The Power of Political Perception

Posted on December 31, 2010

2010 saw an unprecedented amount of false information transform the politcal landscape. This presidential election year brought out the best (worst?) of the manipulative marauders of truth.  You see, these master manipulators know that if you say something enough times in a persuasive manner, people will believe it.  

Take for example the Obama administration’s Health Care Reform bill.  Republican political foes crafted catchy phrases and fear-induced verbiage to try to defeat the bill.  “Death squads” and “government takeover of health care” were some of the gems.  But, Politifact and others deemed the much-repeated line “government takeover of health care” to be the biggest lie of the year. Whether the health care law is good policy or not, the phrase is simply not even remotely accurate in describing the legislation.  However, the more this falsehood gained resonance, the harder it was to hear the truth, and the more the health care bill cast doubt upon the Administration’s actions. By the time the mid-year elections rolled around, the electorate was second-guessing everything the Obama administration had done. The master manipulators won; but did the people? Is it really in our national interest when the people, trying to do the right thing, are following a false lead based on a wrong perception?

Was it the truth? No. Did it matter? No. Does it make a difference? Yes! Moving the country in a different direction based on utter misinformation and outright lies is a dangerous proposition. And while this wasn’t the only reason, it underscores a power that I’ve been pointing to all year – truth doesn’t matter as much as perception. With dangerous lies all around, vigilance will be needed in 2011 to find the truth inspite of the perception.

Recipe of the Day
Pecan Rolls
These pecan rolls are so good they are a Christmas and New Year’s morning tradition. Be sure to make them the night before.
16 – 18 frozen dinner rolls
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 package COOK AND SERVE butterscotch pudding ( do NOT use instant!)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter

Grease a bunt pan with Pam. Place pecans around bottom and cover with frozen rolls. Sprinkle the brown sugar over all and then the dry pudding mix over that. Drizzle with melted butter. Place in cold microwave or cover on the counter to rise over night. In the morning, preheat oven to 350F degrees and bake for 30 minutes. Let set 10 minutes before turning out on a serving platter. Devour!

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