Propaganda 101: Name Calling*

name-calling-sm“Name Calling,” as a propaganda device is intended to make us form a judgment without examining the evidence on which it should be based. It appeals to our hate and fear by giving “bad names” to those individuals, groups, nations, races, policies, practices, beliefs, and ideals that the propagandist would have us condemn and reject. It is used prolifically in politics but also in the religious realm as well. Biblical scholars say this is also common in the Hebrew scriptures, especially in reference to the ancient near eastern pagan gods. However, these word plays do not translate into English so modern readers nearly always miss these derogatory remarks in their Bibles.

During this current election year (2016), we have seen a lot of this technique. The Republican candidate rose to the nominationof his party, partly over his use of "Lying Ted," "Low Energy Jeb" and so on. He embraced "Crooked Hillary" early on and has stuck to that name. Of course, once the contest was reduced to only two candidates for the Oval Office, the voters have been subjected to name callng from both candidates, but largely leveled at each other until one crossed a political line establishing a new low for mud slinging by brandishing name calling against a quarter of the voting population.

During brief remarks at the LGBT for Hillary Gala in lower Manhattan, (October 7, 2016) Clinton called "half" of those supporting the Republican nominee a "basket of deplorables." Quote: "Right?" she said to laughter from attendees, which included entertainer Barbra Streisand. "The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up."**

In other words, every despicable, low life "yo mama" insult possible was a reasonable way to describe these non  politician supporters. Worse, the attendees thought that remark and technique was entirely reasonable and funny. However, such deplorable behavior is not limited the the dregs of mud slinging poltics. Politicians are shrinking violets compared to the religious mud slinging that has be part and parcel of religious activies for centuries. The following list was garnered by a brief Internet search and is representative of how self righteous and sanctimonious the religious often are.

Against Christians:
Fundies , Heritics, Backsliders, Bible beaters (thumpers)

Against Jews:
Hymie, Kike, Shylock, Yid

Against Muslims:
Mussie, Quran thumper, Sand Nigger, Raghead,

Against Non Believers:
Goy, Heathen, Infidels, Pagans, Bible Bashers, Back Sliders

Add to this list the endless identifications of "politically incorrect" terms which only tends to shut down free speech and making intelligent dialog and discussion impossible.

* [Adapted from a publication from the Institute for Propaganda Analysis – 1937 to 1942]

** Quoted from the L.A. Times article: URL:



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