Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Their Lies are Worse

The lies on the other side only seem worse--there is no way to prove they are worse. They seem worse because they reflect values that you don't happen to agree with, and that you think are much less important than the values you hold.

If you defend the lies of your side by claiming the other side's lies are worse, does that help bring us any closer to the solutions for our problems? It's usually a bunch of useless, water-under-the-bridge blaming and name-calling.

Instead of countering one lie with a "worse one from the other side," talk about the truth--the truth of the situation and possible ways forward. Don't dwell on the past and lies. Don't defend lies, call them out as lies, then move into positive territory.


Anonymous said...

I suspect you are forgetting the old adage of lies getting half-way around the world before the truth gets its shoes on.

Unchallenged testimony on any subject in the public debate is an invitation to outright self-serving lies or, worse, spin. Both "sides" lie and both spin. They are advocates for a position much of the time, and we have come to expect it.

The public always acts as a jury and at elections and, to a lesser extent, when politicians respond to currently polling (with an eye toward the next election) but those politicians and their pollster have become ever more adept at manipulating the public both at election time and between those biennial snapshots. To wit, a lie can become the truth. Repeat it often enough, get it accepted as truth in the media, and it doesn't really matter if it's really true or not. What matters is "media truth", a theme I've hammered on again and again these past few years.

What you call "useless, water-under-the-bridge blaming and name-calling", if only engaged in by one side in the public litigation, becomes media truth no matter how false its underlying or superficial assertions. To insure that those spinning or lying are held accountable for their statements, those parties must be challenged again and again and again, or they will just spout their preferred media truths until they have produced their maximum result.

Hence, it's my opinion that President Obama and the Democrats had to be out there every day in 2009 and 2010 reminding everyone that it was Bush and the Republicans who created the economic mess, and now the GOP wanted the country to fail in order to gain back what was lost and so they could blame it all on Obama.

It that strictly true? It depends on your point of view. Is it positive? Definitely not. But what is the alternative? Allow the Republicans the tactical advantage of repeating a contrary message to blame the Democrats for everything that's wrong and put space and time between their responsibility for current conditions? That's what has happened and the result is more bad times for the country.

My strategy is to take on the opposing side and make them behave and tell the truth. While it's noble to accept the weaker tactical position (what's incorrectly viewed as "the high ground"), in the end it simply encourages more lies and spin, and blaming assigning and name-calling are an effective electoral strategy so that the truth never actually gets a chance to join the battle.

ModeratePoli said...

I never said that lies should go unchallenged --just the opposite. I said to call a lie a lie, no matter which side is spreading it. I also said not to get into a pissing match about which lie is worse because it's a waste of time. It's important to get to truth and discussing solutions, not getting bogged down trading barrages of accusations. If you've read some of my other posts, you've seen that I call bullshit on lies and weak arguments. I don't want to gain the moral high ground by being weak and forgiving, but by being honest and forward-looking. When you say "take on the other side," do you remember to watch for where they are right? Some people on either side are such partisans that they'll never give an inch, and I have a problem with that.