No, folks chosen”randomly” to talk about political issues don’t have a problem with immigrants and immigration. Did that message register?

Of course the cosmos is unfolding and the origins of the political machinations are becoming clear…


Nick Coleman, in the STrib today, discloses one woman’s experience with a focus group that was held, ostensibly about other topics, where the group members were pumped and primed to be down on immigrants and immigration, and when the attendees didn’t bite, were pushed and prodded further, in an openly desparate attempt to inflame them, to get the response that they wanted:

Demogoguery’s focus intends to blur important issues

Last February, after answering a random phone survey, Peoples was invited to take part in a focus group discussion of political issues in Mankato. The group was made up of a cross-section of voters from southern Minnesota. Taxes, gambling and sports stadiums — all being debated at the time in St. Paul — were discussed.

But there was more on the agenda at this mystery meeting, which was sponsored by a group that gave each participant a lunch and $20, but which would not identify itself.

The woman moderator, who said she was from Maryland, wanted very much to talk about immigrants. The participants already had discussed any issues they were concerned about, except the war in Iraq. There would be no talk about Iraq, the woman said. But up to that point, no one had mentioned immigration, much to the annoyance of the moderator. So she prodded the group to complain about immigrants.

“I haven’t heard anybody talk about immigration,” Peoples, an independent, recalls her saying. “Anybody have a problem with the illegal aliens coming in?”

The group’s response to the question was “a deafening silence,” Peoples says. But the woman pushed harder, listing some of the complaints she said she had heard in other states where she had conducted focus groups. Still, no one obliged her. Instead, Peoples mentioned the immigrant workers in a nearby town, praising them for how hard they seem to work.

Not the correct answer. Someone was paying money for this. They wanted problems.

“She shut me off,” Peoples recalls. “Then she said, ‘Aren’t you having problems here?’ “

The phony fabrication of “immigration” and other issues like “gay marriage,” as a diversionary tactic was exposed:

“There was no reason for this to be brought up,” Peoples says. “I think someone was trying to find an issue that will antagonize people and get them riled up so they come out and vote, without offering a solution.”

Peoples has perfectly described how demagoguery works: Exaggerate a problem; exploit the manufactured resentment at the polls; offer no solutions to address a problem without creating an even larger one.

Who sponsored the Mankato focus group is still a mystery. But there is no mystery why politicians try to capitalize on a destructive strategy. And it will be a tragedy if they succeed.

Thanks to Pat Peoples for the courage to expose their divisive agenda.

One Response to “Intolerance – Aren’t you having problems here?”

  1. Pat Peoples Says:

    On a whim, I decided to Google my name just to see what information might be on the Internet about me. Lo and behold, I found your commentary.
    Thanks for the kind words. When I read Nick Coleman’s column about Pawlenty riling up the illegal immigration issue, I recalled the focus group session and emailed Coleman asking if he thought focus groups were used to test market the issue.
    I noticed that you list BlueStemPrairie as a Friend. It’s a great site. I also enjoy which she has cited for its commentary on the Minnesota politics.

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