Weaponizing…

A relatively new term, at least to me, has become almost daily fare on the ‘news’ we hear and see every day.  This or that politician claims the opposite party politicians are “weaponizing” this agency or that agency of government.  The term is used to identify the improper (in my opinion) use of government agencies/facilities to go after members of the ‘other’ political party.

If you are a regular consumer of this blog, you know that I am what some might describe as a “flaming conservative”.  I tend to see myself more as a person who happens to see issues with the liberal thought system that brings the liberals regularly to wrong or bad conclusions and/or decisions.

We know that there are government agencies from whom we do not want to hear. Period.  The IRS is one of those agencies.  The FBI would be another of those agencies.  These agencies have very valid reasons for being when they are used in the manner they were conceived for when they were created or formalized as an agency.

We know what that would mean for any of us if the “weaponized” agency were turned loose on us.  If someone in the IRS had a problem with you or me and chose his or her agency to use as the weapon to go after us, we would be hit with actions that we’d think were potentially catastrophic but we’d be defenseless since we weren’t guilty as charged.

Bells cannot be UNRUNG!

How do you go about proving that you are not guilty of something which hasn’t occurred?  If you are charged with cheating on your taxes but you haven’t done anything wrong, you might be able to simply gather your tax records and go to the local IRS office and get things settled.  If this charge had been on national newscasts and in the headlines of every major news release in America, you would have a whole different set of problems since the ‘news’ is the ‘news’ and we all know that everything we hear or read in the news is ‘true’, or at least we used to believe it was true.

Bells cannot be UNRUNG!

Today, sources we thought were dispensing true information have the edge in getting the rumor mills cranked up with one little whoopsie release of bogus stories.  Some of those might truly be “whoopsies” but all the while they float in the media without rebuttal, they are ‘true’ to those who consumed that ‘news’.

I read or hear it and discuss it with someone else.  They talk with several others who spread it further.  In a matter of hours, we have the equivalent of an atomic reaction that tends to take on a life of its own.

Bells cannot be UNRUNG!

You or I cannot undo the damage done by an incorrect rumor cast as news that has spread to the corners of the United States.  If this was done accidentally, that is one thing and we might be able to sue for redress.  If this was initiated intentionally, and if the purveyors were doing so intentionally, we have a whole different thing.  If this was created initially by an organization of our national government, or a person in such an organization, and fed to and through the press that was used to colluding in such matters since it fed the flames of the opposition of which they were a lead part.  This is happening and has happened.

This is vile.  This is vicious.  This is politics at its very worst.  This is being intentionally practiced today and you and I are the useful village idiots who talk about it over coffee with a co-worker or friend, and thus the atomic reaction is well underway.  That meme will go on and on at least until the next comes along.

Bells cannot be UNRUNG!

The advent of this thing we call “the accomplice media” gave a whole new significance to the initiation of false information initially framed as truth and permitted to percolate throughout the nation’s media outlets for a day or two or a week or two.  You know as well as I that there are a thousand times or more as many people who do not look into such charges as there are for every one of us who do take these things apart since we are basically skeptical consumers of information today given our experiences.

Our “instant” world can be a good thing, but when used improperly by those trying to mislead our “instant” world becomes a weapon to be used to destroy people and movements, or to create new people thought to be authorities or someone whom we should follow.

It was one thing to hear from a friend that old ‘so and so’ was telling a lie about us when we could go to ‘so and so’ and let him know we’d kick butt if he continued to do so.  We might get that fib stopped before it reached the proportion these lies reach almost instantly today.  Most people knew ‘so and so’ and had experienced his or her lies before, so they knew they’d been had again.

Those were the ‘good old days’ before near-instantaneous worldwide distribution of information that not many would even question as to validity…ESPECIALLY if that information came from the newspapers, and the radio and TV people.

Bells cannot be UNRUNG!

Now, just imagine that you were attacked with this misleading information by that very national media which had declared a vendetta against you that dated back to the time you became a valid candidate for the highest office in the land…and then you had won that race and actually become the President of the United States of America.

Weaponizing information requires someone willing to start it, someone or something willing, or even anxious, to distribute it without any real attempt to verify it even if it was a little suspicious, and a group of consumers willing to accept the information as truth without further thought.  This describes where we find ourselves today in America. And bells simply cannot be unrung, even though bogus.

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