From time to time, people come up to me up to me and say, "Guy?"
I reply, "Yes, hypothetical person?"
"Guy, what can we do about the problem of illegal immigration in America?"
I respond, "Well, obviously the answer is gay marriage!"
"Gay marriage!" they respond, "how can gay marriage solve illegal immigration?" Of course, the confusion is expected. Hypothetical person is used to hearing answers like "put soldiers on the boarder" or "criminalize hiring of illegals" or other such things.
Thus, I must educate them: "Well you see, people in America have remarkably short attention spans. They also tend to have a slightly absurd hierarchy of 'evils' that they are fighting against. It just so happens that the average American things that gay marriage is higher up on this hierarchy than illegal immigration."
Invariably the response follows, "Ah yes, I can understand that...but how can that actually help?"
Seeing that further enlightenment is necessary, I resume my role of wise teacher: "There are two paths we may take here: misdirection and association. If we choose the former, we can solve the problem of illegal immigration by making people not pay attention to it anymore. All that is necessary is for the right people to stop talking about immigration and to begin talking about the scourge of gay marriage."
Hypothetical usually scoffs, "That won't solve the problem! That's just ignoring it!"
My student is a slow learner, but I am a patient teacher. I continue: "Now, when did you most recently begin to see illegal immigration as a problem to America?" I pause for only a moment then answer my own semi-rhetorical question, "A few weeks or months ago, yes?"
My student ponders for a moment then slowly nods, "I suppose so..."
"Yes, of course. Now, what made you begin to roll the issue over in your mind? What made you suddenly begin searching for the answer to this quandary?"
Again, Hypothetical pauses and considers, "I suppose I started reading about it in the papers; maybe I saw it on the evening news. I'm not exactly sure."
"So if you hadn't heard it in the media, you'd never have considered it?"
"I suppose not..."
"Now you understand how the first path is achieved: cease discussion and the problem vanishes for mind. Now to the second path: association. The key here is to take the take gay marriage and link it inextricably with illegal immigration. They must be made as one issue; never should one be discussed without the other being mentioned in the same breath."
Hypothetical interrupts me, "How can you do that though? Those two issues have nothing to do with each other! Reasonable people will see through the false association."
"Reasonable people?" at this, I nearly laugh, "whatever do you mean by reasonable? The majority of the populace pays more attention to who's winning American Idol than they do to the sensibility of their news. All that is necessary is to repeat the claim often enough and loud enough. A dozen or so newspaper opinions writers in popular papers, maybe three or four television and radio pundits--that's all that would be necessary to bring the idea onto the national stage. From there, the big media groups would run with it."
HP ponders my words for a time then replies, "So, we associate the issues together, then what?"
"Ah, of course, we simply say that one is responsible for the other. After that it'll only be a few days before some congressman who is attempting to gain political favor develops a comprehensive plan to deal with the situation perhaps a bill like 'Building Stronger Families by a Secure Border,' 'The Fence to Greater Family Values,' or 'Get Ridda Them There Gays so They Stop Stealing Our Job!' Any of these are likely to make anyone who was ever considering becoming an illegal alien so confused, angry, or offended that they either don't come to initially or make sure that they are legal so they aren't accused of being gay job thieves."
Hypothetical, now having heard all my evidence, simply nods and leaves me be. His knowledge and understanding of both the issues at hand and the human condition have been irrevocably altered.
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