And If You Did Know?

In Memory of Sharon Michele McAvoy Nichols .:. December 24, 1949 – October 10, 2005

January 14, 2004

How The Right Wins

Filed under: her words,politics — mark @ 2:56 pm

I just watched a segment of Democracy Now from Democracy One of the issues presented was about the White House’s new plan to use peer review of all scientific data that is going to be presented to the public. The representative that was defending the White House was from the Chamber of Commerce. The person representing the other side was a former Department of Energy Offical. The DEO person kept saying the the White House was trying to keep any information that might cost big business money quite and this is why they want to start managing information. He said the review process we have now works. The COC guy said they wanted to make sure the review was presented to the public, and in saying that said they wanted “transparency”. I listened for a while and noticed that I was becoming very upset. The DEO guy kept trying to make a point and engage the COC guy to no avail. The COC guy just kept going back to his point that they wanted to have transparency. I finally stopped listening. I have had time to think about it now and I think I finally got a big piece of what was so hard to hear.

It has been my experience that when I am discussing something with another person that I become less interested when the other person does not listen. I see that when politicians are discussing something they just keep making their point and do not engage in discussion. I have a negative reaction to this type of manipulation. I know that the other person has an agenda and that they do not want something as dull as facts to interfere with their beliefs. I have seen this many times.

When I was a child I saw this type of manipulation often. My father would use it then my brother began to use it as a child. I would talk to them and never get answers or a direct response. They just kept making their point. If I continued to try to get a discussion started they would eventually turn to personal attacks. I see this is what the Right often does. I remember watching Phyllis Schaffly debate about the ERA (Equal Rights Admendmant) in the 1980’s. She never answered questions and would just go back to her orginal statements or comments. She always had a smug look on her face and I wondered why she always seemed to feel as though she won. I see now that it was again a case of never legitamizing the other person’s point of view by engaging it. In the case of the COC guy, he simply ignored both the DOE guy and the host, Amy Goodman by ignoring their points and talking about his agenda. It was a very interesting situation.

I like that I finally see this so clearly. I have always been sensitive to someone having a hidden agenda with me. I remember asking one of my college professors why Phyllis Schaffly was so opposed to the ERA. Her response was “Who knows”. I knew at the time that it was not so much what she was saying and that she had some hidden agenda. I do not know whether it was about wanting to hurt women, wanting to keep women in their place, wanting to promote her view of the way women should act, or what. I do know it was not about what she was saying. I believe that a part of it had to do with pleasing the people who backed her financially. I know that big business was opposed the the ERA because it would have required them to give equal pay. I also know that most reasonable people would be alright with that. So to oppose the passage of it based on that would not have been a problem with most people. So the ones who stood to lose the most looked for ways that would be alright. They played to the fears of people. I remember an aunt of mine saying she did not want it to pass because she did not want anyone telling her that she would have to being working construction. I remember thinking that the entire admendment was only 24 words and only referred to no governmental body being able to enact laws that adbriged the right of anyone based on gender. But the right (big business) managed to make people afraid by using people like Ms. Schaffly to scare people about it. Wow, they are quite something huh?

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