In political jargon, a useful idiot is a person perceived as a propagandist for a cause whose goals they are not fully aware of, and who is used cynically by the leaders of the cause.
In KF’s expose on agit-prop history and techniques, rvb8 attempts to draw an equivalence between what the progressive left is doing in taking to the streets in “protest”, and KF’s stated views and groups that advocate for those views. He asks:
You see, I fail to see why the Soviet agit-prop is wrong, and your own right. I know your ‘right’ is self evident, but not to me, and not to millions like me; what in your opinion is to be done with mine, and others dissent?
Let’s draw the distinction clear; agit-prop is the process of removing rational discourse and civil debate from the equation and conditioning a populace psychologically to react en masse in intimidating, destructive and violent ways in order to achieve an agenda the population is largely ignorant of. Anyone who uses this technique is by definition attempting to avoid rational debate and intimidate or physically remove the opposition and avoid a fair debate and a fair election. Even as an atheistic evolutionist, surely rvb8 understands that the above, as defined, is wrong. If not, we simply don’t have grounds for a meaningful debate.
rvb8 then says:
For me, as an enlightened atheist, I say all power to you, your ID position is basically dead, so continue with your agit-prop, for all it’s worth; little!
To be taken seriously, rvb8 needs to show where ID advocates have used agit-prop techniques comparable (in principle if not scope) to what the progressives are using now when they (progressive politicians and public agitators) use polar opposite characterizations when they describe action X by Obama, and then virtually the same action X by Trump. There is no rational reason to characterize the travel restriction under Obama as good and necessary and reasonable, and then then a slightly broader temp travel restriction on the same 7 countries under Trump as fascistic, xenophobic, islamophobic, racist and unconstitutional. Obama endorsed the protests against the ban even though the list of countries and travel restrictions originated in his administration (and in other actions, total bans against Iraq and later, Cuba). Reason dictates that if one supported it under Obama, one should support it under Trump if there has been no appreciable decline in world terrorism or in the political nature of those countries.
This is classic agit-prop exposed for all to see: it’s not about the actual executive order, it’s about an entirely different agenda – weaponizing millions of people into an intimidating, threatening mob by employing over-the-top, aggressive and dehumanizing terms to characterize Trump regardless of what he does, even if it is the same thing Obama did and the same thing they supported a few years prior. Obama comes out and, incredibly, endorses protests against the very temporary immigration ban his administration created. If the protesters were operating from informed, rational consideration, how could they justify calling this temporary ban against these countries a “muslim ban”, when 86% of all muslims worldwide are not even affected by it?
More on agit-prop: anyone that shows any support for Trump whatsoever becomes the target of progressive intimidation tactics. Performers who were going to be involved at the inauguration were intimated into backing out. Trump could not even show up at one of his rallies because of the threat of violence. Clinton operatives incited violence at his rallies. There were several plans by left-wing organizations to disrupt many Trump rallies and the Republican Convention itself. Covert operatives were inserted into Trump events to interrupt and disrupt as he spoke. Are there any activities like this that are comparable from the ID camp or from Trump?
Perhaps that public should become involved, educated on subjects that effect it.
Yes, they should. That is what KF and others attempt to do – educate people on the agit-prop techniques being used against it. Unfortunately, Academia in the USA is largely an institution that primes the population for agit-prop manipulation, not to guard against it. Note the use of “safe spaces” and the virtual obliteration of views that do not conform to the progressive agenda on campuses across the nation. Milo Yiannopoulos, as a gay supporter of Trump, has been prevented from speaking at several college venues because of the threat of destructive violence by student groups that shut down the expression of anything other than progressive-approved ideas and politics. Many of these colleges acquiesced to these student demands to cancel Milo events, which is a clear message to these groups: intimidation and violence works.
At present Trump has declared seven Muslim countries to be persona non-grata, in the US. Do you accept this policy? If you do, you are ill-informed. … None of these seven countries have produced jihadis that have in any way been effective in harming US interests, or citizens.
“Ill-informed” about what? Is rvb8 under the impression that we aren’t informed about these countries? The Trump E.O. is precautionary and pro-active, not reactive, and it simply broadens the precautionary travel restrictions already in place, put there by Obama on those exact same seven countries. There’s a reason we haven’t imported terrorists from those countries; we have been restricting travel from those countries for years. All Trump did was temporarily move from restrictions to a ban in order to get a better assessment of how to proceed with those countries while ensuring no terrorist gets through any potential cracks. What is unreasonable about that? Absolutely nothing. It was an explicit part of the platform he campaigned on.
However, the citizens of Saudi-Arabia, the U.A.E, and Egypt and their associated jihadis have killed thousands of US citizens and remain off the Trump list; some have been as nasty as to suggest that this is because Trump has property investments in these basket case countries.
Trump is hardly the only one that has investments in those countries; as a country we have very deep economic, military and political relationships with those countries. Politically and economically speaking, it’s not nearly so easy nor advisable to institute the same ban on those countries because of those complex, deep and necessary relationships. Trump took what immediate action he could against the low-hanging fruit – countries where the ban wouldn’t harm the USA politically or economically. Some of the other countries will require more deal-making and negotiation to devise an acceptable immigration policy that prevents terrorists (or potential terrorists) from entering the USA via those countries.
Kairos talks about agit/prop, and fails to point out the use by the Commander in Chief, of all his Executive power to agit/prop himself, and his absurd predjudices.
