are based on getting even with or taking away from something.

    It’s that sort of free-floating anger everywhere in the country that struck me as related to the Elliott experiment. Based on history and my life experience, I’m saying that nothing good will come of harnessing that anger. It doesn’t matter which candidate or who ends up where.

    Comment by Punchinello — October 29, 2008 @ 6:36 pm | Reply

  7. Well, sort of tying into your morning post about opinions, perhaps you’d actually like to hear from someone voting for Obama. In fact, me, my co-workers, my largely conservative family, and most of my friends are voting for him.

    I’m not going to represent everyone here.But this is my opinion, and mine alone even though many of my reasons are the same as others.

    I have NOT been pleased with the last eight years. I feel that our international affairs, wars, etc has been handled poorly. I admit that I had some respect for Mr. Bush when he took very aggressive action right after 9/11. But his administration has made numerous serious blunders. The Iraq war was created from poor quality intelligence from the UK. I never supported the war, and neither did anyone in my family- most who have served in either WW2, Korea, Vietnam, and the first Iraq war. We have no business being in Iraq. Bush sold this plan to the American people as if we would suddenly be safer. Yet the problem since has greatly compounded, particularly with Iran.

    Secondly, this war, if stopped today, would cost each and every one of us over $11,000. That’s right. A HUGE chunk of change. But you might as well add this to the cost of the bailout plans being enacted right now for “saving housing”.

    That brings me to the next point: the economy. While Republicans have always had a hands-off approach towards business, this administration sat and watched while the US housing market reached incredibly dangerous, unsupportable levels. ANYONE with even half a brain knew where this was heading. How could rising home prices ultimately be good for those trying to get into the market? Me and my wife were priced out completely. This has greatly reduced my quality of life as well as for millions of others. It didn’t help homeowners either,who are now defaulting in the millions.

    The fact is that all of this could’ve been avoided if more prudent choices were made and the American public was more educated. What I mean by this is by using FDR’s style of “radio chats” where the principles of economy and finance were discussed at great length. At this point in time, the average American is financially ignorant. Debt is considered ” good”. After the dot-com crash, numerous decisions were made that ultimately led to our demise. First, the rate was cut to zero. Bad idea because it makes money too cheap, and thus investors flocked to real estate. Secondly, once this effect was used up, banks introduced creative loan products that as we see now, were highly destructive.

    Meanwhile, the US government sat back, did nothing, said nothing, and as Mr. Bush said over and over again: ” The fundamentals of our economy are strong.” Yes- he towed the party line, stayed out of business and let the carnage take place only to “save the day” with a HUGE 3/4 of a trillion dollar bailout. Regardless of whether Republicans feel that interfering with business is wrong, we all STILL paid the price via what is a shockingly socialist piece of legislation supported by none other than Mr. Bush himself.

    The bottom line is that the economy goes in and out of cycles of regulation and de-regulation. You need regulation when the banks and financial institutions abuse their finances. Less when the machine works well and is self-sufficient. This has played itself out over and over again. Democrats tend to favor more regulation and government intervention. Republicans less. At this time, we need more regulation. Its not as if the Republican party hasn’t already gone in that direction anyway, having largely socialized the mortgage industry. But that they did nothing prior to this is enough for me to claim that we need a Democrat in the house to shore things up.

    Its really as simple as that. Mr Obama is popular because the current administration failed. I don’t have to support this claim since the polls do it for me. That Mr. Mccain smells, acts, and talks very similarly to Mr Bush is his biggest problem, not to mention lack of better judgment, choosing an entirely unqualified, inappropriate VP, focusing exclusively on character attacks against Mr. Obama versus talking politics.

    So I don’t agree with where you seem to be going with this, which is that Obama is dangerous because he is popular and that his supporters only have vague reasons based in hate against the other side. The reasons are largely political and historical.

    Comment by bob — October 30, 2008 @ 10:13 am | Reply

  8. I won’t even bother with whether or not Obama is dangerous. He is what he is. If he’s elected, we’ll know who he is. This post is about the mindless nitwits who not only follow Obama for no reason other than feeling good, but who also “feel” it would be a marvelous idea to just shut down anyone with any kind of contradictory opinion.

    All human interaction includes biochemical feelings, analytic reasoning, and evaluative emotions. Remove any one or two from that triad and you have a best, a dysfunctional relationship and at worst, a psychotic break from reality. We’re born with feelings. We have to learn reasoning and evaluation.

    Given our educational system, we seem to have raised at least a couple of generations where the predominant mode of interaction is feelings alone. With predatory aggression being part of those core feelings, if nothing at all stands in their way we end up with a society of thugs.

    Comment by Punchinello — October 31, 2008 @ 1:20 am | Reply


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