For awhile now. I’ve gone off on a tangent about psychological warfare. I’m no psychologist but I did spend many years with a fanatically religious mother and I’ve seen every kind of psychological warfare there is. After 40+ years, I have yet to convert and remain as much of a sinner as I ever was.
So, let’s take stock of where we’ve been and where we are now. First, the sweeties tried to debate us. Yes, they came with their personal power dynamics themed speeches about how we can all get along as long as we listened to them and stopped being such belligerent idiots. That didn’t work so well. Then they tried the guilt trips. If we didn’t vote for Obama, the forced pregnancy police were going to visit women at the workplace and subject everyone to pelvic exams. But we pointed out that the SCOTUS already has enough votes to overturn Roe without any help from us. Besides, with Obama now supporting Steny Hoyer’s FISA legislation, Roe is not the only thing we have to worry about with the Supreme Court and Obama is not the guy to save it.
The most recent tactic to be used against us is something we researchers use occasionally. It’s called Learned Helplessness. We sometimes induce this in lab rats in order to test anti-depressant drugs. In short, the rat is subjected to a stressful situation, like putting it in a tank of water and making it think it’s about to drown. This situation is one that it can’t resolve or relieve. Do this for n times and then measure how much the rat is depressed by putting it the corner of a square, for example, and measure how long it takes for the rat to wander out of it. The efficacy of the drug is related to how quickly the rat leaves the corner. Really depressed rats just sit there. And sit there. They have become passive against what they see as overwhelming helplessness, or so we think because, after all, no rat has ever told us how suicidal it is.
A more precise definition of the concept can be found in the wiki entry on learned helplessness::
Learned helplessness is a psychological condition in which a human being or an animal has learned to believe that it is helpless in a particular situation. It has come to believe that it has no control over its situation and that whatever it does is futile. As a result, the human being or the animal will stay passive in the face of an unpleasant, harmful or damaging situation, even when it does actually have the power to change its circumstances. Learned helplessness theory is the view that depression results from a perceived absence of control over the outcome of a situation, or situations (Seligman, 1975). Examples can be found in schools, mental institutions, orphanages, or long-term care facilities where the patients have failed or been stripped of agency for long enough to cause their feelings of inadequacy to persist.
Now, how is this being used against us? Well, many of you might have noticed that there has been an overwhelming preponderance of polling data put out this week that shows a tidal wave of support for Obama. In fact, we have even had some “woe is me, everything is lost” trolls here recently who have wailed and nashed their teeth in despair over the polls that show that “Obama is going to win, WIN I Tell you and there is nothing we can do, Nothing. We must all get used to the fact that Hillary lost, lost and forsaken us. Where is my razor? Good-bye cruel world!”
This is bull$%^&. Anyone who remembers 1988 will remember that Dukakis was ahead during the summer and how did that go? Øh, and then there was Kerry, remember him? He was going to whup George’s @$$ (God, how naive we were). My point is that if the Republicans took the attitude that they were done for, we’d have had Democratic presidents in one long unbreakable string, one after another.
So, what do the polls really show? Well, they probably reflect somewhat realistically that some Hillary supporters have moved to Obama. Obama shouldn’t kid himself into believing that they actually *like* him. I’m pretty confident that they do not. But I’m guessing that a lot of them have bought the previous troll bait on the SCOTUS and with Hillary suspending her campaign, they might feel that the lesser of two evils, yada-yada-yada… Of course, I’m not absolutely convinced that Obama *is* the lesser of two evils, but that’s neither here nor there.
The frequency and intensity of the polling data in the news is intended to make us “shrieking bands of paranoid holdouts” feel like we can’t do anything to fight the tsunami of Obama’s inevitability. It is designed to make you passive just when your activity has the most power to affect some kind of change- before the actual convention. Are you going to let them box you into a corner?
The GOOD thing is that this PUMA movement that started here at The Confluence, has gone viral. We now have many coalition members fanning out across the media, thanks to Diane at JustSayNoDeal, who are getting the message out that we are not giving in. And as long as we have our votes, we are not helpless. If they don’t pay attention to us before the convention, they are sure as Hell not going to forget us after the election. The more there are of us. the more power we have. The bigger our numbers, the harder Obama and the DNC have to work to win us back. Let THEM see how high the mountain is.
We are NOT helpless, the odds are NOT against us, we ARE growing. We are going to do whatever little acts of resistance it takes to make ourselves noticed and respected. If we stick together and keep our resolve, we will be a force to be reckoned and I’ll be damned if someone is going to box ME into a corner I can’t get out of.
Go get’em, PUMAs!
One more thing: I can’t access the webpage from work anymor since a new firewall went up. So those of you who thing the fire has gone out can stop worrying. I’m just chomping at the bit at my desk. But forturnately, we have plenty of very committed people at this blog who do some pretty passionate posts so I’m sure we will be in good hands. Meanwhile, we have a whole lot of new freinds at JustSayNoDeal and at PUMA Pac. Check them out.
Filed under: Blogosphere, General, Media, Politics | Tagged: learned helplessness, passivity, polls, PUMA, rats | 260 Comments »