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President Trump strikes again: “They could be murderers and thieves and so much else” (read this: long deconstruction of all the propaganda elements in this short phrase follows on my blog)



More lies from a lying liar.

There is no excuse for listening to a man who uses the tools of propaganda instinctively, repeatedly, easily: repetition; a catchy slogan; color; a specific objective; a kernel of truth; concealment; and timing.  (quoted from who knows where.)

There is usually a kernel of truth in every propaganda statement (that is, everything that escapes Donald’s lips), and his latest statement includes that as well as first, a catchy, colorful slogan: “they could be murderers and thieves” (which also happens to be, objectively, true: there is a finite probability of some of the immigrants being previously convicted of homicide or just plain theft.)

The specific objective is to frighten people who are willing to listen to him, even if they don’t believe him.  Even a die-hard liberal could be sobered by hearing that: “they could be murderers and thieves” and thinking, you know, objectively, he’s right: a tiny percentage of the immigrants are murderers or just plain theft committers.  It takes time to think of the objective contrary: most of the immigrants are fleeing from murderers (or spouse abusers) and have had things stolen from them on the way.

The factor of concealment is to hide the fact that the immigration authorities at the  lowest level have bought into a frankly brutal treatment, dictated from the top with no precedent (despite his claim of Democratic laws requiring his actions), of immigrants without documents who have been apprehended: they charge every adult with a federal misdemeanor (or a felony if they can identify repeat crossers) and detain each one,  then they separate the adults from the minors and send the minors to non-profit protective agencies who house them, currently about 11,000 of them, unable to communicate with their parents, and not likely to be released back on the other side of the border at the same time and in the same place as them.

The factor of timing is that he has made this announcement, or propaganda statement, at a critical time in the argument over his policy: many Republicans, even Laura Bush, have denounced him in the past few days.  Sessions has already weighed in with the Biblical testament that justifies slavery.  Even Evangelicals are upset.

And, well, repetition: just by announcing that I’m going to analyze the statement, I’ve already repeated it once.

(image courtesy of



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