Letter: Goebbels' strategy reborn in Trump

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Goebbels' strategy reborn in Trump

To the editor:

Propaganda is defined as ideas, facts or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause.

The following quoted words are those attributed to Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda minister and one of the architects of the Holocaust. Whether or not Trump has read Goebells and decided to use Goebell's techniques, I think that he uses similar techniques in the ways he expresses himself and engages with his prospective supporters.

Examples of Goebbels' words, by means of a Google search, are as follows:

"If you tell the same lie enough times, people will believe it; and the bigger the lie, the better."

"Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident they are acting on their own free will. There was no point in seeking to convert the intellectuals. For intellectuals would never be converted. ... Arguments must therefore be crude, clear and forcible, and appeal to emotions and instincts, not the intellect. Truth was unimportant and entirely subordinate to tactics and psychology."

"A lie told once remains a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth."

"Propaganda must facilitate the displacement of aggression by specifying the targets for hatred."

"Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play."

"... the rank and file are usually much more primitive than we imagine. Propaganda must therefore always be essentially simple and repetitious."

"Not every item of news should be published. Rather must those who control news policies endeavor to make every item of news serve a certain purpose."

"The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly — it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over."

"The essence of propaganda consists in winning people over to an idea so sincerely, so vitally, that in the end they succumb to it utterly and can never escape from it."

"To attract people, to win over people to that which I have realized as being true, that is called propaganda."

"We shall reach our goal, when we have the power to laugh as we destroy, as we smash, whatever was sacred to us as tradition, as education, and as human affection."

I, in order to fight off this danger to our freedom and our democracy, feel the need to channel the following interpretation of the spirit of the Golden Rule:

"Do unto others as you would have others to do unto you whether or not you sufficiently enough love your self and others, and whether or not the other person sufficiently enough loves herself or himself and others."

Lenny Kates, Pittsfield


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