Independent Investigations
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Fear 101 – The Tolerance Of Lies

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post “Fear 101” the leadership of the Republican Party has spent much of the last year using tactics that raise the level of fear within their constituency for the purpose of inciting them to action.  Today I want to talk about the basic concepts of fear mongering and how it is used for political advantage.

The key to using the “fear card” is to clearly identify your most important political goal and develop and infuse your political action plan with behaviors and statements that incite fear in your constituency.  If you can not follow this important step, you have little chance of success.

If your stated political goal is to stop the Obama Presidency  in its’ tracks, you must convince your constituency that any legislative effort supported by the current Executive Branch will be a disaster for the American people.  Clearly, John Boehner, and Mitch McConnell, leaders of the Republican House of Representatives and Senate have stated loudly and often that their goal is to keep the Obama Administration from experiencing any success in their legislative agenda.  However, legislative stalemate is never something that advances the fortunes of the American people.

Republican attempts to block the recent healthcare legislation and thus halt the Obama Presidency in its’ tracks are nothing more than an effort to thwart the will of the electorate.  Republican tactics impede the possibility of moving the country forward in the direction emphatically declared by the last two elections.  Let’s take a look at one of their attempts to spread fear through the electorate during the health care debate.

Republicans have exhibited a propensity to use false statements to create fear in their political base.  In other words, they tolerate lies.  The tolerance of lies will always cast seeds of doubt about any message the lies are used to support.  I find it interesting that the Republican leadership has such a low value of the intelligence of their constituents.

Big Lie #1 – Death Panels

The fear of premature death is real and it is something that affects all of us from time to time.  Premature death that can be attributed to the actions or policies of the government is something that creates a whirlwind of political response.  If there is one thing the Republicans needed to meet their goal of killing health care reform it is a large group of vocal activists making a huge noise about government intervention into their lives.  Belief that the government is out to kill you stirs some very significant passions.

The belief that the government was going to “kill Grandma” if healthcare reform was enacted might be the biggest lie ever presented to the American people during my lifetime.  (As long as I don’t count the “mushroom cloud” agenda of the Bush Administration in the buildup to the Iraq War).  

To quote Sarah Palin “Seniors and the disabled will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care.”  

Never mind that one of the country’s most prestigious truth-seeking organizations (Politifact) has given this lie its highest rating when it comes to political lies.  (Pant’s On Fire! truth-o-meter rating)


Politifact called Palins comments “a sci-fi scenario not based in reality”   I am not shocked by any comment coming from the former Governor of Alaska  that are “not based in reality”.  She still believes the lie to this day!

What an awesome way to get individuals to believe in your political stance.  Present them with ideas not based in reality and expect them to respond in ways that make sense.  Yet, the sheep followed along and believed her…and the lie began its worm-like expedition through the hearts and minds of members of the political right.  Even Chuck Grassley, one of the individuals the Obama Administration consulted with during the preparation of the proposed legislation came out with the “government wants to kill Grandma” routine.  It was an absolute crock of political crap that was designed to elicit fear in the hearts and minds of the people.  To this day, people still believe it. The gullibility of the American electorate is amusing.

The “death panel” debate has been analyzed to death since it was brought to the American people by our friends in the Republican Party.  Suffice it to say that section of the legislation was designed to give individuals the right to counseling about options that are available with regard to taking control of choices they can make during this most expensive and heartbreaking time for individuals and families. 

Somehow the Republican leadership took it upon themselves to take an optional valuable service and turn it into the government sticking a needle into Grandma to eliminate the cost of keeping her alive.  That is about the most pathetic exhibition of spreading a big lie to gain political advantage as you can get.  Believe it at your party’s peril.

This is just one example of the use of lies, tolerated by the electorate, to gain political advantage.  I have three questions for those who believed this garbage without examining the reality of the legislation: Once the statements being made were proven without a shadow of a doubt to be false, why do you still believe it?  Secondly, why do you tolerate this kind of behavior from your elected Representatives?  Thirdly, if they lie to you and you accept it, how can you tell when they are telling you the truth?

Tolerance of lies is a “YOU PROBLEM”!  With all the recent talk of “throwing all of the Democrats out of office” I hear no talk of punishing those that formulated the lies, used them for political advantage, and then lost the battle for health care reform.

If I were to predict the future I would predict that the Republican base will not make much of a fuss about the fact that they were lied to during the health care legislation debate.  If their leaders are not confronted with their lies, and their failure, there isn’t much chance that they will change their behavior.  Republicans are stuck with individuals whose lies incite anger, and whose tactics have resulted in colossal failure.  Until they are called on the carpet, very little will change.


2 Responses to “Fear 101 – The Tolerance Of Lies”

  1. Yesterday Rep Bart Stupak, who is as anti-abortion as they come, was called a ‘baby killer.’ Is there any clearer example of double-speak?

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