Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Political Lie Machine

This was going to be a column about political lies, and how there seems to be a well-oiled machine to propagate the lies to practically every corner of our national political conversation. But, really, is this in any doubt? Haven't we all been amazed at some of the lies we've read, and how often they're repeated?

Instead of debunking lies, let's look at how we react to lies:
  • If you don't mind the lies of your side, but blast the horribly egregious lies of the other side, that's what we call hypocrisy. All political lies are bad, are evil, are poison. 
  • If you respond to the unmasking of lies of your side with a statement like, "but wait, this is what they say...," stop yourself. Be brave and acknowledge the lie on your side. That is what honest people do. Partisans don't do it and won't do it. Be an honest person, not a partisan.
  • If you spread lies, shame! on! you!
  • If you spread stories that you've read, but you haven't checked whether they're true, you haven't done the minimal necessary homework. That means you're not much better than a knowing, conscious liar. This is the hard truth, and that's what I deal in here.
I will point out new lies when I see them, but no one needs me to disprove all the existing ones. What we need is for enough people to call them what they are: lies.


For those who want to see some lies debunked, these were some of the numerous political lies I researched for the original column. They'll sound familiar:
  1. EPA was considering regulating milk spills like toxic waste.
  2. 90% of the procedures Planned Parenthood gives are abortions.
  3. The cost of Obamacare is going to be completely covered by savings elsewhere.
  4. The Bush tax cuts and Bush wars caused the deficits we have now.

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