Using a “false dilemma” poll to influence the public #OccupyPropaganda #propaganda

Using a “false dilemma” poll to influence the public #OccupyPropaganda #propaganda

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I spotted this sign at a political party booth at a county fair. This poster is designed to frame the discussion and limit it to 3 items: ObamaCare, TrumpCare or Universal Health Care.

I removed any indications as to which political party used this poster as it does not matter and truthfully, more than one party could have posed this set of questions.

The “false dilemma” method implies you have a set of specific choices – and leaves out other potential options. In some cases, the choices are set up so there is obviously only one correct answer, thereby “winning the argument”.

The key idea from a propaganda perspective is to anchor your subsequent thinking to these 3 options. Depending on your political persuasion, you may like or dislike one or all of these ideas even though they actually mix and match the concepts of health insurance and health care (which are separate). For example, ObamaCare is about insurance (not actual health care) and Universal Health Care while sometimes referred to as health insurance is actually about care delivery (as in some other countries). I am not sure how to classify TrumpCare as it was not clear what it was trying to accomplish.

Other options might be variations of “single payer” (which is about the payment or insurance side) or other models such as direct primary care coupled with a catastrophic-like insurance policies, and other free-market approaches. These, though, are not even offered for discussion.

The intent of the poster is to anchor your thinking to these 3 options only. This is the “false dilemma” technique of propaganda. You may combat this type of propaganda by recognizing this method when you see it – and immediately ask “Why are they limiting the discussion? What are they leaving out and why? What other choices might there be?”

The key, as always, is to think for yourself. Everyone is trying to influence your thoughts and actions; we lose when we outsource our thinking to others. Think for your self!

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