The reality was bad enough, so why lie to make a propaganda poster?

The reality was bad enough, so why lie to make a propaganda poster?

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TL;DR Summary

  • This an odd one. This poster about former Republican Presidential candidate Scott Walker asserts 2 untrue facts and 1 true fact.
  • This is odd because the truthful backstory is not so great, so why use lies to get the point across? Once caught, it makes the propagandist look rather bad.



“”Gov. Scott Walker was a student at Marquette from fall of 1986 until spring 1990 and was a senior in good standing when he voluntarily withdrew from Marquette”
“Governor Walker was in good standing each term while he was enrolled at Marquette University and when he left Marquette University … Governor Walker was not expelled or suspended from the university at any time.” (quoted from Associate Vice Provest of MU).


The Walker campaign said he had a 2.59 cumulative GPA, which is not very good either but better than the 2.3 GPA claimed in the poster.
More here:


He has significantly cut U of W budgets, is overturning tenure, and has expanded a program to fund private schooling. Therefore, this is fair to say that Walker has attacked the interests of teachers.


It is not clear why it is necessary to post untrue items about Scott Walker when the truth is not that positive – e.g. 2.59 GPA versus the propaganda 2.3 GPA. Or to claim that he was asked to leave for cheating when that is not true. An alternative explanation from Politico is that he was ambitious, perhaps narcissistic, thought highly of himself, and sought political office. Further, per Politico, Walker’s stories about his past tend to move dates around and say things that are ambiguous.
While not as negative as the claims of a cheating scandal, the truth is not positive either.
Why do propagandists spin lies? Mostly because people believe what they want to believe. In 1921, Walter Lippmann wrote “For the most part we do not first see, and then define, we define first and then see.” It is this weakness in our own behavior that enables propagandists to spin tall tales that we believe. The propagandist knows that what people hear first, they are likely to believe and retain, even in the face of subsequent facts or logic that show otherwise.
But were lies even necessary in making this poster? Hardly. Which is why this poster is rather bewildering. The poster would have been more effective it it stuck with the truth.

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