Monday, August 17, 2009

What Republicans are Winning

Recent opinion polls in USA Today and other places show that the right is winning one thing and that is the propaganda war. Despite clear indicators and in the opinion of most economists or economy is in recovery, a majority of polled don't think so. Despite signs and factual information that the stimulus is indeed working, again most polled think otherwise.

Add to that the belief in falsehoods like "pulling the plug on grandma," "health care reform pays for abortions." "health care is causing your taxes to increase," "Cap and trade is increasing electric bills 40%" and even "Obama is was not born in the United States," one can see clearly that misinformation from the right is getting out there and being believed.

Being a man that seeks out facts and real information I find this frustrating as many do. Yet it should not surprise us. For years the right has used propaganda to get Americans to vote against their own interests and believe in things that are just not so.

Just look at the history here. They convinced people that John Kerry who actually was a decorated veteran was somehow not and that a man who went awol was somehow a true patriot. Before that, they convinced voters perhaps one of the most morally driven Presidents in history, Jimmy Carter was a less "christian" candidate then a divorced B movie actor. They convinced us to go to war with a country because of 9/11 that had no role in it whatsoever.

They have gotten people to ignore the clear science of global warming, prevent our nation from lessening its dependence on oil and to not believe in the science of evolution that was proven almost 100 years ago. These things are science and fact its not a matter of opinion. Yet too many have found away to blur the difference much to our worlds peril.

The biggest coup though is that they have convinced many that there is a liberal media bias and that they should ignore dozens of news outlets, hundreds of newspapers, and hundreds of magazines and to trust only them for information. Anyone with a grade school education can see Faux News and Rush Limbaugh are biased yet somehow a scary percentage of Americans believe otherwise or choose to act as if they do.

So what do we progressives do? Throw up our hands in frustration? Laugh at the ignorance of so many people? Those responses are indeed tempting, yet are dangerous. We must continue to use the sledge hammer of truth and facts to break holes in this wall of ignorance. It often takes one little fact here, one word there, perhaps repeating of the same facts and truths again and again to get one person, to think and look and question these false beliefs they are being buried in.

We cannot allow our health care system drive more of us and indeed our country as a whole into economic ruin and allow these lies to prevent reform that would in fact be in the self interest of the vast majority of Americans, those with insurance now and those who do not.

We are at a disadvantage because we must stick to the truth. Often facts are not as interesting or sensational as lies that can be made up at will. Yet the fact we have the truth is also and advantage as sooner or later the truth proves itself.

A good example is our economic situation. For decades since Reagan, the right has blared out its call for conservative economic policies again and again. They managed to incorporate them in our laws. They took away government controls and any checks and balances. They got what they wanted. Then the truth showed its face, the economy crashed, their false polices were shown to be what they are. People knew that on election day. But the propaganda has not stopped and they are now already doubting the truth that is right in front of their face.

For the good of our nation we cannot sit back and wait for us to be proven right with another and another disaster. We must fight to get the truth out now before its too late. We must talk to our friends and family. We must blog, We must twitter, we must write our elected officials. Pass on the truths wherever you find them to whoever will listen even for a moment. Then and only then can we prevent continuing damage to our nation by the lies of the right.

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