One day we're told that Kerry is best buddies with Jane Fonda. The next he's a disgrace to his uniform. The following day, a member of his old unit doesn't like him. Then, we're told, he didn't earn his combat decorations. Next, he's a war criminal. And on and on it goes. Of course it's all 100% certified organic horse hockey, but that hardly matters, because the purpose of propaganda isn't to make fair or factual arguments, but to destroy all serious and useful discussion at its root. The propagandist knows there's only so much intellectual bandwidth available, so instead of forming logical, reasonable or fact-based arguments, he works to suck every bit of air out of the discussion. He does this by manufacturing a constant stream of distractions, misdirections and outrageous allegations. He pushes every emotional hot button he can find. He changes every unfavorable subject. He throws down gauntlets, and then walks away. Then he throws down another. The propagandist's goal is to sow confusion, and by so doing, to drive all honest debate to the sidelines. If he succeeds, he can fill the resulting vacuum with whatever lies suits his purposes. Naturally, people of good will feel obligated to respond to the propagandist's campaign of misdirection. But this is not the best way to address this problem. The good news is that propaganda tactics only work when the targets of the propaganda cooperate, and try to point out that the propagandist is making untrue, inconsistent or just plain hateful statements. Of course he is; this is how propaganda works. In fact we should turn our backs on the propagandist. Not that he should be ignored. Even if we wanted to, we couldn't help knowing that his type exists; we can always see him out of the corners of our eyes. In fact it's a helpful reminder. But that doesn't mean we have to help him populate his sordid world. He should be allowed to blow steam out of his ears, and stomp on the ground until he buries himself in a mountain of his own offal. If we can do that much, then propaganda has no power over us.