Heather Cox Richardson talk on her book goes through Active Measures since Reagan

Heather Cox Richardson, Boston University history professor, gives this talk about her book How the South Won the Civil War. She talks about how the weaponization of ideology since Reagan has brought us Donald Trump. She doesn't mention active measures, but she mentions a great deal of active measures techniques and elaborates on the obvious connections between the Republican adherence to ideology as a central aspect of the process which has brought us to where we are in the United States today. It's very important to understand that what people do is clear. We can see it. Their reasons for doing it are not clear. We cannot see their motives, even when they tell us what they are and even when others tell us what they are. We still don't know. And, at this point, from my perspective, it would benefit us to engage our skepticism about the reasons certain groups keep taking the same actions - and *not* taking the same actions - which have the clear result of undermining the well-being of the citizens of the United States. The themes she talks about which match up with Active Measures tactics include:
  • Reagan wanted to destroy New Deal policies because the ideology of government assuring an equal playing field undermined oligarchy.
  • "Trickle-down" economics was a fraud from the beginning, and was known to be terrible public policy which was nevertheless implemented, due to an adherence to ideology.
  • "Movement conservatives" are not operating in reality. They are operating ideologically. That is, they're using ideology - the antithesis of conservatism - as the core of their supposedly Republican principles.
  • Gingrich transforming the Republican party into a "movement Republican" (ideological) camp.
  • Reagan tripled the federal debt through his tax cuts and increased deficits.
  • Gingrich wanted to destroy the federal government.
  • Using the moving image as a way of manipulating the emotions of the public
  • The destruction of the Fairness Doctrine as a way of making Fox News possible.
  • Fox News provides the ideological, emotion-based "news" information/entertainment that the fact-based news will not provide.
  • Kernel of truth - Willie Horton was paroled from prison during the Dukakis administration.
  • Reality upside down, around Willie Horton, and elsewhere.
  • Christian homeschooling rejecting public school and other government institutions.
  • The mischaracterization of and disinformation around the events in Waco, TX, which demonize the federal government.
  • Reality upside down:
    • Around the Willie Horton political ad
    • Around the FBI in Waco, TX
    • Around what it means to be a "real" Republican
    • Around trickle-down - a.k.a. voodoo - economics
    • Calling pro-family initiatives "anti-family", through the lens of ideological assumptions.
  • The use of psychological warfare in Gingrich's GOPAC word list.
  • The use of ideological purity tests as reasons to prevent/avoid any compromise - or living in a shared reality.
  • The slow distortion of the perception of reality in the public and the creation of competing tribes in the United States.
  • The use of "ideology" around "ballot integrity" to attempt to accomplish the goal of removing Black people from voter registration rolls. That is, the use of invented narratives as excuses to undermine the system - voting rights in this case.
  • The spreading of vast disinformation around invented narratives, including around supposed voter fraud.
I hope you'll take the time to watch the talk in order to validate that what I'm talking about holds a lot of water. If you have the chance, please share this post with her as I do think she is missing a lot here, in terms of how Active Measures is the "why" behind why the South is still dead set on winning the Civil War.