On Truth in Advertising and Two Kinds of Conservatives
Are these bogus moralizers trying to deceive themselves as well as the rest of us? Or are they simply relying on the willingness of millions of Americans to be duped?
THE FOLLOWING AD HAS RECENTLY been released by opponents of health care reform.
It's not an email, but it is a prime example of the extreme dishonesty of recent right-wing political tactics.
If you classify yourself as a conservative, please hear me out.
But first, watch the ad:
Now that you've watched it, please stick with me.
There are two completely different kinds of conservatives in this country.
Most are hard-working family people in the middle class who form the voting base of the Republican party.
They are not racist, are incredibly honest, and would give anyone in need the shirt off their own backs.
But there's another stripe of conservative who has almost nothing in common with them.
He or she makes six-figure salaries, works for the wealthy and corporations, and produces the propaganda designed to take in the average, middle class conservative.
The second type, the professional conservative, does not have the interests of the middle class working conservative at heart.
His or her job is to influence them to vote for the interests of the wealthy.
And he or she doesn't care how.
Lying is fine, especially if it can be done subtly, so it's hard to prove.
This ad is a perfect example, for three reasons:
- "Twelve percent of voters" is a minority of voters.
It's even a small minority of Democratic voters, even though it's unlikely that everyone responding to a poll this way was a Democrat.
The point is that it doesn't represent anything important.
It certainly doesn't represent what all liberals think, or even what most liberals think. Twelve percent is nothing—a recent poll showed that ten percent of Americans don't know that Hawaii is a state.
So why is it the center of this ad?
Because the person who wrote this ad has no conscience, and also has a very low opinion of the conservative base.
The author of this ad thinks that you can be fooled into believing that this absurd poll result means someone important is calling you out.
He or she thinks that you're gullible enough to respond by opposing a health care bill that could cut your costs and improve the care your family gets—because that unknown "someone" called you a racist.
The ad misrepresents a minority response in a poll as being something meaningful, just to get you to react to it.
It's a subtle form of lying.
But it's not the only lie in the ad.
I'll tell you about the others tomorrow...