MysteryPatriot was created in early October 2012, for the purpose of developing high-quality infographics (graphic data illustrations) that present crucial economic and political metrics in a format that the average American can quickly understand, and easily share with others, through both digital and printed means.
It is hoped that these infographics and related materials will:
- Enable veteran and new advocates of liberty to rapidly spread this vital data, in the final three weeks of the federal election campaign season – and as a result…
- Inform Americans from across the political spectrum of the evidence-based reasons why President Obama and his allies should not be re-elected.
The American Crisis, 2012
In order to make intelligent voting decisions in our federal elections, every American requires a crystal-clear understanding of basic economic and civic concepts and data, and how he or she is impacted by them. The freedom and prosperity we enjoy is based upon our ability to accumulate and spread this knowledge, and confer it to our children. For as James Madison said:
“A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: and a people who mean to be their own governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”
With the exception of a few isolated quotes, quips, charts and diagrams we may be exposed to at random moments on TV, radio or a website, most Americans are unaware of how desperate our economic and cultural situations are, where current trends are leading, or of how we will be personally impacted by them. Most of us – and our children – are not only unaware of the basic data and concepts concerning these issues, we have been inculcated with perceptions that are directly opposite of the truth, liberty, or both. For example, surveys conducted in recent years reveal the grim reality of what we’ve allowed to be done to us, and our children, intellectually:
- Less than two in ten American adults can identify even two of the individual rights identified in our Declaration of Independence, or know the meaning of the “the rule of law.” (1)
- Seven in ten believe that Karl Marx’s doctrine, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs,” is contained in the the U.S. Constitution, or don’t know if it is or isn’t. This perception grew by 50% in fifteen years. (2)
- 95% cannot answer ten of the most basic questions about the U.S. Constitution; less than 5% can name two or more rights contained in the First Amendment. (3)
- Nearly two in three adults and high-schoolers are unaware that the statement “money holds its value well in times of inflation” is false; four in ten are unaware that when the demand for a product increases, but the quantity supplied doesn’t, that prices will rise. (4)
- Less than one in five college graduates can correctly identify the functional differences between the free market and centralized planning. More than half of American high-schoolers believe that America fought on the same side as Germany, Japan and/or Italy in World War II. (5)
- Nearly half of American adults agree with the statement, “The press in America has too much freedom in our society”; barely half of our high school students agree with the statement, “newspapers should be allowed to freely publish without government approval of stories.” (6)
These facts, coupled with the fact that the average American cannot read above the eighth-grade level(7), and struggles with complex but common literacy tasks such as comparing prices-per-unit and understanding the point of a newspaper editorial(8), and you have a population that is primed and ready to be manipulated in ways large and small.
A population that has been primed to embrace a subversive, deceptive candidate like Barack Obama.
A population that can be manipulated to believe he’s been a reasonably effective first-term president, who should be re-elected – instead of becoming aware of the incredible harm he has caused, and will continue to cause, to our culture and economy.
Without the hard data concerning our political economy, accessible to us in format that we can genuinely comprehend, we are forced to make our voting decisions based on emotions and fleeting perceptions instead of facts. The Obama and Romney campaigns have spent nearly a billion dollars to manipulate our perceptions and our emotions, but have given us practically no usable, objective data upon which to make our voting decisions.
The 2012 federal elections are too important to leave to the winds of chance, emotions or fleeting perceptions.
The missing link: Instantly-accessible, easily-understandable infographics that explain why President Obama should not be re-elected
Of all the media tools employed by federal candidates’ campaigns – and the “news” organizations that cover them – visuals have the most timely and enduring impact. Yet for a variety of reasons, there is a severe lack of visual tools that are readily available to the average American that depict our key economic and political data in a way that is instantly-understandable, and memorable.
Every day, we rely upon graphical data displays to give us a quick, easy-to-understanding of the status of the machines we use, and to warn of us dangerous situations. From the dashboards of our cars to the on-screen displays of our video games, we calibrate our actions and priorities based on the data that is provided to us.
