Tag Archives: kennedy

When the Light Comes On… A Lesson in Brainwashing


We all know the well known classical conditioning example from Pavlov; the light comes on, the dog’s tail begins to wag and he starts to drool. The experiment involved turning on the light every time the dog is fed. This associative technique is done so many times that eventually just the act of turning on the light will cause the dog to physically react as if he was being fed.


Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC went on the attack last night (Thursday) in an interview with presidential hopeful Herman Cain. It took O’Donnell less than 30 seconds to play his hand of "gotcha" journalism by insinuating that Cain believes that the Democrats have brainwashed people into thinking that the rich do not pay their fair share of taxes. He meant it as a brush-back pitch, but what he didn’t anticipate was that Cain would turn on it and knock it out of the park.


Cain responded, "The answer is yes. The Democrats have succeeded at brainwashing a lot of the American people." By failing to dance the political two-step, Cain completely overturned O’Donnell’s agenda, and the interview went down hill from there.


Herman Cain cannot have been more correct.


What is the old adage? If you repeat a lie enough, eventually people will begin to take it as the truth (Hitler, by the way was a master at this).  This is been the war-cry of the Democrats for the past half-century. Republicans stand by, incredulous, that so many people over the decades have partaken of this particular flavor of Kool-Aid. And while we marvel at the fact that liberals keep coming back to the same playbook over and over again, we also can’t figure out why continues to work. It’s simple – classical conditioning works. However, it is not permanent unless it is continually reinforced.


Remembering back to my college psychology class  -back in the 20th century – I do remember the term used when conditioning ceased to work – extinction. When associative behavior is not continually reinforced, eventually it becomes extinct. There are two basic paths to extinction for this behavior: one is to cease the association, i.e. stop Democrats from repeating the same lie. That’s not going to happen. The other is to introduce a counter behavior. This is where conservatives have dropped the ball.


Who in recent memory can you recall has been the flag bearer for the theory of supply-side economics? What politician since Reagan has proudly held up the Laffer curve and has done his or her level best to try to explain how and why it works? That’s a question that I honestly cannot answer without some deliberative thought. It’s a question that needs to be answered by one of the presidential hopefuls in this race and the one that can answer it in 20 words or less will likely end up being the nominee for the Republican Party.


It’s time we stood up for Reaganomics, trickle-down, supply-side…. whatever you want to call it. Lowering tax rates increases economic growth. It did so under George W. Bush, under Reagan and….. under Kennedy!


"It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now … Cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit, but to achieve the more prosperous, expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus."        John F. Kennedy, 1962


Brainwashing may be an incendiary term (as it was intended by O’Connell) but it is fairly accurate. How many people – who by pure reflex, regurgitate the ‘tax the rich’ line whenever the light comes on – have ever heard this quote from President Kennedy? How many would be shocked to find out that the golden boy of the Democratic Party for the past 50 years was a supply-sider?!!


To liberals: wake up! The light keeps coming on and you keep drooling, but there is no food! Stop taking things at face value and start looking at what history really teaches you!

To conservatives: pick your jaw up off the ground and make a counter argument! When liberals try sleight-of-hand with the truth about taxes, don’t let them get away with it! Stick to the facts, they are on your side! Memorize the Kennedy quote and then shove it down their throats (figuratively speaking of course).

Obama's Latest Plan: Rescuing America From Rich People and Success

Obama in WH Rose Garden announcing plans to save America from money

The President gave another campaign speech disguised as a “deficit reduction plan” Monday morning, this time in the White House Rose Garden.  Perhaps he hoped the the backdrop of thriving foliage would add to the illusion that his “plan” would help the economy thrive and flourish.  Here are some highlights from the campaign speech:

Obama wants $248 Billion to come out of Medicare, 90% of which will come in the form of reducing over-payments to providers.  Did you hear that, America? The administration that  has presided over recent scandals such as Fast & Furious and Solyndra, the administration that spends $3.93 billion a day (consider that a billion seconds=31 years and let that blow your mind) wants to reduce waste and fraud in Medicare? Don’t you feel safer already? I know I do.

Obama wants to increase taxes on the wealthy. The wealthy don’t pay enough in taxes, you know.  Wealthy people are selfish and evil and ugly.  They steal money from the poor and keep it all in giant vaults that can only be opened with giant keys.  Then they drink expensive champagne made from the tears of women, children and minorities.  It doesn’t matter that according to the IRS‘ own, easily located statistics, the top 50% of earners pay 97% of all income taxes, and the top 1% pay 39%.  Rich people are bad.  Unless their names are Pelosi, Obama, Clinton, Kennedy, Buffet, Jobs, Gates, Frank, Rockefeller, Feinstein, Kerry, Heinz-Kerry, Gore, Edwards…..oh, you get the point.