We’ve provided examples of the current progressive agit-prop in practice. Until you detail the supposed agit-prop Trump is using, all this comes off as is an attempt at equivalence. There’s a difference between what the executive orders actually say and do, and how the media characterizes those orders, as can be seen in how the media did not react negatively to Obama’s creation of the travel restrictions on those countries in the first place, or the ban on Iraqi and Cuban immigrants, but now negatively characterize, with extreme prejudice, the temporary expansion of Obama’s original restriction list. The agit-prop here is clearly coming from the progressive media, media stars, and politicians (Obama included) in characterizing the orders as racist, xenophobic, unconstitutional, islamophobic, dangerous, insane, etc. Rvb8 should make his case instead of just implying a vague equivalence.
Rvb8 exposes his own history of being a “useful idiot”:
I’m not a US citizen, but I do understand the right of protest. Many times as a student in the 80s I would see abunch of my fellows marching and protesting, and would join, only to later find out what the protest was about; I did this many times, and strangely, not once was the protest by the students I joined counter to my own sensibilities, both then and now.
This is exactly the mentality that KF warns against: being entirely uninformed about a an issue but allowing yourself to be triggered into participating in a protest or activism anyway. So what if you happen to have agreed with those protests after the fact? You didn’t even know what they were about, but were perfectly willing to add your body count to whatever the issues was for some reason other than any understanding of the issue itself.
Rvb8 exposes his lack of understanding about the nature of the US political/governmental/electoral system with a series of ignorant statements:
Your last sentence beginning, ‘Supposedly..’, is extremely sad to read, and makes me question whether you understand what ‘Democracy’ even means.
Democratically elected officials are on the backfoot from day one, and if your democracy demands respect for these officials for a certain period of time, may I respectfully suggest your concept of democracy falls woefully short of the ideal; to hold elected officials accou[n]table for their policies and decisions.
Trump is at present plainly using the Constitu[t]ion of the US as something that can be molded, or ignored, depending upon how he feels at any given moment.
Until you give an example of how Trump is “molding” or “ignoring” the Constitution, this is nothing more than parroted rhetoric. His ban on immigration from certain countries is entirely constitutional, as was Obama’s original travel restrictions imposed on those exact same countries.
Secondly, he was not elected (hired), to ‘protect’ the American people, he was elected to, ‘defend the Constitution of the US’, did you not learn this in elementary civics classes.
Your are conflating the reasons Trump was elected with the oaths he must swear upon being elected, and his responsibilities as President once elected. Trump was elected based on the policy promises that he made to those that agreed to vote him. He was elected to do the very things he has done, which he should only do within the framework of the Constitution and his legal responsibilities.
You see the idea of the framers was that by strictly defending the Constitution, and Bill of Rights the government would then be directly defending the people; difficult notion to grasp I know, but makes perfect sense to me, why do you find it so difficult to grasp?
Protecting the Constitution from enemies foreign and domestic means taking action; his temporary ban pursues this very goal.
And judging by his weird reading of that document, he is at present ignoring it willfully. The protestors you loathe, are actually expressing a notion far nearer the intentions of the authors of that wonderful piece of clear thinking; Trump is at present plastering IT, with muck.
Example? I think you are probably just parroting reactionary diatribe and probably have little or no understanding of the actual executive order or what it is based on. In other words, you are just jumping on a bandwagon, as you have already admitted to doing several times, without any clear understanding of the issue. I have seen many interviews with these “protesters”; if they can be persuaded to actually speak instead of chanting, screaming, spitting, etc., they more often than not cannot provide any articulate expression beyond something like “stopping the fascist” or “we’re protesting intolerance and racism”. They most often speak by parroting trigger terms, not by expressing any knowledge of the E.O. or why it is unconstitutional or racist.
Seven countries, besides the fact that all of these countries are emotional defalt countries, (Libya, and Iran, stand out), can anyone else, in the ID community see a connecting factor amongst this group of countries?
Yes. They are the exact same seven countries that were put on the Obama administration restricted travel list for the exact same reasons Obama put them on the list the first time. 86% of the world’s Muslim population is entirely unaffected by this ban.
I’ll give you a hint it rhymes with Shmuslim. Is this a religious test of citizenship? Is this constitutional? Should US citizens be worried about Trump’s cavalier approach to the use of the Constitution?
If it was, why would Trump exempt 86% of the world’s Muslim population from the ban?
And worse, he, Trump, is using really effective agit/prop.
Without an example, this is rhetoric and false equivalence.
What we see here is an entirely hypocritical, over-the-top demonization of Trump about his executive order on immigration (a temporary ban on all immigration from 7 countries) by politicians who explicitly agreed with and helped impose travel restrictions on those same countries for the exact same reasons Trump has expressed. This demonization through use of trigger terminologies (racist, islamophobic, dangerous, unconstitutional, xenophobic, fascist, etc.) and support and encouragement for protests against the Trump and the E.O. cannot rationally be grounded in the nature of the E.O. itself since it is a relatively minor and temporary expansion of the travel restrictions already in place on the exact same 7 countries.
These political leaders and activists must then be simply using this over-the-top, entirely erroneous characterization of the E.O. as a means to gain some political advantage. In other words, they are cynically misleading parts of the population by characterizing the E.O. as something it factually is not (a religious ban) into demonstrating against it and parroting irrational diatribe against it and Trump and ginning up an increased hysteria against Trump. People like rvb8 are being used as “useful idiots” to parrot talking points and protest because they are uninformed and misled.