Inspection- The Dangers of Sock Puppetry

by Ken Carman

 I will start by typing that the example I offer may not have been presented by a sock puppet at all. Maybe it was just someone with a comprehension problem who is far too easy to offend and can’t think things through. But it certainly could display the dangers of sock puppetry to any candidate: left, middle or right.
 ”Middle?” Did I type “middle?’ Isn’t that political designation as extinct as the pterosaur and the tyrannosaurus?
 To answer my own question, “Just about.”
 The claim was made that Bill Clinton, therefore implicating Hillary too, (As if Hillary never has had a problem controlling Bill.) said Bernie supporters were just like Teabaggers. I asked for a link, and the response was just Google it and a demand not to insult the poster…by the mere act of asking, politely? That raised a caution flag in my mind. Someone unwilling to provide proof, while making a baseless accusation, is often simply saying,”&%$# off.”
 A word of advice to posters: telling someone to “just Google it” often backfires, as did this, whether one is a sock puppet, or not.
 Caution flag turned red flag when I started looking at who was making this claim. Right up on top of the list was that well known “liberal” site Breitbart. Why should anyone on the left believe anything Breitbart claims? As soon as the right accepts anything Michael Moore claims as gospel I’ll reconsider that stance.
 If it was just that site and the rest listed were left of center, or even better : semi-respectable news sources, OK, I might find the claims more plausible. (There are few, if any, respectable new sources anymore, IMO.) No, instead pretty much every one listed was right of center, or no name sources that could have any agenda. So I clicked on one of those. Here’s the quote from Bill as stated by what seemed the most independent site listed. Please note: “seemed.”

“It’s not altogether mysterious that there are a lot of people that say, well, the Republican Party rewarded the tea party. They just tell people what they want to hear, move them to the right and we’ll be rewarded – except they didn’t get anything done. Then, that’s going on now in our party.”

 OK, doth da poster I’m referring to have reading, or listening, comprehension problems much? Seems pretty damn obvious to me the comparison here is with pols making promises to one group they’ll never fulfill, and Bernie doing the same. That doesn’t equal Bernie and Teabaggers are “the same as” in any sense. In fact it’s a damn good question, “Will Bernie be able to fulfill the promise of, well, Bernie?”
 It is an unfair question in one sense: it can’t be answered. We’d have to get to that point in history, if it happens. It’s based in “Realpolitik” of what is now, not what it might become.
 It is an unfair question in one sense: it can’t be answered. We’d have to get to that point in history, if it happens. It’s based in “Realpolitik” of what is now, not what it might become.
 I will say up front that using Teabaggers as an example was unwise, for it leads the ignorant, the unable to understand context and helps mislead people. It also serves the evil intent of those willing to do all they can to cause trouble, stir up animosity, create voters who won’t vote if they don’t get their guy, or gal.
 The problem being there are sock puppets out there, some well paid, eager to create nonsense divisions just like this. Make a claim, refuse to back it up or argue it, and hope enough people buy into it without at least investigating the claim, or thinking it through.
 I write this not to defend Hillary, or Bill, or bash Bernie, or even shill for the left. I write this hoping people left and right might come to understand these kinds of claims are a danger to having an honest choice, honest vote: hence a danger to our nation. They rely on leading sheeple by the nose away from voting booth, or even to voting for candidates they never should. It’s propaganda, pure and simple.
 An example from the right: I keep having to post a link to a Snopes page on commentary from people who claim Trump called Republicans the dumbest group of voters. I’m sure you’ve seen the claim. Never happened. I suspect this is less sock puppetry than people sharing a meme. I think we’ve all been there, Facebook moves so fast. Share, then move on. But it certain mimics the tactics of sock puppets.
 So, even if you hate Hillary, don’t trust Bernie, or want to kick anyone on the right to the curb in favor of someone else, please don’t take any such claims at face value, and be quick to correct: even if it’s not to your advantage, politically. As I have typed too many damn times, “This certainly may seem like something Trump might have said, however…”
 Otherwise who gets elected is he, or she, whose followers and surrogates can deceive the most. That’s beyond wrong. It’s evil.

                                                    -30-
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 40 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks, and into the unseen cracks and crevasses, that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
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