In this information age I often encounter people who I consider quacks. People from the extreme left or extreme right who honestly believe the venom they spew, usually based on misperceptions, shaded falsehoods and, quite often, blatant lies. I usually endure their blathering, because they obviously base their opinions on highly biased sources. And the cycle continues… there is little if any original thought, and the person quickly becomes completely ignorable.
Then there is the case of the misguided few who demonstrably embrace what I consider the fetid ideals of anti-social thought.
Today I read a piece by Dr. Jeffrey Polet, “The ubiquity of propaganda obscures the American military’s true role“. I read his piece once, twice, three times. I just could not believe someone could think this way and then would actually write and publish this… trash. Three days ago I read a similar piece by Jason Peters, Propaganda, The Military, and the Melodrama, who echoed the same feelings after speaking with Dr. Polet. A quick perusal of Jeffrey Polet’s blog pieces reveals a fervent disgust with the military.
The author claims he is not anti-military, but then labels public celebrations of military service as “propaganda”. I apologize that there is no “official” definition of propaganda by the US government, but I would certainly say these celebrations are not propaganda. They are not founded on stereotypes, not based on reinforced negatives and certainly not based on lies. That was the propaganda that Joseph Goebbels launched on the citizens of Nazi Germany which forever tainted the word propaganda. But in the 60+ years since Goebbels, it has not become acceptable to label celebrations of our national heroes as “propaganda”. Dr. Polet, you do not have the right. In your article you said you were recently in Washington DC and attended a Washington Nationals’ baseball game. Did you, by some chance, also tour the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and tour the Nazi Propaganda exhibit? If not, you missed a very direct and simple lesson in what actually constitutes propaganda.
I have approached several PhDs and asked them to become the next Dr. Phil Taylor and in the hope they would become the world’s foremost expert on propaganda. None have bellied up to the bar and accepted the challenge but I believe I have one PhD candidate interested. Heck, the annual NDAA outlaws “propaganda”, but without an official definition, spurious applications of the word propaganda will continue to be flung and stick like boogers on a wall. Dr. Polet’s piece is one of those boogers.
ps. I believe I understand what the author is trying to say: “Enough, already. I’d just like to enjoy a game.” These emotional reunions between deployed troops and their families are not in any way exploitive or manipulative, to think so is paranoid in the extreme. Dr. Polet, you deserve heaps of opprobrium for saying so. These wonderful shows of a family once again united are meant to buoy our sagging spirits. Not by an administration, but by the administrative offices of the teams involved. The vast majority of Americans, citizens of theses United States of America, enjoy this. Come join us, celebrate life with us.
…and please, wear your twill pants, tie-dyed skirts and Birkenstocks.