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Fact or Propaganda?

It can be challenging trying to distinguish fact from hyped up propaganda. Skillfully scripted language can be inspirational, rile our emotions or rattle our cage, prompting us to take some kind of action. 

Almost every aspect of our lives has become commercialized, trying to sell us on a product, concept, social or political movement, candidate or service, etc. Marketing targets gullible consumers that are attracted to different kinds of goods designed to stimulate, mesmerize and captivate, using effective sales pitches, to rouse our interest. 

Of course some advertisers will do anything for a sale and convince us we need their “reputable” product, service or cause, whether it is or not. Broadcasting gets the word out using very appealing angles and strategies, convincing us to buy into something worth “all the tea in China!” (That’s when our “Show me” response should kick in!)

Misleading information is disruptive and a tactic used by anyone that wants to sell anything. Success and accomplishment is something many of us strive for in one way or another, because we’re goal oriented. When it drives us over the edge, desperation will do anything to get what it wants, regardless of who or what stands in its way. Pride can get out of hand when it hurts others in securing what it desires no matter what, when not letting anything get in its way. 

Integrity asks for proof to invoke trust, so bias doesn’t expose our ignorance. Promoters develop an angle that can either be sincere or hypocritical and sometimes difficult to surmise. Judgment argues with skepticism, repulsion, acceptance, common courtesy and rejection, while trying to understand what someone else believes has value. 

Marketers want to reach a goal or fulfill an agenda and could be honest brokers or promoters of snake oil. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. The general public tends to rely upon a personality they’re familiar with, those they’re socially connected or related to, recommended by someone they know and respect.

When information comes from a familiar source, we feel it to be trustworthy because our friends, relations and/or spouse are in approval. Any unfamiliar alternative takes us outside our immediate circle making us look like traitors or victims of gimmickry that might be rejected by those we care about.

If fraudulent, we cannot return unconventional information we bought into, for a refund. If authentic do we try to convince our friends and relations of its truthfulness, with the threat of being shunned? If rejected, it could feel like a rug was pulled out from under us, when we try to share what others might consider brainwashed ideas, that contradict their own. 

Dawn Allen, Patterson

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