Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 4 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/18/16

One Glimpse of Liberal America's Role in Enabling the Right

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages) (# of views)   No comments
Author 53
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Andrew Schmookler
Become a Fan
  (31 fans)

balance scale
balance scale
(Image by winnifredxoxo)
  Details   DMCA
Almost everyone knows that the American political system is in bad shape. But way too few seem to understand what's gone wrong and what is needed to set it right.

I assume that readers here understand that people on the right have been misled over the course of a generation into an almost entirely false picture of reality. But what seems much rarer is an understanding of the role that Liberal America has played in allowing that current destructive political dynamic to take hold.

One important aspect of the liberal contribution to America's problems is visible, I believe, in an otherwise valuable piece on Salon.com. The piece's author is Avi Rabin-Havt, and its title is "Lie big, lie often, never back down: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the real reason why right-wing lies stick."

The piece describes well how the lie about Obamacare setting up "death panels" began and spread to degrade the whole political process around healthcare reform. And it makes briefer mention of a second case of successful lying, i.e. the rise of Donald Trump.

All that is important stuff. But then the piece lets us down.

The author's complaint is that too much attention gets paid to the lies, and this attention only helps to cement the lies in national consciousness. The author's recommendation is expressed thus: "The lesson for the rest of us (and the media) is we cannot give these liars their undeserved public platforms."

I think that is altogether the wrong lesson to draw. The problem isn't that too much attention gets paid to these liars, but that it's the wrong kind of attention.

This point can be illustrated by a passage from a piece I published - as an op/ed in December of 2009 as an op/ed) in the Baltimore Sun - in the form of an open letter to President Obama:

[Y]ou've denied some of their lies [I wrote to President Obama, back during his first year in office], but you've not called out the lying.

When Sarah Palin and her ilk accuse you of supporting death panels, and you respond by saying, "That's not true, there are no death panels," the national conversation centers on the question: "Are there death panels?" But if you say, "It's unpatriotic for Republicans to degrade our national discourse with fear-mongering lies," then the media will focus on the question: "Are the Republican peddling lies?"

The first question undermines you; the second discredits your opposition. (Emphasis added here.)

 

Well Said 1   Valuable 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Andrew Schmookler Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. His new book -- written to have an impact on the central political battle of our time -- is (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Follow Me on Twitter     Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Why Do Conservatives Like Colbert? Article Plus Critique

Mel Gibson's Rant as Profound Clue

To Anti-Obamite Lefties: It Doesn't Matter If You're Right

How Important is the Loss of Friendship?

# 8 Beliefs that Make Liberal America Weak: Barriers to the Source of Moral and Spiritual Passions

Power and Corruption: Just What Is Their Relationship?

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: