Question: Why do Republicans and Tea Partiers Keep on Lying?
A: Because Too Many People Would Rather Believe a Lie Than Admit They Don’t Know.
B: They can’t run on the truth
C: They know most voters are politically ill-informed
D: All of the above
You would pretty much be on the right path if you selected D for your answer. Sadly though some people believe a lie simply because they choose too. Orly Taitz and Donald Trump’s “birther” stance is some of the most recent examples of this. But there actually is a fourth probability that incentivizes and encourages many lies from those on the right.
Now not all Republicans are liars and not all Democrats are immune from fabrications of their own. Yet the scorecard being kept by fact checkers like PolitiFact.com and FactCheck.org show that right-wing candidates are currently way ahead in the count.
Here is just a recent sampling of the misinformation that goes out to potential voters on conservative broadcast radio and TV.
- Jim Martin, the head of 60 Plus, made [an] inaccurate statement in an interview with ABC News claiming that “ending Medicare as we know it happened a year ago in March … when Obamacare passed.” SOURCE
- A viral e-mail has gone out stating that then-Sen. Barack Obama got a law “passed in dead silence” that allowed black farmers to file “unlawful” discrimination claims against the USDA totaling $1.25 billion? SOURCE
- Conservative talk radio host Victoria Taft falsely claims customers will be hit with a $250 fine if you’re caught leaving an Oregon store with a plastic bag, raising the specter of bag police. SOURCE
- Republican Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos erroneously claims many states, but not Florida, are deficit spending. SOURCE
- Again in Florida, Rep. Eric Eisnaugle, R-Orlando insists that Mickey Mouse was registered to vote in 2008 to justify passing a bill that could suppress the votes of minorities, women and young people. SOURCE
Politifacts’ “pants-on-fire” rulings have consistently shown that conservative and Republican politicians tell the most egregious stories. Currently, of the 20 listings in these rulings 18 are on comments made by elected GOP officials or conservative supporters.
The taint of believability exists within the minds of hate groups and even rational thinking people who simply want to believe such things without confirming them because it stigmatizes their opponents and increases the odds that elections will swing in their favor.
What happens when lies masquerade as fact is that people with extremist agendas get put in office and create havoc to the political process, often hurting the very people who naively voted for them. Many in Wisconsin are ready to throw Governor Scott Walker out for killing bargaining rights for public workers; something he never stipulated in his campaign promises. Also in Wisconsin, state representative Sean Duffy said he supported Medicare/Medicaid in 2010, telling voters “It’s just plain wrong to put our senior’s health and financial security at risk.” Yet he voted for Ryan’s budget cut proposals that kills Medicare and Medicaid as we now know it.
There seems to be a concerted effort by an alliance of corporate friendly and religious fundamentalists who embark on getting themselves elected to public office with such distortions. Their hope appears to be to re-direct policy that fits their narrower objective and rely on the short memories of the American public and their lack of will beyond a few months to overcome any threat of being removed from office in the next election cycle.
Though there may be some voter blowback in Wisconsin and a few other districts around the country where voters are unhappy with GOP efforts to kill Medicare over the next 10 years, the same cannot be said in those gerrymandered districts where conservatives have large and loyal followings. There they tend to blindly pull the lever for the GOP regardless of whose in office simply out of a misplaced fear of Democrats and liberals.
Thus, right-wing extremists retain their posts overtime and become a constant threat to undermine the network of social programs that many disenfranchised groups come to rely on like the elderly, children and the disabled. The country tends to swing conservative when there are tough economic times and when major social reforms like gay marriage appear to pose a threat to the status quo.
Scratch the surface of this discontent though and you will find the backing of corporate funding and a religious fanatical backing that is neither conservative or liberal, main stream religious or anti-theocratic. The real power in this country, the religiously zealots and wealthy few, benefit from political conflict that they can ascribe bogus notions to while simultaneously touting the virtues of their candidates, who once in office throw off the facade and go after those elements that special interests oppose.
Corporate interests like those that block efforts to regulate financial mismanagement much like what occurred in the years leading up to the collapse of our economy in 2008. Interests that block regulations that attempt to prevent industrial pollution that contaminate our air and water supplies while destroying the economic livelihoods of small farmers, businesses and fisherman through takeovers by multi-national corporations. Interest that want to kill Social Security so all that money can be re-directed to private interests that rely on the volatile swings in the market to secure one’s future, or not.
On the religious extreme you have candidates in nearly every state where efforts are being made piecemeal to roll back the rulings of Roe v. Wade in ways that actually create scenarios that are counter to the ultra conservative view about government over reach. In Indiana for example the Tea Party candidates supported a bill that would “require doctors to inform women about the risks of abortion, including “the possibility of increased risk of breast cancer following an induced abortion and the natural protective effect of a completed pregnancy in avoiding breast cancer” even though the medical profession has pretty much debunked this view. SOURCE
In Texas, right wing advocates have taken over the Texas Board of Education and thrown out historical accounts that represent our tradition of separation of church and state while allowing the secessionist Jefferson Davis and the hateful Joe McCarthy to stand more favorably in history text books.
The Party that used to tout moral and family values has been taken over by extremists that pay lip service to such things but whose loyalty belongs to people like the Koch Brothers, the American Petroleum Institute and Dobson’s Family Research Council.
Is it any wonder that the one thing that would truly make us competitive in the global market is also one of the areas where corporate and fanatical religious interests are working diligently to undermine – Public Education. Dumbing down the American voter helps more than hurts these moneyed interests and extreme religious views. It is a means to a specific end for them.
So as we return to the question: Why do Republicans and Tea Partiers Keep on Lying? It’s all about profits and the Rapture. Lying may not be ethical but it does make for higher stockholder dividends for many in the investor class and bonus programs for corporate executives while the End-timers dream of the biblical apocalypse is being fulfilled.