by Richard Lewis
Whenever we buy a product that doesn’t live up to its promise,
we wish we had honed the skill of becoming a Doubting Thomas.
Claims are made, testimonials given, no drawbacks are even mentioned;
the hope and fantasy they offer makes them appear well-intentioned.
When we experience disappointment, we may suspect them of lying,
but they are more clever than that, which is why we are often buying.
Those practicing propaganda, as in commerce, politics and church,
make only assertions and promises and need never resort to research.
They know the most effective persuader, near impossible to resist,
is the voice you hear within yourself, which will not only urge but insist.
It’s the task of the propagandist to create that voice in your head,
leaving you thinking it was your idea, when it was theirs instead.
They present data selectively and omit unfavorable facts
and repeat it over and over to disguise the logic it lacks.
So propagandists don’t lie to you, they construct the spiel itself
so the conclusion that seems correct to you is the lie you tell to yourself.
Editor note: Richard is a local poet and used to contribute regularly to the Whatcom Independent weekly newspaper back 10 years ago when I was the publisher. We ran into each other a week ago and got to talking. This is the result. I hope this is the first of occasional contributions by him. - John Servais