The Return of the Narrative to Our Discussion
I write specifically this morning to speak again of the Narrative--that pursuit of a relentless story that doesn't have any factual grounding in reality. The big difference is that this time I'm going to thank the people behind this video for showing us why we can't call the Narrative a particularly partisan tactic.
An antiabortion group decided to propagate the video at the above link, which apparently shows a medical director for Planned Parenthood discussing the sale of organs from aborted fetuses. The video was ignored by the mainstream media and then hit the spotlight again when the "truth" came out concerning the video--the medical director for Planned Parenthood was actually discussing the total value of these organs for "medical research purposes."
I can't put too much stock in something like the video (which I won't put here because it's crass and I have no time to subject you, dear reader, to such things) you'll see if you click the above link because I have watched pro wrestling for way too many years and put a lot of stock into my ability to spot a "work" when I see one. That's what the video feels like--a hacky attempt at putting together a "narrative" that fits the antiabortion side of the debate. The "Pro-Life" movement has said for ages that the "Pro-Choice/Pro-Abortion" side is a "cult of death," and there's nothing that conveniently fits that narrative more than a video of a medical professional sipping on wine and eating expensive food while talking about price variables for the organs of unborn children.
I suspect there's more to the video than necessarily meets the eye. The question is if the anti-abortion activists will turn to the notion of "well, this may not be the ENTIRE story, but let's not forget The Narrative" if and when the same video is exposed as something less than the entire story.
Turning the tables to the more political side of the spectrum--the other Narrative present this past week is that billionaire Donald Trump is Not A Viable Candidate for President, and will Never Be. The discussions of Trump in the media and other outlets are becoming more and more heated, with every word he says being vilified as if he were the absolute worst person in the world. First it was his comments on Mexicans and their alleged "criminal" nature, then it was Trump's rather tactless remarks concerning P.O.W.s and Senator John McCain. The biggest point of intellectual honesty in this new Narrative is that the Huffington Post will no longer discuss Donald Trump's candidacy as part of their "News" section--they're going to treat it as entertainment because he's a "sideshow" act. I have to give the Huffington Post credit for intellectual honesty here--they're at least being honest in their hit job of Trump and his candidacy for President. The other news outlets, not so much.
I think the attacks on Trump have intensified in large part because those who work in these outlets see Trump as a legitimate threat to the presidency and the current progressive movement. Even though he's bereft of tact, and even though he continues to provide the opposition with clickbait-worthy headlines, he's still leading among Republican voters. And he's angry, which is the general emotional state of a good number of people on the Right and those who espouse conservative views. Worse still--Progressives and Conservatives alike view him as a threat because it's going to be really hard to buy out a man with enough working capital to allow him to refuse checks from special interest groups. I take no sides on Trump's campaign, dear reader--I just point this out because I want you to be able to see the Narrative at work, be it one side or the other.
The Narrative is a powerful tool, and it's something that is now being used on all sides of every debate. Some parties are just more honest about when and where it's used than others, and I want those of you who come here to read my ramblings and philosophical thoughts to be able to spot its use when it pops up. We used to actually engage in substantive debate over issues; now it's just smear tactics in pursuit of the Narrative. I may not be able to do much, but I can at least point out this farce of an argumentation tactic when I spot it and present it to you when I see it so that you can honestly and openly make an informed decision when you support one position or another.
Again, this is just the work of a Neutral, trying to show you how both sides can use tactics to manipulate a debate. The rest is up to you.