Such Is The Power of Propaganda

11/06/2007 08:42 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Tim "Pumpkin Head" Russert said this Monday on the Hardball show:

"Everyone knows Social Security as it's constructed is not going to be in the same place it's gonna be for the next generation."

He means that Social Security will have to be somehow restructured. Chris "Tweety" Matthews piped in to say:

"It's a bad Ponzi scheme at this point, yeah."

They went on to talk about politicians needing to make "tough choices." "Tough choices" in this context usually means cutting promised retirement benefits instead of restoring the money that was taken from the Social Security Trust Fund and used for tax cuts. Never mind that Social Security has sufficient funds invested in its Trust Fund to cover almost any projected shortfall -- tax cuts and corporate welfare mean government is going to have trouble finding the money it owes to its citizens. So to head off the idea of getting the money from where the money went, the moneyed interests have launched a campaign to make people think this is somehow Social Security's problem -- the ones owed the money -- instead of the problem of the ones who got the money.

Why does "everyone know" that Social Security will need to be restructured? Because it has been repeated so often that people believe it is true. Something that "everyone knows" is also called "conventional wisdom." Once something becomes "conventional wisdom" it is extraordinarily difficult to shake people from believing it, true or not.

This is done because on Election Day it doesn't matter if something is actually true, it only matters what people think is true. This is the basis of the divide between the "reality-based community" and those who believe "we can create our own reality." (It is instructive to follow the link and learn where those terms originated. )

Such is the power of propaganda.