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Falsehoods a Child Can See Through

Originally published at BunkBlog. You can comment here or there.

The other day, I was watching the news when a clip from Fred Thompson’s radio show was played. The person talking to Thompson was Betsy McCaughey, a constitutional scholar and former Lt. Governor for New York, claimed that the health care plan being promoted in the House would mandate that all elderly people get counseling on how to end their lives sooner. This meme has been promulgated far and wide, and a video was next on the news, with the President being asked by an audience member at a town hall meeting whether the rumors were true that his hoped-for health care public option would encourage the elderly to die.

My son, all of nine years old, was able to see how ridiculous this was, and said there’s no way that anyone in the government would try to kill off their own citizens. He didn’t have any sophisticated analysis of this, of course, but even he has enough of a BS detector at his age to wonder why anyone would believe such ridiculous statements.

It’s a sad state of affairs when seemindly sane adult human beings can actually believe that their government wants to kill them (hard to get votes that way) and that the President is a foreigner (Snopes, people!). Evidence be damned, we will continue to believe ludicrous things because they reinforce what we want to believe. And the pundits who encourage this behavior? Yay for the First Amendment, you can say and believe any fool thing you want, but this is just shameful behavior. Fanning flames of anger and fear (always fear – talk to any winger and you’ll hear the words afraid or scared frequently) just to get ratings or get political points…disgusting.

Run any statement any politician or pundit says past a nine year-old; if he says it’s ludicrous, assume it is.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 31st, 2009 02:16 pm (UTC)
What always gets me is that the lies are so outrageous that you'd think that nobody would be dumb enough to believe them, but they're the ones that reproduce. (After living in Texas as long as I have, I always have fun with the ones that come from our ostensible religious and political leaders. For all the noise about how we'd be a better country if the Ten Commandments were in every public building, they always seem to think that the one about how "thou shalt not bear false witness" is a vague recommendation, much like the amendments in the Bill of Rights other than the Second. After all, what good is it to have public debate if you can't drop an outrageous lie and then shout down your opponent when s/he tries to rebut it?)
Jul. 31st, 2009 09:15 pm (UTC)
I often point out that the Right today only thinks there's one item in the Bill of Rights, while the Left seems to think there are three - First, Fourth and Fifth.

As for the Ten Commandments (or Helpful Hints as they seem to be viewed), why don't things like "don't bang your secretary" somehow map to one of the Big Ten? Guess it's just more convenient to be highly selective in your readings.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )