Pur Autre Vie

I'm not wrong, I'm just an asshole

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Whisper Campaign, Part 1

I am ignoring the media and Twitter for the sake of my mental health.  You should feel free to ignore my blog for the sake of yours!  In a sense I am free-riding, because I want to write out my thoughts but I don't want to read other people's.

Anyway this is the first of 2-3 posts about a structural feature of modern politics, which is the viral whisper campaign that goes on beneath the surface, rarely breaking out into mainstream news.  Chris Hayes wrote an illuminating piece on this in 2007, and here is a recent piece about a new(?) manifestation of the practice.  In my next post I'll go into more detail, but in this post I just want to give some examples of how easy it is to write emails that will poison the minds of voters and that can't be easily refuted.  I probably came up with all five of these (fictitious) emails in under an hour, just to give you an idea how easy it is to crank this shit out.


Email 1:

Hi Mark,

I think you've met my son Jeffery, who is in the Marines, but I don't think you've ever met Paul. He works in the Secret Service and for a few years he was on Hillary Clinton's guard detail. One day in 2012 he heard her take a phone call, which quickly became heated. He couldn't hear what the other person was saying, but it sounded like Joe Biden's voice. At the end of the call, Hillary covered the mouthpiece and said, "Huma, has Chris Stevens given any money to the foundation?" Huma shook her head.

"I'm sorry, Joe, I don't think more security is called for," Hillary said, and hung up.

Paul went to his supervisor, who was hand-picked for the detail by Hillary over the Obamas' objection. But the supervisor said that all Paul had was speculation, and no facts.

Well here are some facts. Chris Stevens made over 600 calls for more security for the diplomatic compound in Benghazi. None of them was answered. On September 11, 2012, Islamic militants stormed the compound and killed Stevens and three other patriots.

Oh, and one more fact. I checked: Huma was right. Stevens never gave anything to the Clinton Foundation.

Please forward this to everyone you know, so when Hillary says the Clinton Foundation does good work, they will know what she means.

Email 2:

A lot of you know that my uncle worked for the FBI in Arkansas in the 80s. At the time the FBI was investigating drug trafficking at the Mena airport (google it if you want to educate yourself), and my uncle's team was tracing the money. Forensic tools have gotten a lot better since, but at the time his team was the best around. And here's the funny thing: the FBI was sure Bill Clinton was allowing the drug trade, but they never found any money leading to him. To this day my uncle swears Bill was clean, at least on the money side. If you know my uncle, you know he wouldn't say Bill was clean unless he was clean.

Flash forward to when Hillary was Secretary of State. Recently released records show that while she was Secretary, she traveled to New York City more than 1,300 times. Now, I don't know why that was, but I do know that New York has the biggest methadone clinic in North America. And New York law is by far the strictest in terms of confidentiality for drug addicts. Makes you wonder.

Email 3:

I was a cop in Burlington, VT in the 80s. Now if you were in Burlington back then, especially in law enforcement, you knew the name Carlos Garcia. Garcia was a Democratic operative, and if there was a protest or dirty tricks, he was probably behind it. You won't find his name on any laws or bills, but no Burlington Democrat could get elected without him. We knew Garcia was getting his money somewhere dirty, but we could never quite pin anything on him.

Meanwhile one day a college student, a pretty white girl from a rural part of the state, was found raped and murdered. The attack happened just outside a dive bar where Garcia was known to frequent. But a witness identified a football star as the rapist, and he was set to go to trial.

Then I learned something horrifying, and I went straight to the chief of police. He said, "I want the mayor to hear this straight from your lips."

So he took me to Bernie's office, and I told the mayor: "You know that witness who identified the football star as the rapist? My informant tells me he's a drug addict, and Garcia is his dealer. We're afraid he's going to lie on the witness stand."

Bernie just laughed and said, "Do you think I'd put him on the stand if I thought he was going to tell the truth?"

My chief was a good man, but he had three young kids, and Bernie could ruin him. So I never said anything, but now the chief's retired and I can't keep quiet anymore. Please forward this to everyone you know, they deserve to know what kind of man the Democrats have nominated for the presidency!

Email 4:

You've probably seen Bernie Sanders on TV, and you might think from the way he's portrayed he's a cuddly old man, a little soft-headed but with a good heart. My friend just told me a story that makes me think it's just the opposite.

My friend is an urban planner. I know what you're thinking, but he's one of the good guys, always trying to make sure there are enough jobs for blue-collar people. When Bernie was mayor of Burlington, pro-bicycle extremists came to him and demanded bike lanes in the city. The real estate developers were on their side too. My friend had a different plan: use the land for industrial development and create 10,000 blue-collar jobs. That might not sound like a lot, but in a city the size of Burlington it would have made a real difference. These were good jobs, too, with full benefits.

At first my friend won. Bernie said to the bicycle extremists: "No, I've seen these plans before, and I know what happens. You build the bike lanes, and the city gentrifies, and the city has a lot of luxury condo buildings but no good jobs. I'd rather have the jobs, because that's where real economic growth comes from." See? Not so dumb.

But the next election was really close, and when my friend came to finalize the plans for industrial development, Bernie said "Remember those bicycle activists. Is there anything we can give them for free so they will support me?"

And now Burlington is the bike lane capital of the world. My friend says there are plenty of fancy condo buildings, but when he looked for a job for his nephew there were only two available: part time at a coffee shop, or sweeping an architectural firm's offices twice a week for pocket money.

Years later when he was in the Senate, the millennials came to Bernie with a plan for free college, and he said, "No, I know what happens in other countries. A bunch of brats who were going to college anyway get a free ride, and plumbers and janitors pay for it with higher taxes. No way. What we need are good blue-collar jobs, not more people studying the reproductive cycles of endangered slugs."

Now you may have seen Bernie's plan for free college. What do you think happened? Remember, he's not dumb. He just knows how to get Democratic votes.

Email 5:

You probably saw that Hillary collapsed this weekend at Ground Zero. What you probably didn't hear is the real story, but my sister was there and here's how it went down.

Normally anyone can visit Ground Zero without going through security. But on the anniversary, they set up metal detectors and bomb-sniffing dogs. There was a long line of people to get in. Huma saw a Muslim family that she recognized as Clinton Foundation donors, and she whispered something to Hillary. Pretty soon they were being ushered in without going through security. Think about that!

But the crowd was a lot of patriots—survivors, families of victims, cops and firefighters mourning their buddies. When they saw what happened, they started chanting: "Safety first! USA! Safety first! USA!" Hillary realized it was getting out of hand, and then she "collapsed." I notice she didn't hurt herself when she fell, almost like she planned it.

Now which of those stories do you think the media reported? And which one do you think they should have reported? Please forward this to everyone you know so they can hear the story the media doesn't want them to.


Blogger Alan said...

$5 number 3 is huge in four years.

12:30 PM  

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