Published March 11, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., called Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky a “thug” at a campaign event over the weekend.

“Remember that Zelensky is a thug,” Cawthorn said in a video obtained by WRAL. “Remember that the Ukrainian government is incredibly corrupt and is incredibly evil and has been pushing woke ideologies.”

I’m curious how those attending the event in Asheville, N.C.  responded.  Does he not know Trump has changed his tune?   Could Cawthorn have been referring to democracy when he referred to woke ideologies?   Mother Jones reports that “Cawthorn’s remarks, which parrot Russian propaganda, were first reported by none other than Karl Rove. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed urging the GOP to stand up for Ukraine, the former senior adviser to George W. Bush called out Cawthorn, along with Ohio senatorial candidate JD Vance, for their anti-Ukraine stances, insisting that neither man was reflective of the Republican Party at large.

Luke Ball, Cawthorn’s communications director, told Newsweek that Cawthorn “was expressing his displeasure at how foreign leaders, including Zelensky, had recently used false propaganda to entice America into becoming involved in an overseas conflict. He supports Ukraine and the Ukrainian president’s efforts to defend their country against Russian aggression, but does not want America drawn into another conflict through emotional manipulation.” (Emphasis mine).

So Cawthorn “supports Ukraine…”  (which is “incredibly evil”).  The federal government wants to discourage Americans volunteering to help Ukraine defend itself so the U.S. isn’t drawn into the war, but Cawthorn’s words appear to be another example of trying to beat around the bush by manipulation.

I am reminded of  Florida’s Republican Senator Rick Scott’s recent 11-point plan, in which he indicated he was against racism, a likely attempt to lure and gain support from non-racists, despite the overall nature of his plan.

I just purchased two books — on manipultion.  One is Invisible Influence, The Hidden Forces That Shape Behavior by Jonah Berger and the other is Get People to Do What You Want, by Gregory Hartley and Maryann Karinch.   The cover of the latter book  also includes the statement, “Includes Tactics on How to Guard Against Manipulation.”  It’s also touted as “How to Use Body Language and Words for Maximum Effect.” So, the book that helps one to avoid being manipulated also helps you to manipulate.

The 1981 Webster ‘s Nrw Collegiate Dictionary gives as a third definition of “manipulate” as to change by artful , unfair or insidious means  esp. to one’s own advantage.

Why do I resent manipulation so much?  The history goes back to parenting, of course, where most everything is manipulation of the child, for better or worse, especially to control the child.  Those most vulnerable to the effects of manipulation would be those with “loose boundaries.”

I look around me, in the USA today, and see a huge PR industry trying to convince me to spend more money and scams trying to steal. Then there is the recent history of presidents who try to affect the public by lying in order “not to panic” us, as though the public has already been dumbed down–as perhaps we have.

In being against manipulation so fervently, I suppose I’m really championing honesty.  What a breath of fresh air that word brings!   Constantly wondering “what’s in it for him?” is not a comfortable lifestyle, and a part of me says “Oh, grow up!”  And am I trying to manipulate you, the reader by writing this blog?  Not for any nefarious gain I am aware of.

4 comments on “MANIPULATION

  • Nan, one needs to throw out one term to show where manipulation is occurring. ALEC. ALEC is short for American Legislative Exchange Council whose purpose is to promote business and conservative causes. They do this through replicable cookie cutter legislation on any issue. Some states were lazy and actually failed to fill in all the blanks in the language. This group is responsible for the voter suppressive Voter ID laws that were ruled unconstitutional and are likely behind several of the states efforts to restrict what is taught in schools and what further voter rights to restrict. This group abets manipulation of laws to benefit business by keeping conservatives in place. What do business want – judges who will side with businesses in litigation against them and laws that allow businesses to report less, be audited less, and allow them to cut corners. Folks like Cawthorn are noisy pawns in this process (they tolerate his noise to get his vote). Keith


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