Obama wants to put caps on itemized deductions, close tax “loopholes”, and let the Bush era tax cuts expire on individuals earning $200,000/year and couples earning $250,000/year.  Thank God.  Since most small business owners file as individuals and depend heavily on itemized deductions to stay afloat, this new and fresh idea should effectively kill small business growth; and if there’s anything America needs less of its small business and the jobs they create.  If those businesses are allowed to thrive, they might become big businesses that earn a lot of money.  Then they’ll be rich.  To reiterate, rich people are bad. Its a good thing Obama is here to rescue the average American from…jobs.

Obama wants a “Buffet” tax, named for his favorite rich person, Warren Buffet.  This tax would raise the tax rate on individuals earning over $1 million per year.   Hey, small business owners and folks who have worked very hard to earn a nice salary -Warren Buffet wants to pay more taxes!  You should want that too.  But just in case you don’t, here is a plan to force you to pay more taxes.  You’re welcome.

Oh, did you know Warren Buffet has a secretary?  Its true.  Supposedly she pays a higher tax rate than he does.  Unacceptable!  Also unacceptable – giving the secretary a raise so she can move into a different tax bracket.  Let’s not get carried away here, folks!

Obama wants to reform the corporate tax rate while closing more of the dreaded “loopholes” (when is Hollywood going to make a horror movie about loopholes? They sound absolutely terrifying).  In case you were wondering, giving hundreds of millions in stimulus money to bankrupt solar energy companies and other energy providers to help “weatherize” homes, that’s not a loophole.  Its just being neighborly.

If you are feeling concerned that these “proposals” may seem a bit…one-dimensional, have no fear.  President Obama went on to assure Americans that “This is not class warfare, it’s math.”  Phew!  No worries, everyone.  Its all under control.  The same White House that saved and/or created 100 bazillion jobs has done all the math for you: $14,711,883,847,986 in national debt minus stimulus money payouts to cronies and unions= YOU NEED TO GIVE GOVERNMENT MORE OF YOUR MONEY…NOW!  Its a simple formula, really.  Now it is all up the the Republicans in the House to pass this campaign speech right away.

Civil Discourse – Condolences to the Kennedy & Mondale Families

In the era of so-called civil discourse among the political parties – that seems to last for about 3 days after the last tragedy – I want to take the high road on behalf of all decent Americans and offer my condolences to the families of Eleanor Mondale and Kara Kennedy – both passed away this weekend at 51 years of age.


Eleanor Mondale, the daughter of former Vice President and presidential candidate Walter Mondale, died Saturday after a long battle with brain cancer.  The middle of three children, Eleanor was active in her father’s bid for the White House in 1984, as well as stints on E! Entertainment, ESPN and CBS’s “The Morning Show”.


Kara Kennedy, Ted Kennedy’s oldest daughter, died on Friday from apparent heart failure.  Kara had battled lung cancer in 2003 and underwent surgery to remove a malignant tumor.  After several rounds cancer treatments, she recovered, but the stress on her body finally caught up with her.  She leaves behind a son and daughter, both in their teens.


Both of these women were daughters of political figures not held in high regard by conservatives, but they did have something in common with those of us on the right – they were human.  They had mothers and fathers who loved them and they will be missed.  Things like cancer, heart failure and countless other tragedies can strike all of us, regardless of station or political persuasion.


We all talk about civility in the political arena, but do we actually practice it?  It seems that someone needs to really make the first move.  OK, we will.  It should not matter than others won’t.  Yes, their hypocrisy should be exposed, but at the same time, it should be those of us who say we stand for compassion and righteousness to offer a hand of condolence and compassion to others, even if they do not respond in kind.


It is often reported that the political sniping has hit an all-time low, but we shouldn’t forget that there have always been two sides fighting for their respective causes in this country, dating back to its birth.  Not everyone in the colonies wanted to declare independence fromEngland.  Not everyone liked the Constitution when it was signed and distributed for ratification.  John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, two friends who signed the Declaration together, went after each other with such vitriol in the 1800 election, it would make moveon.org blush.  Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr settled their differences at ten paces!


The point is that it has only been recently where disagreement, even hatred of our opponent’s political views has translated to hatred for them personally.  For two centuries, most (not all, but most) political adversaries could spend the entire day yelling at each other from across the aisle, but when the gavel fell, they could meet at the cloak room, walk to Old Ebbitt Grill and share a pint.  We need to get back there, but someone needs to take their finger off the trigger.  It might as well be us.


So please, join me in saying a prayer for the Mondale and Kennedy families.  If moved to do so, reach out to them and offer them your condolences, even if you are on the opposite end of the political spectrum.  They were someone’s daughters and there are family members – American family members – grieving their loss.


This is the high ground.  This is the spirit of conservatism.