I remember fondly some of the professors who attempted to teach me the concepts in various courses that I took when I went to the university I attended as an undergraduate. Several mentioned that changing times would compel us to make changes in the way we live and our roles in the society we inhabit.

I remember, too, confronting the wisdom of those professors, the truths that they were presenting to us as we sat in their classes trying to understand what they were lecturing about.

As I grew older and experienced some of those changes, I often talked to my friends about the problems that I was experiencing in finding a job I had chosen for my career; I was experiencing some of the difficulties that my professors had talked about years before.

I think about all of this when I view how the society in which I live has changed. Just one of those changes was growing up in a society that depended on the radio for transmission of information and moving to computers for that information. That change impresses upon me how this society has changed so much in my lifetime and has required changes in the way I live.

One of those changes requires me to be alert to the way I obtain information. A good example is the Jan. 6 uprising at the nation’s Capitol. Donald Trump has maintained that the election was stolen from him, and took his claims to the courts many times since the election. He did not get any court to agree with his contention that the election was stolen from him; Trump lost each time he went to court because he had no evidence to support his claims.

These consistent losses have not deterred him from continuing to claim that the election was stolen, as columnists Calvin Woodward, Colleen Long and David Klepper point out in a recent article in The Los Angeles Times. The columnists point out that Trump and his acolytes have used basic propaganda tools in their attempts to convince the public that the election was stolen. They write, “It is rooted in the basic formula of potent propaganda through the ages; say it loud, say it often, say it with the heft of political power behind you and people will believe. Once spread by pamphlets, posters and word of mouth, now spread by the swipe of a finger, the result is the same – a passionate, unquestioning following.”

This glorification of your point of view and trashing your opponents’ is certainly not new. The famous novelist and writer George Orwell, many years ago argued that propaganda has been used for centuries to persuade people and to convince them of the righteousness of whatever cause is being supported.

Trump has consistently and constantly referred to the rigged election and other trite phrases to describe how the election was stolen. As so often has happened in trying to convince the public of the rightness of their cause, what occurs with sickening repetition is the acceptance of whatever belief is being put forth – in this instance the idea that the election was stolen from Trump – and then having accepted the truth of those lies about the election, there is no convincing them otherwise. Those who accept the lies as truth will not accept the idea that the lies are falsehoods and often accuse those who are trying to help see them as falsehoods of being duped and as part of the conspiracy.

It now appears what Trump and his supporters will continually repeat the same phrases when describing the presidential election of 2020. Should Trump decide to run for president in 2024, I don’t think it will be a surprise, should he lose, that you will be hearing some of the same phrases from Trump and his supporters again, whatever the evidence about the election shows.

Author and educator Dave Kaplan writes from his home in Santa Barbara, Calif.

(9) comments


Travel back in time to a few days before the Nov. 3, 2020 election.

President Donald Trump drew massive crowds to his daily rallies in cities across the nation, even holding five events in five different cities on the Sunday before Election Day. In every venue, chants of “Four more years,” “Trump! Trump! Trump!”

An often confused Biden attracted no more than 200 people to his pre-election rallies, where he stumbled through short scripted speeches. His vice-presidential candidate, Harris, selected entirely for being a woman of color, turned out to be a repellant, even to Democrats.

Yet Biden and Harris won the 2020 election. Baffling!

To this day, 70% of Republicans, including me, feel the election was rigged. I’m not suggesting rigged enough to have made a difference in the outcome, but rigged nonetheless. Democrats said since the very beginning they were going to do whatever it takes to get Trump out, and they succeeded.

Folks like Kaplan keep talking about Trump out of frustration with Biden and a lack of enthusiasm for what he has done in 2021 and they fear 2024. Remembering the ghost of 2016, that still haunts them, liberals continue trying to shame Trump supporters.


Have to agree. The facts of the election were never revealed. Right or wrong - no matter. Credibility was the prize, not TV eyeballs. I still can't get a handle about how this new central government will work with expensive energy.

David Collins

Just can not get over Trump . In the scheme of things , who cares . Like he matters in some way . The Capitol thing was more about folks disillusionment with our governing politicians than anything else . Sure there were bad actors in the mix but where are they not today ? Must admit that I found some joy seeing the self righteous , self serving cockroaches scurrying to safety followed by tear filled eyes describing the TERROR that was that day . Drama queens are us indeed and has not slowed down a bit . Quite certain nothing will change anytime soon .

Carol Hartsoe

I do believe you are right Mr. Kaplan. Propaganda rituals, no matter the method of spread have always been around and results are the same. But nothing compares to the 2020 election lies spread by Trump. He began his lies early on. He vilified the news media, the USPS, claiming the election would be rigged against him. He showed a lack of confidence in his ability to win. All showed me that he was the one trying to rig the election. He trained his followers to the point of no return. There was no substance to his many rallies. Instead of talking about what he would do for this country he trashed others. He loved seeing those crowds adoring him like star-struck fans at a rock concert. The fact that he lost big in the election proves that a big show means nothing. Trump loyalists can only repeat what they have been trained to repeat. Strange that some comments here only prove your point. They don't and never will see truth and believe it. Only lies.


I am no Trump loyalist or Biden loyalist. If this government cannot run an election better than the last then we are third world. CREDIBILITY IS NOT THERE.


WOW, what perfect examples of the authors point. A few bad actors, at that capitol thing? Trump had bigger rallies therefore the election was stolen?

propaganda indeed. A MOB Rioted at the capitol, not a few bad actors, during a pandemic that trump downplayed despite the rising death count he had bigger rallies, then biden who made social distancing a priority. gee there is a shocker.

Cult members often do not realize they are in a cult. Trumps grifts and grafts continue. I think he has had to return 112 million to donors who were tricked into auto donations on their credit cards just this year. Many republicans have left the part and become independants over the trump cult, many more are likely to do do. Thankfully 70% of republicans who ( want to) believe the most scrutinized election in history was stolen are in the minority. ( assuming that figure is even correct) That cult like minority does not have the numbers or the power to replace their dear leader back into power. Vote for trump, scream TDS at every question about trump. Attend trump rallies. Erect a golden statue. By all means keep sending your money to trump. Meanwhile the adults in the room, not in thrall to the cult will vote for whats best for america.


The controversial and biased writings of philosopher Kaplan, who seems to be one gene short of being a genius, point out court findings, but he fails to mention state, city, and county findings of voter fraud.

The Heritage Foundation’s Election Fraud Database presents a “sampling” of recent “proven” instances of election fraud from across the country.

Some have compared Biden to Carter, and how unfair is that to Carter, who truly believed he was doing good, unlike the verbally challenged Biden.

David Collins

No comment after the last two posts . What is the point . Totally eat up with it and never to change .


Time's up. Out of the sandbox children. This topic is closed .

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