This item was originally posted in September 2012, but has been updated to include new examples.
Major political elections in the United States are almost always decided by the moderate, undecided 4% of the voters in the middle of the political spectrum. The left and the right seldom move much, and that includes me. I haven’t voted for a conservative candidate for president, senate, or house since.. uh… Well, when I was nine, I wanted to vote for Richard Nixon.
To my credit, though, I try not to believe outright lies that the more dogmatic members of the left would have me believe. I wish I could say the same thing about the right. As elections approach, the internet starts to buzz with fanciful, often silly allegations about the liberal candidate, as they did four years ago. It will be interesting to see what starts to fly in the next few weeks.
An example of someone I know who believes, or at least blogged that she believed, some of these silly ideas, is a Mormon mom and former Mrs. United States Candidate named Carissa. Her original post has since been deleted.
Many of her assertions were simply not true, and that they are untrue is indisputable. What bothers me most is that no one with any common sense believed them in the first place, but nearly half the population, the half on the right, is eager to blindly accept these lies. If you are reading this, you know which lies I mean, and I don’t need to refute them here. I will, however, contest a few of her sociological assertions…
- The wars. Blogger Carissa says: “He (Obama) wants to bring our troops back home. That I have a problem with.” My view is pretty clear on this. The war in Iraq was an immoral and illegal act undertaken by the Bush administration. Why they did it is not really important, with this caveat: if we did it because Iraq was a global threat, why didn’t we also invade Iran and North Korean? Barack Obama has since gotten us out of Iraq in a sane and militarily justifiable way. The situation in Afghanistan is intolerable, again because there are global threats equal to or greater than the Taliban.
- Carissa’s rail against homosexuality: “What do you want to change, Obama? Oh, you want to let them get married and adopt kids like NORMAL household families…” To me, she just comes across as a bigot.
- I just want to add at this point that I don’t believe that any marriage or union is sacred or important because of any state law or sanction. For example, my marriage is not a “sacred and holy union,” because I am not a Christian, or a member of any religion. But it is immutable because of our commitment to it. As I have blogged before, divorce, not homosexuality, is the abomination and the biggest threat to the so-called sanctity of marriage.
- About Michelle Obama’s quote about being proud of the country: “Anyone see the video of her saying, and I quote, ‘For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of this country.’ “ This is called quote mining, Carissa, and in essence it’s part of a bigger logical fallacy called ad hominem.
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As I update this item, I am seeing another upsurge in lies, more frequently by conservatives and their supporters. The Planned Parenthood scandal is a good example, but the one that fired me up today was posted on Facebook by Tammy Marra Dickson, with whom I attended high school. She posted a link from reagancoalition.com supposedly showing the First Lady texting during the Pledge of Allegiance, to which Tammy added, “Disrespectful and disappointing… I am blown away by the ignorance of people who support the current sham..I mean administration….”. It took about 20 sections to determine this is yet another internet falsehood. See the Snopes page here.)
It’s worth noting that the advertising on reagancoalition.com is full of sleazy scams, so I feel certain it’s not a political site as much as it is a vehicle for quick scamming through any mean necessary.
I will not state any silly lies that float around the internet about Romney being a foreigner or a tax cheat or secret executive of the oil industry. I don’t need to spead lies – both sides are doing enough of that without me. Also, if you are one of those gun nuts who claimed in 2008 that “Obama’s gonna take away our guns,” please tell me why that has not happened.
All of this falls on the deaf ears like Carissa’s, who honestly believes that those with different beliefs (gays, liberals, atheists) should not be part of America.
So why are the dogmatic so eager to lie? Simply because the truth does not serve them.