The Folly of Perception over Reality

by Rick Bretz

Sometimes it doesn’t matter what is real but what people think is real.

The list is long about what the majority of the population thinks is true about someone or some event that turns out to be nowhere near what the reality is.  The perception doesn’t line up with reality.

Vietnam, Nixon, the Economy, the Depression, Democrats, Republicans, Tea Party, Liberals, Occupy Wall Street, Elections,  Law Enforcement, and many others are subject to internet falsehoods and a long history of bad information being passed from one person to another.

Hoover addresses a large crowd in his 1932 cam...
Hoover addresses a large crowd in his 1932 campaign. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For example, the reputation of Herbert Hoover as someone who didn’t care for the working man and never lifted a finger to help the struggling poor while being solely responsible for the Great Depression is way off the mark.  This perception is mostly due to his policies in reaction to the great depression and the unfortunate name given to outdoor shanty towns, Hoovervilles.  However, that perception couldn’t be further from the truth.  As Food Administrator during World War I, he was responsible making sure enough food rations were sent over to Europe to keep the war effort rolling.  After the war, Europe was left without enough food to feed its population for the winter. Hoover organized food shipments to Europe and sent food to Russia as late as 1921 so that millions of people could survive.  Concerning the depression, He also warned President Calvin Coolidge in 1925 about the folly of excessive stock market speculation. He knew that practice would catch up to the health of the economy and it did in 1929.  After the depression, he also took steps to try to end the depression such as moving construction projects ahead of schedule, cutting taxes, and increasing the funding for public works.

After, being treated like an outsider by his own party and the democrats for several years, one person invited in for his organizational skill and history of helping people in need.  In fact, President Harry Truman invited former President Hoover to the White House to organize the war relief effort after World War II.

So, for someone who gets the majority of the blame for the great depression, it seems he was one of the first to warn us about Stock Market speculation that was a major cause of the crash.  He was also more concerned with helping people in need than what is in generally perceived.

English: Elvis Presley meeting Richard Nixon. ...
English: Elvis Presley meeting Richard Nixon. On December 21, 1970, at his own request, Presley met then-President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office of The White House. Elvis is on the right. Waggishly, this picture is said to be ‘of the two greatest recording artists of the 20th century’. The Nixon Library & Birthplace sells a number of souvenir items with this photo and the caption, “The President & the King.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The phrase “perception is reality” is an expression used to convey the idea that how you look sometimes matters more than what you do. As Billy Crystal’s character said on SNL, “You look Maahvelous!” It got a laugh but with most first-rate comedy it has a ring of truth.  The best dressed office worker who portrays confidence may get a first look when it comes to a promotion and a key position over someone who looks average but performs at a high level.

History is supposed to correct perceptions and publicize the greater truth.  The following is a list of subjects with perceptions and realities listed.  Is it better to look good than to feel good?  I prefer both.

  Perception Reality
President Herbert Hoover Cause of Depression, didn’t care about working class Warned government about stock market speculation, organized war   relief efforts
Vietnam United States lost war We won all of the ground battles, including the Tet Offensive.  Withdrew due to Nixon/Kissinger peace   agreements.
The economy President responsible for state of the economy Several factors influence economy more so that POTUS, Wall Street,   Federal Reserve Chairman, Treasury Secretary, Global economies, and overall buying   public
President Richard Nixon Failed President Accomplished several initiatives while POTUS, establish EPA and Dept,   Natural Resources, improved relations with China and USSR. Ended Draft.   Signed into law Title IX.
North Ultra liberal, jaded urbanites, elite college intellectuals who   consider themselves at the top of a class divided society Although liberal candidates win a majority of the elections, places   like NJ, and Massachusetts sometimes elect conservative candidates. Many   northern states enjoy a vast rural areas.
South Mostly rural.  Uneducated, lazy   populace, rejection of evolution in favor of religious dogma. A majority are   bigots. Technology Companies do business there. Many Northern professional   transplants. Most accept evolution outright and a majority understand both   views.  There are just as many bigots,   racists and segregationists in the North as in the South. Just as many opened   minded progressives live in the South as in the North.
Teachers Overpaid and ineffective A majority are effective, underpaid and forced to teach using local   policies and to pass tests
Communism Failed social and government experiment True communism never practiced or implemented
Lawyers Responsible for higher costs, cost money with little or no return People are fine  lawyers when   they need one
Law Enforcement Power Hungry government representatives out to harass populace A majority of law enforcement professionals are subject to rules of engagement and internal investigations.
 TSA Airport Security Government reps who invade your privacy.  Security professionals assigned to do an impossible job following government protocols and rules.
 Veterans and Active Military Not intelligent enough to get a commercial job.  Aggressive people who are blood thirsty. Damaged by war and can’t function in society.  More often than not, people in the military have some college education or a degree. People trained to make logical decisions in a split second. A majority of veterans have integrated within the work force.
 This Blog Post  Highly Entertaining  Highly Entertaining

Today’s traditional broadcast and print media coverage of a particular topic is constantly challenged by the public’s use of social media.   However, with PR firms, marketing representatives, and spokespeople, getting out in front of an issue or an event is just a matter of your story being told before someone else’s version. History shows that the victor gets to write its version of events.  Sometimes it’s the truth and sometimes it’s just a shade of it.

Notable Links:

http://www.hoover.archives.gov/

http://people.howstuffworks.com/communism.htm

http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/11/prin-com.htm

http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/richardnixon

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/key-legacies-president-richard-nixon-100th-birthday/story?id=18160523#4

http://www.alternet.org/story/154794/5_big_media_stereotypes_about_the_south_(and_the_real_story_behind_them)

http://www.teaparty-platform.com/

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