The Sky Is Falling
Or: Why Chicken Little Must Have Been a Republican
Conservatives (that means you, Tea Partiers, Libertarians, fundamentalists and Republicans) are fact-challenged. In other words, they don’t let facts get in the way of their beliefs. Rather, they cling tenaciously to the most outrageous concepts (Trickle down works! People had pet dinosaurs! Global Warming is a hoax!) even when disproved by actual events or something called science. Their response is simply to deny the facts, ignore them, or change the subject and make personal attacks. (Faith is better than science! Obama is a Kenyan Muslim! You’re a libtard!)
All of these people qualify for free membership in the Flat Earth Society. For Life.
Which brings us to Chicken Little, the bird brain who thought an acorn bonking him in the head was a piece of sky and thus concluded with no supporting factual basis that the sky was falling. Today, Chicken Little would be a Republican candidate for President, a thought which would be humorous if not so painfully true. (And surging ahead in the polls.)
And it’s not just Republican presidential candidates. An entire conservative network has sprung into being, including super PACS, news media, pundits, think-tanks, and assorted “non-partisan” 501(c)’s, all with the sole purpose of disseminating misinformation to mislead the misguided (who don’t bother to question any of it – just accept it as true).
Take, for example, the MacIver Institute, which offers the MacIver News Service as a reassuring alternative to actual journalism.
The latter recently published a breaking story exposing perfectly legal Wisconsin recall activities titled “Problem of Duplicate Signatures Looms Over Recall“. The story ominously reports that “one statewide liberal group is actively promoting the collection of duplicate signatures.”
Wow. That sounds bad! Very bad! Especially when “the state board overseeing the potential recall election” might not catch duplicate signatures! It must be a deliberate and illegal attempt to fraudulently recall Walker with numerous, invalid, duplicate signatures! Why, it’s possible that only one person signed 540,000 times! What a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad thing to do! And so typical of those liberals!
In case you’ve been hibernating, you might not know that people here in Wisconsin are attempting to recall our governor, Scott Walker. The recall requires a certain number of signatures on recall petitions. The problem is the fraudulent tactics being used by Walker supporters (including collecting signatures with the intent to not turn them in), causing some signors to worry about the validity of the petition they signed and whether their signature would be counted.
Thus, the “statewide liberal group” issued a statement that: “You can circulate or sign a recall petition even if you have already signed another recall petition … however, that only one signature per person will be counted.” In other words: yes, it’s perfectly legal to sign again.
Which is what “the state board overseeing the potential recall election” said: “While it is not illegal to sign more than once, we do not suggest people sign a second time unless they have good reason to believe the first petition they signed was somehow fraudulent.”
Which the conservatives immediately toss into their magical deliberate distortion machine, coming out the other end as “Evil Liberals Cheating by Intentionally Promoting Duplicate Signatures.”
And so it goes. Notice to the fact-challenged: rational discourse and informed opinion require facts and a minimal level of logic. Saying something doesn’t make it true. Repeating it doesn’t do the job either. Nor does it make you right. Or make palm trees grow in Wisconsin.