Republicans are masters at getting away with statements of pure fantasy that they present as fact. Loyal non-thinking right wingers accept all of them without question. The party counts on Big Lies being repeated so often that eventually they are accepted as fact by loyal followers.
Liberals must challenge this. They must demand proof, immediately, loudly, publicly, and often, for the false statements that Republicans routinely trot out. Here’s a good example.
Samuel Wurzelbacher, better known as “Joe The Plumber”, is now running for office. This is what he said about Obama: “His views are socialist…He’s been hanging around with them for a very long time. It’s connecting the dots, it’s very simple. It’s not conspiracy theory, it’s not a bunch of hoopla, it’s real…” OK, Sam, tell us now who those socialists are that the president hangs around with. Give us one name! Now! No response? That’s because what you said is fantasy, a lie, and there is nothing to support it. Now tell us why we should elect a liar.
Liberals must demand proof,
for the false statements that
Republicans routinely trot out.
Consider the recent statement by Republican Rep. Allen West: “[T]here’s about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party.” How very reminiscent of Joseph McCarthy: “I hold in my hand a list of 80 members of the Communist Party and members of a spy ring”. And equally bogus.
All such lies should be loudly, immediately, and repeatedly challenged. “Who are these socialists and communists, Allen? Name one of them? You can’t name a single one of these people because they do not exist. What you are saying is slander.”
But Republican lies don’t entirely center around imaginary communists and socialists. There is an entire litany of manufactured fantasies and false statements about the president, Democrats, and liberals in general. All of them must be attacked.
False statements and fabrications are just the sort of thing that Republicans are so good at. To any thinking person all such claims are pure nonsense, idiotic fantasies. Each new lie brings fresh head scratching as liberals wonder how on earth they arrived at that statement. But Republicanism is not about thinking. It’s about believing, and it’s addressed to True Believers, who accept the most blatant contradictions and foolishness as long as they hear them often enough. True Believers aren’t the slightest bit interested in the veracity of ideology-generated statements. For them it is fact because their leaders say so.
To any thinking person all such claims
are pure nonsense. But Republicanism
is about believing, not thinking.
Liberals cannot let them get away with this. Liberals must invent effective ways to bring every such unsupported statement into the public eye immediately. Huffington Post and several other liberal internet sites are pretty good at telling us what they said, but that is only a beginning. The statements still stand, unchallenged, in the eyes of those who need truth the most.
Republicans live in a fantasy world that is full of statements that bear no resemblance to reality. They must be challenged, loudly and often. Only when the rampant falsehoods are addressed with constant demands for proof, and they are forced to respond, will we see something closer to realism in American politics.