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Above: Lake Geneva, Switzerland. At Montreux.

Fodderize v.t. 1. To break down individual components; to make fungible; to disregard difference; to render one easily substituted for another 2. To impose sub-quality goods or services upon, with little recourse 3. To cap role choices, hinder access to resources regardless of merit, and so avoid competition 4. To manage perception by propaganda-spin techniques, while concealing dispositive facts 5. To manipulate, lure, exploit, deceive

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Foundations of elections and voter exploitation. Update remedy: Elector limited vote on conscience without penalty.

Speak, O Peter Abelard. Speak, O Peter Lombard.
Speak of truth and processes to arrive at it. Please.
The media needs you.

Option for Electors: Free to vote conscience under given circumstances.

Trials are looming as to a President-Elect, with continuances prior granted and now should be finished. Popular vote went the other way. Let Electors in those two circumstances vote conscience, if they choose.

Update to Foundations of Elections and Voter Exploitation:.

Address voter remorse when a re-election is not feasible, by providing an option to Electors to vote conscience without penalty, and as they see fit -- based on their own responses to events. This would occur under two circumstances. 
    A. Frame the period between election and Electoral College as a constructive rescission period during which, under two circumstances, electors have the power to decide their vote based on conscience and not State or Party rule. 

    This constructive rescission is optional for each Elector, and only triggered in two circumstances:
    1. Where the popular vote went to the losing candidate in the national electoral count, as a check and balance to the resulting overall winner;
    2. Where there are outstanding, non-frivolous legal actions filed more than 12 months before the election, and against the winning candidate, that remain unresolved prior to the Electoral College count. 
    • Such trial outcomes may be relevant to the election, and in an abundance of caution must be settled or trial begun prior to the electoral college vote. 
    • If trial has commenced and is ongoing, then the Electoral College vote shall be postponed until trial conclusion.
    • All trial proceedings shall be public.  
    • In the interim, the current President shall serve until the electoral vote at the conclusion of the trial(s) and then until the Inauguration.

    B. For other exigent circumstances, or just on whim, the Elector may as currently provided cast a rogue vote, but such Elector shall remain subject to the penalties and fines of the State or Party as are currently in effect, so long as the meet Constitutional muster. 

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Initial post: Foundations of elections as exploiting voters. 
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I.  Overview.  The trajectory of election 2016 is over. What did that election represent? Did 2016 represent overall position support, such as a) repudiation of an establishment; or b) rejection of current healthcare laws. Or did 2016 represent instead the perfection of spin creating a miasma of negativity, just going in the wrong direction, all is terrible, without accountability for merits. What facts support those conclusions?  Consider the endless reruns of film loops of speeches, interactions, the dogged reporting on polls, talking heads talking their heads off about what people merely thought, without vetting, as though bald beliefs count without vetting.

Foundations of statements matter. Or do they?

  • The media did not address much in 2016 that counted as to the functioning of democracy:  a)  veracity in issue presentation, b) cogency, and c) context of persuasion tactics, as a modern and old issue. 
II.  Tools for a reasonable degree of public service over the airwaves. Investigate the words.

A.  Middle Ages to the rescue. Uses of logic and rhetoric. Go back to Peter Abelard 1079-1142 CE.  Sic et non.  Yes and no. See http://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/source/Abelard-SicetNon-Prologue.asp.  Use established liberal arts for logic, analysis of rhetoric, in compiling arguments pro and con any issue, and in order to be able to resolve differences.

Go back to Peter Lombard 1095-116- CE, scholastic theologian, for dialectics in how to resolve disagreements in a rational way, see http://www.iep.utm.edu/lombard/. There the focus is religion, but the process is what counts.  Enable a person to vet an argument before committing to a result, before the tripwire trips and someone becomes a mere follower.

B.  The science of spin in our culture:  let the people in on the secret. Why should they be guinea pigs for free?

1. Start with  Edward Bernays, 1928 or so. A video. http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/lesson_images/lesson1166/PersuasiveTechniques.pdf.

