There's an information war going on in my home state. There are many going on all over the United States. We're in a midterm election year. A political ad doesn't actually meet the definition of "propaganda". It's advertising. However, it shares a lot of the same features of propaganda. On one hand is the governor of my state. His campaign focuses on the abortion issue and claims that his opponent wants to ban abortions in the state. Is it true? It doesn't really matter. That's the message that the governor's campaign is sticking to. They are getting that part right. They're sticking to a single narrative. They understand that abortion is an extremely emotional issue for many people. However, they are forgetting that this issue is emotional for the opposition too.
On the other side is a medical doctor. His main message is that the governor failed the state during his response to COVID-19. It's also an emotional issue for many, particularly the small business owners who lost their businesses during this time. The state has estimated that 10,492 businesses were shuttered and 36% of those hadn't opened more than a year after first being closed. Certainly, this will animate many to go out and vote against the governor.
Here's a secret about both political ads and propaganda: The effective campaigns don't try to change anyone's mind. Trying to convince a liberal to vote for a conservative or visa versa is an inefficient use of resources.
No. The effective information campaign only reinforces the population's existing beliefs. That's the secret. Political campaigns want to convince their own likely voters to get out and vote. That's the campaign that wins. Whoever can mobilize their voters. In order to do that, they need to make their political bases emotional and angry. They must play on confirmation bias. That's the key to a good information campaign. Help people to believe what they want to believe. Nudge them just a little bit in the direction that you want them to go.
That's how you influence people. You can't try to push them in the opposite direction. You lead them further down the path that they were already traveling.
So who will win this information war? I'll let you know in September.
Yesterday in Rome a large crowd gathered to take down an EU flag and replace it with an Italian flag. If Italy ends up leaving the EU, it could absolutely lead to other countries following as well. Will the European Union fall apart in the next 5-10 years? Could it be even sooner?
Tens of thousands of illegal immigrants from Africa and the Middle East are approaching the Turkish city of Edirne, calling themselves the "Caravan of Light".
They storm the border with Greece and move north through the Balkans. The final destination is the countries of Western Europe, mainly Germany.
In total, up to ten such "convoys" can be formed this fall.
Do you think that Russia or some other European power might retaliate against a country that they believe is responsible for Nordstream?
The Largest gas supplier in Europe, Norway's Equinor, has raised emergency preparedness at installations following the sabotage attacks on Nord Stream pipelines.
The heads of all four territories where referendums were held - the DPR, LPR, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions appealed to Putin about accepting the regions as subjects of the Russian Federation.
The Kremlin's response is expected in the near future.