The Uphill Slide

There is always something.

Campaigns

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The smear campaign. Trump’s son looking for the dirt on Hillary Clinton. Ugly. Deflect from issues to focus on personalities. We are being watched. Foreign governments. Well, not all of us. Only the rich and famous and powerful. Me? I have nothing of interest to Russians though they keep sending me spam.

Smears. In politics and justice, the truth often has a tiny seat. And after the smear, we’re left talking about some indiscretion or inane bit of nonsense instead of issues. Or maybe it seems important. But is it true? Is it partially true? Or is it a lie? Can’t be proved or disproved. And then we can chalk it up to fake news. Not credible sources. Unverifiable. The world seems to have become so complicated. But it always was.

Smears. Can happen to anyone by some bored or vengeful person. The bully possibly. Everyone wants to hear some dirt. Manufactured? Ponzi scheme? Who cares? We want to believe. Constructed from a molehill to a mountain? Who cares? We want to believe. Whispers in the ear. Said in private to one or a couple. Plausible deniability. “I never said that. I never told anyone that. I have no idea who started that story.” Who can prove it? You just build a web of animosity so no one talks to each other? So easy to toss that smear into the air and have it dispersed and carried away. The target? Always keep the target in the dark until the grapevine carries it away. The goal? Behind every smear, there’s a goal. Figure it out. The winner? The smear whisperer.

In politics? All smear whisperers. Easy to believe and too much work to use critical thinking. Questioning? Forget it. Makes your head spin. And sometimes we just want to believe the smear.

Not just politics. We should ask questions of the story behind every smear.

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