Thursday, April 28, 2005

Deliberately Misled By The Right

Our friends over at Democracy Cell Project are upset because in reports of Bush's lies on WMD stories are using an euphemism such as "deliberately misled" such as in "Half of all Americans, exactly 50%, now say the Bush administration deliberately misled Americans about whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, the Gallup Organization reported this morning."

That's ok--continue to say Bush deliberately misled the public. Everyone knows what it means. Let them use this euphemism and then extend this to everything else Bush has deliberately misled us about.

One mistake I think Kerry made in the 2004 election was to not stress the fact that Bush's whole campaign was based upon lying about his positions and record during the campaign, Kerry needed to point out how Bush was lying on campaign issues and then extend that to Bush lying about policy matters. There were just too many lies to try to fight each individually--it was necessary to get out the message that the entire campaign was based upon lies.

Responding to all the lies was necessary. In the past, the conventional wisdom was to avoid responding because it just gave more publicity to the lies. When dishonest attacks are responded to, it often leads to people being more likely to remember the attack rather than the response. With the ability of the right to spread lies quickly with blogs, talk radio, and right wing propaganda sources disguised as news organizations, such as Fox News, the conventional wisdom doesn't hold. A lie left unanswered quickly is considered truth.

I suspect that Kerry was too much a gentleman to call Bush a liar. The news media is reluctant to call someone a liar.. Maybe having euphemisms such as "deliberately misled" in common use will make it easier for Democrats to speak up every time we are deliberately misled by Republicans, and maybe even for reporters to include this in their reports.

During the Vietnam war, it helped strengthen the case for opponents of the war when there was common talk about the "credibility gap" from those supporting the war. It helped bring down Richard Nixon for it to be generally considered that yes, despite his earlier protests, he certainly was a crook. If we are to stop the subversion of democracy by the current GOP (that's Grand Orwellian Party) leadership, it is necessary for the public to realize how often we are being deliberately misled by the right.


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