Ferreting out the Lies

Shortly after congratulating myself for the recent blog on how the Republican platform is basically unsuitable for everyone except the rich, I realized I left something out that is critical.  Here’s the context: I was listening to talk radio and heard a back and forth between my favorite host, Thom Hartmann, and Peter Ferrara from the Carleson Center for Public Policy, which has as its slogan, “advancing the Reagan agenda.”  Great, so exactly what is that: sound like an idiot, say stupid things like, “the government is the problem,” and then get dementia?

Anyway, about halfway through their argument, Ferrara (dumb) made the accusation that President Obama had cut half a trillion dollars out of Medicare.  Hartmann (smart), said, no, that is a clear lie.  Here’s the link on why: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/dec/12/mitt-romney/romney-says-only-obama-has-cut-medicare/

However, would Ferrara give it up?  No, he stuck to his lie like an old man to his walker, to the point where at the end of the interview, he was screaming and demanding that Hartmann apologize to his audience.  The scary part about it is that because they so openly disagreed on the facts, and because Ferrara was able to cite a source, it would be very difficult for someone who didn’t know anything about politics to know the difference.  Even I went to go look it up, not because I didn’t strongly suspect that Ferrara was lying, but because I wanted to find out for myself.

The danger here is that this is going to be the Republican election strategy for 2012: lie, and when you’re caught in a lie, lie again.

And they’ll be able to do it with all of that Super Pac money that’s going to be running against Obama and the Democrats.  What we’re going to see again and again this Fall is a barrage of negative ads on every medium possible, absolutely inundating the general public with lies, misinformation, and fear, because the plain truth is that the Republicans cannot win on their platform.  Period.

I think we’re all thinking what King Theoden said in the Two Towers: “What can men do against such reckless hate?”

Aragorn answers, “Ride out with me.  Ride out and meet them.”

That is exactly, my rational, truth-telling warriors, what we must do: we must meet these lies head on, and name each and every one.  It is going to take a Herculean effort, and it is going to mean that we can’t simply be polite, friendly, and leave everyone to their own views.  We are going to hear our co-workers, friends, family, and neighbors lie, openly, and everytime they do and we leave it unchallenged, they, like the Uruk Hai, will have advanced their agenda, making it more likely for Romney to beat Obama, and more likely for the Republicans to maintain control of the House and take back the Senate.

Here’s a few quick tricks that will allow you to take the upper ground when you hear a Republican lie:

  1. Name the lie—ChuckingRocks will make every attempt to name them and provide sources for the information, but if there’s one that slips through my grasp, you can almost always find the truth by looking it up, and there will be a ton of liberal outlets calling them out as the election season progresses.
  2. Provide the facts, and where the person can look up the truth.
  3. Show Republicans to be unreliable.  Say these three things:
    1. “Not a day goes by when Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and other conservatives don’t lie about something critical to the American people.”  Visit: http://mediamatters.org/
    2. “The last Republican President, George W. Bush, and his entire administration, lied openly, on several occasions, to the American people about the case for war in Iraq.  Should people really trust a party that was so recently willing to lie about something so important as to whether we send our armed services into combat and spend trillions of dollars of taxpayer money?  Really?”
    3. “Who are the people behind these political advertisements?  They obviously have an agenda if they’re willing to spend this much money to unseat President Obama and other Democrats.”  Then provide them information on the Koch Brothers, Foster Friess, and Karl Rove, as they are some of the biggest donors to these Super Pacs.

i.     Koch: http://www.kochbrothersexposed.com/

ii.     Friess: http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2012/02/11/422381/who-is-foster-friess-seven-facts-you-need-to-know/?mobile=nc

iii.     Karl Rove: http://www.bushsbrain.com/

This is how we meet the monstrous lies that will be told during the general election season.  Remember, you’re not going to convince the idiot who’s parroting the lie, but, it is important that they don’t just get away with it, because others are listening, and even if it is just you and them, you might, by confronting them, prevent them from spreading their lies to others.  Also, don’t be afraid if you are on Facebook, watching TV with other people, or sitting around reading a newspaper or an email, to just make an offhand comment about the lies that you see or read.  Start the conversation, because again, every time a lie appears and is not rebuffed, there is a chance someone will believe it.  As Mark Twain said, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

About The Author: Jay Scott