2. Move to advertising psychological research and businesses that conduct it, see http://www.neuromarketing-labs.com/services/neuroadvertising/are now a science.  What do advertisers of any product do (including a presidential product, because this is indeed a sales matter and probably should trigger veracity controls on speech as in any commercial matter)?


3.  Go back to the simple techniques Americans were warned against in WWII, and still effective. See Institute for Propaganda Analysis.   Find the devices of persuasion, at  http://www.mindivogel.com/uploads/1/1/3/9/11394148/how_to_detect_propaganda.pdf.

  •  Propaganda defense: Spot the tactics. See how the techniques are even ready for mass understanding. For the pop summary of propaganda, see http://www.propagandacritic.com

4.  See what techniques pass under the radar of many people. See 'false equivalence,' where merely equal time is given to speeches, regardless of the weight based on merit. Where is investigative journalism when it comes to political speech? Surely we have crossed the line into commercial speech when people pay advertisers and buy time.

Meme alert. Repetition feeds the beast, in the currency of memes. See Wiki for Everyman's Memes. See https://www.thenation.com/article/how-false-equivalence-is-distorting-the-2016-election-coverage/.

II.  Note that none of these analyses of "propaganda" include in the category a discussion on the merits, the pros and cons of an issue where people can check the reliability, veracity of the claims made. That kind of methodology is a counter-force to propaganda, and also are longstanding in importance (now overshadowed).

Medieval times, whether religious topics then, or political now. Reboot logic, thinking, facts.


III.  Role of Media. 

Media has abdicated its information role, condones exploitation, perhaps to avoid charges of abridging free speech. That is misguided. It is only the government that is restricted from abridging free speech; private entities can use their own judgment for their own reasons, as they already do, and I would add, abridging or weighing political speech should require disclosure of what has been omitted, corrected, or should be. See https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/first_amendment

  • Rant. Exploitation, whether by gutting Dodd Frank, or keeping people immobile, hungry, sick so they cannot compete, is inconsistent with longterm stable democracy. Education, if not in schools (no common core?), then by media can recalibrate justice for people who may well not have the educational background to assess, vet, critique candidates in their own interest. 
Explore, before this election fades. Does media have any obligation to counter exploitation, or is politics just another used car-type transaction-with-talking points. Media itself is exploited by the exploiters.  Media, then, also has the power -- and obligation -- as a baseline in all walks of life -- to promote fair dealing. Any less promotes instability, injustice that goes in circles. 

Disclosure. I respect and honor the office of President of the United States.  I do not, at this point, respect the methods and mindset of the man who has been elected, and I believe largely because media left those largely unquestioned, to hold that office. I have every hope I can come to respect the man who chose those methods, but if humilitation, bandwagon, fact concealment, disinformation, sexual exploitation,  intimidation, name-calling and condoning violence continue, that respect will not arise. Will the manner of the man rise to a level worthy of the office.

  • Media guidelines. For the future: Watch spin. The science of spin. Rather than reporting only on what someone came to believe (polling), after years of hammering and pejoratives over the airwaves, report instead on what persuasion techniques were used by each side for the voter person to believe that way. 
    • This media can and should do as part of basic voter information, to enable voters to guard against their own exploitation. Do a timeline. When was the issue first raised. Who raised it. What facts. How did facts change. Bait and switch. Innuendo. Fair dealing. As important in politics as in commerce.

Why the need to counter voter exploitation? Because elections are, have become commercial in nature. The candidate, the seller, making sales pitches to close the deal.  The voter, the buyer, choosing a candidate without effective means of testing the good faith and truth of the sales pitch. Even without cause, let the voter constructively rescind in a given time frame, constructively by giving the electors the option to do so under the given circumstances. Allow a path.
    Where those circumstances do not exist, a vote against the rules, Party or State, shall be with civil consequence for usual faithless electors, as set by the party or state, so long as those are within Constitutional guidelines. 

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