During Broadway’s The Magic Show, magician Doug Henning made an elephant disappear before our eyes. Using his expertise in misdirection, he was able to focus our attention away from what really mattered. He was able to make us believe the impossible.
Imagine what Doug Henning could have made us believe, if only his staff and budget had equaled the combined staffs and budgets of media, moguls, and political powers.
All day every day, media, moguls, and political powers focus and defocus our attention.
When they focus on Hollywood celebrities, they defocus our failing inner-city public schools.
When they focus on Mr. Potato Head, they defocus our increasing homeless population.
When they focus on Cardi B’s WAP, they defocus our national debt being increased by trillions of dollars in the time it takes to flush a penny down a toilet.
When they focus their headlines on “slammed” and “shocking”, they defocus reason in favor of emotion.
When they focus on Meghan and Harry, they defocus you and me.
They’re not stupid. They’re not lazy. Their staffs make sure they don’t make silly mistakes. They focus and defocus for a purpose — always. What is their purpose?
In The Virtue of Selfishness, Ayn Rand preaches that giving charity is its own reward. In the movie Wall Street, Gordon Gekko preaches that “Greed is good.” The sermon that resonates with them is the latter one. We know this because, as they focus and defocus, they accumulate wealth and power.
May the day soon come when the constituents of Maxine Waters, the subscribers to The New York Times, the viewers of CNN, the account holders on Twitter, and all the rest of us refuse to “Look Over Here, Not Over There” any more.