Friends Don’t Let Friends Be Sheep

Guest piece from Red Chair Reflections

[Note: I have known the author at Red Chair Reflections for many years, and she is one of the best writers I have come across. Most of her pieces are not politically-oriented, but her voice is one that deserves to be heard. I thought readers here would especially enjoy this piece.]

It’s an election year in the US. I’ve started thinking more about how much effort is put into influencing our opinions – not just by the political parties and individual campaigns but by all of the intertwined sources of information we consume. It seems like immediately after every debate or televised speech, some variation of the following comes out of my television:

“We’ll break it all down for you.”

“We’ll tell you how the candidates fared tonight.”

“Let’s dive into what this all means to you at home.”

“If you are just tuning in, here’s what you missed.”

Think about these statements objectively, outside of the news cycle.

Next time you hear similar phrases from your television, think how condescending and offensive they are. Yet, they’ve become part of the media lexicon. We’ve been completely dumbed down and collectively convinced somehow that political discourse is as complex as brain surgery, and we shouldn’t form our own opinions without “expert” guidance.

Imagine being in a doctor’s office, for example. If you are reading a copy of your child’s latest bloodwork report or looking at an MRI image or an x-ray, these would seem like perfectly benign and soothing things to say to you. The doctor or assistant is the trained expert, and they understand what they are looking at, and you are depending on their training and expertise to explain something that you are not trained to understand. “Annie’s bilirubin reading is slightly elevated. Let me explain what that means. ” That is a perfectly respectful and reasonable statement.

On the other hand, imagine that you and your spouse are in a parent-teacher meeting, and have just listened to the teacher’s account of your tweenager’s behavior and performance problems in school. At the end of her presentation, a guidance counselor you’ve never met says, “Let’s dive in to what this means to you at home.” I don’t know about you, but my immediate reaction would be something along the lines of, “Oh, we know what this means to us at home, thank you very much. We’re not idiots.”

 

Read the Rest Here

 

 

6 thoughts on “Friends Don’t Let Friends Be Sheep

  1. Gregg - February 24, 2020

    This comment was also posted to “the rest of the story” at Red Chair Reflections.

    Very much agree with you Kelly.

    In 1988, two liberal women I knew couldn’t watch one of the Bush – Dukakis debates live and asked me to tape it. I did, but I only recorded the actual debate. When we watched it together later, they were upset that I didn’t record the post debate commentary. They really wanted to hear the “expert’s” spin. I said “Can’t you just listen to what was said by the candidates and come to your own conclusions?”

    They were pissed and offended when I said that. Later I said: “You two are a couple of Republican hating libs and are going to vote for a Democrat, any Democrat, regardless of what is said, so why bother trying to act all deliberative and intellectual?”

    I’ll admit I’m a hard core conservative and not likely to change my views, but I have followed and researched the issues. In other words, I’m an informed voter and vote accordingly. BTW: I am not a mind-numbed robot; I have voted for a Democrat – NJ Governor Jim Florio in 1989, and an Independent – H. Ross Perot in 1992 (only).

    Time and time again however I have been forced to vote for known RINOs because the Democrats have left me and other conservatives no option. Reagan and Trump are the only politicians I have ever voted FOR; all my other votes were in protest of the opposing candidate.

    1. riverreg - February 24, 2020

      Very good point. A large part of the population already know who they are voting for, either Donald J. Trump, or against Donald J. Trump by voting for whoever the democrats ultimately select to run against him. The only real people who will be actually making a decision are those who are marginalized and dissatisfied by their party. I truly believe that the large majority of “independent” voters are really democrats who just don’t want to admit their liberal viewpoints or want to be courted by the candidates during the primary season. I know several of these, I live and work in Omaha, NE and right over the Missouri River lies the town of Council Bluffs, IA. For all intents and purposes Council Bluffs is just an extension of Omaha. In my office I work with several people who live in Council Bluffs and each one purports to be “independent” but they frequently express their unfounded hatred for Donald J. Trump. When I try to ask them about why they dislike DJT the answer is always some from of fake news that they heard via Twitter, Facebook, CNN, MSNBC or some other source of fake news, which has repeatedly been disproved. They hate Fox news but never watch it, they just hate it because they are told they should. In the end they know they will be heavily courted during the caucus season, be called on by candidates and pollsters, and given preferential treatment during the caucuses. No matter who the democratic nominee is, they will vote for him/her. They are college educated, young, affluent, white collar workers who grew up in affluent families.

      For this election cycle the true difference in the election will be the disaffected, ignored democrats. People who have always voted democrat in the past but who are now seeing that the party has done nothing for them and has moved away from the center and to the far left so much that they no longer represent their values. They do not want open borders that repress their job opportunities. They do not agree with late term abortion or in some cases abortion at all. They support second amendment rights and they see the division between the races is stirred by the party they have been supporting all their lives. They are starting to open their eyes to the truth behind the democratic party. As they become more educated about politics they see the economic and social advances they enjoy are largely a result of republican policies. In some churches the new truth is being preached and the congregation is opening their eyes. Now the opposite is still being preached in far more churches but those are voters who have always voted democrat not recent converts. The point is that most of the new republican voters will come from former democrats and a groundswell is building that will result in a massive landslide victory for the republicans.

      This of course will come as a major surprised to the MSM, democratic party, and pollsters just like in 2016. A lot of these former democrats do not get polled and if they are asked in a public setting like after voting, they will answer democrat. I find it myself hard to express my love for the republican party in public unless I know I am among like minded people because democrats will shout you down and then storm out of the room. As Mark Twain once observed…

      “Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

      No matter what is said in public, what happens in the voting booth is all that matters. God Bless America and God Bless our President.

    2. dave - February 25, 2020

      I am guessing you didn’t get laid that night 🙂

  2. Freethink is Wrongthink - February 24, 2020

    If God didn’t intend for them to be shorn…he wouldn’t have made them sheep.
    Those who enjoy distractions über alles will be gob smacked by reality whether they like it or not.

    1. Gregg - February 24, 2020

      And as Ron White said: “You can’t fix stupid”

      However, today’s political “Sheep” are not ignorant, they are willfully stupid, dangerous, angry, anti-American revolutionaries.

  3. Jimmy MacAfee - February 24, 2020

    Finding original opinions in the mainstream media is tough these days. Finding actual original reporting is even more of a rarity.

    I’d react to the network news about the same way I’d react to ipecac, if I were forced to watch it. Projectile vomiting..

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