Archive for October, 2019

Information Wars,  a new book by former Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Richard Stengel, explains how disinformation is threatening our democracy and free society. At the conclusion of an appearance at the Texas Book Festival, he suggested that traditional and new media organizations should come together to support an ambitious nationwide media literacy education project. This would be a project so massive that it will require hundreds of millions of dollars… but not out of reach for today’s media organizations.

First, citizens will need to understand where they can find and trust professional journalism, which also means how to see through the competitive pressures and temptations of media organizations… which are also businesses. Citizens will also need to come to understand their new role of “personal editor,” as they sort through the chaos of constant disinformation flowing daily from inside and outside the U.S.

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History teaches that most who followed autocrats in the past were initially attracted to their basic ideas, and accepted that some control from the top was inevitable.

History also teaches that when autocrats become dictators only those willing to carry out their cruel and arbitrary orders survive. All others are cut loose without a political future… and often viciously and personally attacked.

What does the current behavior of the president teach you?

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Lesson 518 What Now?

LESSON… using expert advice to make politically complicated decisions requires leaders to have enough background and knowledge to rethink the way ahead. Dictators are not capable of doing that.

LESSON… would-be dictators only know how to make demands and threaten the opposition. There is no other way for them to govern.

LESSON… if senate republicans decided soon to reject a future dictatorship, they could still run a candidate in 2020 who represented more traditional conservative and constitutional values… and possibly win the election.

LESSON… this would really confuse democrats who are planning to have a candidate ready by 2020.

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