Currently, the vast majority of Americans are unaware of any resource that presents infographics concerning our political economy. What exists in this realm resides on the websites of several notable think tanks, and variants of them are flashed at us on TV programs, occasionally and without advance notice.
The notable exception to this is the Obama campaign’s use of infographics, which are slickly-produced but almost invariably grossly decontextualized and incomplete. The Romney campaign, the GOP and the RNC have either failed or refused to compete in this realm – and have instead waged a conventional campaign against the most unconventional, subversive campaign in our history.
These are some of the major reasons why Gov. Romney is only running neck-and-neck with Obama, instead of leading by double-digits at this point – which he would be, were the basic facts about our political economy known to a majority of Americans.
“Mystery Patriot” has been created to help bridge this gap – even at this late date – and provide activists with the tools necessary to rapidly spread awareness of our economic situation under Obama.
The MysteryPatriot website was completely conceived of, written, designed and produced between September 29 and October 15, 2012. Its purpose, for the brief remainder of this election season (and possibly beyond), is to pursue the following missions:
- To design and produce high- quality informational graphics – “infographics” – that present vital economic and political data in a way that the average American can understand. Once Americans become aware of the data in these infographics, they will see how badly Obama has failed, and why he should not be re-elected.
Example: The graphic at right demolishes a key myth that one senior Obama campaign official has been spreading in recent weeks – that he has a better record of job creation than Reagan did (click to enlarge).
- To format these infographics in a way that makes it easy to share with others – online, in print, and in-person. For example, in addition to simply cutting-and-pasting the above infographic onto websites and emails, we’ve created a nifty one-page embeddable, printable “flyer” that contains background info and links to verify the accuracy of the data presented. The flyer can be distributed in person, by hand, and also can serve as a one-page, two-fold mailer (preformatted).
Example: See The facts: Obama vs. Reagan on job creation.
- To create additional means by which citizens can express their reactions to this data, and petition our major institutions for redress of our grievances – whenever possible, in humorous ways.
Examples: Art for demonstration signs (placards), help with organizing public & private events, etc.
How MysteryPatriot is organized:
Help spread the truth about our economic situation and Obama’s performance – starting right now, this minute:
To learn how you can help to spread this information, no matter who or where you are, or whatever your limitations may be, see: Key Features & How-Tos.
To learn more about MysteryPatriot, see the FAQ.
Email feedback & suggestions here.
(1) March 2012 national survey by Xavier University.
(2) Caravan Group 2002 survey for Columbia Law School, cited in “Americans Don’t Know Their Constitution: Columbia Law Survey Finds Confusion Over Founding Fathers vs. Karl Marx”; “The American Public’s Knowledge of the U.S. Constitution: A Hearst Report,” 1987.
(3) Center for Research Survey and Analysis survey for the First Amendment Center report, “The State Of The First Amendment 2001”; “Just How Stupid Are We?: Facing the Truth About the American Voter,” by Rick Shenkman (2008).
(4) Louis Harris & Associates survey for the National Council on Economic Education, cited in “Standards in Economics: Survey of Students and the Public,” 7/99.
(5) Intercollegiate Studies Institute survey of 2,508 American adults during April and May 2008, as reported in “Our Fading Heritage”; U.S. Department of Education; National Association for Educational Progress survey, cited in “Ignorance Of History Is No Joke,” CBSNews.com, 7/3/03.
(6) University of Connecticut’s Department of Public Policy survey, cited in “Journalists, Public Know Little About Press Freedom,” The Washington Times, 5/16/05; James L. Knight Foundation 2002 survey of 100,000 U.S. high school students, contained in “The Future of the First Amendment,” finding here.
(7) National Center for Education Statistics; U.S. Department of Education’s 2003 report, “A First Look At The Literacy Of America’s Adults In The 21st Century.”
(8) National Survey of America’s College Students, Pew Charitable Trusts; cited in “Many College Students Poor On 3 Rs,” (AP) 1/19/06.