Should we believe Tara Reade? Her story could be true. We can’t really know.
We want to support women who have been abused. She could be lying but that’s hard to swallow. It is important that we not infantilize women and act as if they are always pure and innocent.
There are parts of the case that seem believable. There have been investigations that found nothing and alleged new facts that seem to shed new light on the matter. The allegations are old from when Biden was a Senator and are difficult to prove or defend against now.
Even if Tara Reade’s accusations are true, we can’t simply react emotionally in ways that cause us to act against our own interests.
Why these allegations and why now? We really can’t know whether the allegations are true or not but we can question the motives for disseminating this information now. Deciding who to believe is purely a matter of loyalty.
Loyalty is no basis for making determinations of fact. Women who are loyal to third parties or to feminism or the “me, too” movement will tend to believe Reade while those loyal to the Democratic party are likely to be more skeptical. Our loyalties not only make us biased they also make us vulnerable to manipulation.
Propaganda is essentially any material that attempts to influence our beliefs, attitudes, and behavior.Propaganda is actually value-neutral, it’s either good or bad depending upon the intentions of the propagandist. Here we can be pretty sure of the intentions of the Right-wing media outlets disseminating the Tara Reade allegations.
It is the eve of the election and Biden has just secured the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. That’s when the propagandists began to push this story, not before Biden secured the nomination but immediately afterward. If they were truly concerned about Biden becoming President, why wait until after the primary? The party could have simply turned to another candidate were these allegations made during the primary.
The propagandists are trying to undermine the Democratic nominee in order to get Trump re-elected. The propagandists are the Right-wing media outlets spreading the story and the Left-wing third party outlets who have picked the story up. Their objectives coincide with Right-wing groups to the extent they see the Democratic Party as the enemy.
As we can see, Tara Reade may not be the propagandist here. The propagandists are the Right-wing media outlets who have the ability to bring this matter to the public’s attention at this crucial time. Tara Reade may simply be a pawn in a high-stakes game.
Without considering Tara Reade’s credibility, we can see the propagandist’s intentions. Rather than asking who we believe, we should instead consider how to respond. If we continue to respond in the ways the propagandist wants us to, we can expect to see more of these types of allegations leveled against our candidates in the future.
Even if Tara Reade’s accusations are true, we can’t simply react emotionally in ways that cause us to act against our own interests. Propagandists want to turn us into their agents. Groups of people are easily manipulated.
The propagandist uses group dynamics to manipulate us. They need only get some of the group to react adversely to cause division and factionalism. They target our loyalties and emotions to override our critical thinking.
When we react emotionally or out of loyalty or out of any of the logical fallacies propagandists use to manipulate us, we hand our power over to the propagandist and destroy ourselves both personally and politically. We become tools of the puppet master who targets our emotions and group loyalties to make us behave irrationally. If we don’t think before we act, we are destined for self-destruction.
To this end, I will be doing a Zoom Webinar on "Propaganda! What it is, Where It Comes from, and What to Expect this Election." Here's a link to register. We must all learn about propaganda and other covert techniques to protect ourselves from manipulative people and organizations and to save our democracy from the current authoritarian regime.