Oh, Look Something Shiny!

AKA: The art of distraction: Not unlike the art of misdirection used by magicians doing slight of hand.  This is a favorite technique used by folks who don't want you to see certain aspects of reality.  They want you to look elsewhere.

This is how it works.  First, you find out what sorts of things people are most likely to care about, often more than any thing else.  These are the things they will look for and at.  These are the things that will draw their attention.  Then, when there is a topic, some reality, or event, that you don't want them to look at, you present them with that other topic, their personal "hot button," the thing that interests them more.

Examples: These hot button topics include things like welfare, gun ownership, immigration, women's rights, the environment, sexual orientations, unions, taxes, redistribution of wealth, health care, and so on.

Income Inequality: So, for example, while the rich become richer, they may want you to block efforts to correct for that by calling those efforts "class warfare."  Never mind the fact capitalism is based on competition (which necessarily means trying to redistribute wealth into one's own hands) that they've been conducting and winning class warfare themselves for the past 30 years  In other words, they don't want you to see the reality that they are winning by trying to keep the losers from seeing the reality that they are losing

Gas Prices: Here's another one of our favorites.  Oil companies tell us gas prices are based on supply and demand, which is mostly true, BUT they want us to focus on supply and not demand..

A matter of priorities:

That's what we think it's all about.  There is a list of things that concern all of us.  Probably even a fair amount of agreement about what goes on that list. Things like this (in alphabetical order):

Bill of Rights (especially 1st & 2nd Amendments)
Corporate control of economy and government
Climate change
Domestic violence
Economic systems
Equal Opportunity
Gender Identity
Genetic Engineering-Cloning
Gun control/ownership
Health Care


Inequality of wealth & Wealth Distribution
Law & Order

Mental Illness
National security
Religious beliefs
School violence
Sexism/sexual harassment
Sexual Orientation

We think that each of us has a different list of priorities, such that we are more inclined to be concerned about some of these issues more than others.  The ones toward the top of the our list are our "hot button" issues.  Those who want us to ignore certain issues will try to get us to only look at and be concerned about the ones at the top of our priorities list.  And if something is NOT on our list, or near the top, they will work to get it there.

AKA Don't get us wrong: This is NOT to say there aren't legitimate efforts to get us to put some things higher on our list of priorities.  We are ONLY talking about times when people do this in order to distract us, get us to IGNORE other issues that they do NOT want us to pay attention to, or deal with, such as the example we gave above: Rich people wanting us to ignore the way income inequality has become so much greater in the past thirty years and the erosion of the Middle Class


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