Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Conservative "1984"

Listen to conservative talk radio or bloggers and you hear the idea that Obama and the Dems are bringing us 1984 - big government that does all and rules all. It's a scary thing, to think that government could control all information and thereby mold our hopes and fears. We would then be subject to - dare I say it's name? - MISINFORMATION! The truth is, MISINFORMATION is the hallmark of conservative talk radio, most conservative commentators, and a great many conservative politicians.

RWorld recently did a great job satirizing the conservatives' constant repetition of the proven falsehood that Obama is not a U.S. citizen. Unfortunately, his blog doesn't get read in the south, where fewer than half of the citizens believe Obama is truly a citizen.

Conservative misinformation on health care reform is gagging me out. I could live with half-truths, the mother's milk of politics, but these guys are making the Swift-boaters look like Honest Abe. No, I don't believe we'll be counseled to commit suicide when we're old under the democrat's health care reforms, or that the plan will cover full term abortions. These guys have no shame.

In the interest of being fully informed I sometimes turn the dial to my local Clear Channel talk station. I want to hear what's on the opposition's mind and give it a fair chance; after all, I am still a republican and I once considered myself a mild conservative. These days it's rare I can take five minutes of it, maybe ten if there are interesting commercials. It's the lies and constant character assassination that makes me punch in the station change before I begin to scream.

One does not have to be a professional fact checker to get the goods on these guys and gals. In fact, you will notice a distinct lack of facts, i.e., evidence that a statement is likely to be true. In place of fact, one gets repetition; the idea being that a statement made over and over and over is likely to burn itself into the victim's brain. When repetition gets repetitive, they switch to comparisons: "Senator SoandSo's affair, while unfortunate, pales in comparison to Bill Clinton's." How many scummy republican senators and governors can you hide behind one Bill Clinton, I wonder?

Although the constant MISINFORMATION peddled by prominent conservatives tarnishes the republican party, I'm sure there are more than a few notable republicans who have some respect for truth. Unfortunately, they've been all too silent regarding the sins of their fellows. In the long run, this is going to be a big problem for them. Why do I think so? Do you need a fact? OK. They stuck with Bush while the war and the economy went down the drain. The voters remembered...


Ron Davison said...

Perhaps our Republican friends should host their own beauty contest: the Miss Information pagent.
Facts are too fluid to support a static worldview, hence the eventual falling out conservatives have with them.

ThomasLB said...

Even the non-Conservative press feeds into this sometimes, by pretending that there are always two sides, equally valid, to every issue.

If they have a scientist who says the world is round, they "balance" it by having a scientist who says the world is flat.

Stupid and Smart get equal time- and that's stupid.

Emily said...

i am very liberal, but i have to say that i think both sides do this. thomas is right

Lifehiker said...

Yes, Thomas is right. The media often gives "equal weight" to competing points of view - even when one is far more fact based.

But I find liberals generally try to make their points with facts, while conservatives typically rely on emotional statements.

For example, on NPR today a conservative Texas lady was adamant that the health care bill would give free care to non-citizens. The independent fact checker gave this claim his lowest rating - baldfaced lie, or something like that. The draft bills specifically exclude non-citizens from benefits, but conservatives don't much care about truth.

thimscool said...

Well duh.

Why exactly are you a Republican, again?

Lifehiker said...

Dear Mr. Thimscool,

I suppose I'm incapable of leaving my roots. Believe it or not, republicans were once honorable.

I'm what they call an "Eisenhower republican". In short, we like fiscal responsibility, non-interventionism in foreign affairs, social moderation, and individual freedom.

Eisenhower republicans would insist on pay as you go, would never have started Vietnam or Iraq War II, would be fine with national health care in this new day and age, and are fine with whatever people do voluntarily as long as they don't directly hurt anyone else.

I may be dreaming, but I hope that side of the party has a resurgence when the current bunch are finally and totally discredited.