Evil bastards who understand psychology are particularly dangerous, because there are so many ways to bypass people’s ability to reason, by manipulating and playing off of their feelings, emotions, and just psychological habits. One fine example can be seen when narcissistic control freaks throw out “noise”–often completely irrelevant noise–just to “muddy the waters” enough on some issue that the average spectator will get confused and frustrated, and then just give up and stop paying attention.
When politicians get caught doing something slimy, for example, in a way that is provable and fairly simple, they will run down a list of methods used to confuse anyone paying attention, even if they have no substantive defense or rebuttal to the accusations. These might include:
1) Bicker over random little details that aren’t really relevant to the accusations.
2) Personally attack the character of whoever made the allegations, or whoever reported them. (e.g., “Consider the source; isn’t this the same guy who…”)
3) Challenge the (supposed) motivation behind the accusation–again, shifting the focus to the accuser. (e.g., “He just brought this up because he has a personal vendetta against me.”)
4) Assert that there is no evidence, or that it’s not “convincing evidence,” regardless of what the evidence actually shows. This is a means of psychologically bullying the weak-minded into just believing that maybe they shouldn’t be convinced.
5) Assert that the accusation has “already been refuted,” or the allegations have already been addressed and answered. Simply asserting this, even if it is patently untrue, will make a number of people at least think it might be true.
6) Go into subtle “virtue signaling” mode, where the accused, instead of saying anything about the actual allegations, focuses on whatever good things he has (supposedly) done, the people who support him and like him, etc. In other words, he tries to make it into a “popularity contest” instead of a review of the evidence of wrongdoing.
7) Throw out a laundry list of tiny, tangential complaints about every detail of the accusation, to put the accuser “on trial,” so he tries to defend against an endless barrage of assertions, however baseless they may be. If the accused can try to poke holes in the accusation, even if all of those “holes” are easy to refute, the issue can quickly cause doubt and confusion in the mind of the average spectator, to the point he stops trying to understand.
And if all else fails…
8) Babble on and on with gibberish, literally–long-winded tangents and distractions designed to make the listener confused about what the whole thing is even about.Open This Content