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I have studiously watched all (I think) of the 2011/2012 Republican debates. I wanted to expose myself to a variety of points of view, even if they might differ from my own current preconceived notions. The exercise has left me shocked and appalled.

It was not just the remarkable certainty of the candidates’ conflicting assertions [they might have demonstrated more party and policy unity). But they freely engaged in the most egregious and transparent distortions of each other’s records and statements (and that was BEFORE their assertions about the incumbent President and his party who, by the way, had no immediate opportunity to make a defense or offer a rebuttal).

I know that politicians can play hardball and are prone to mudslinging, but I began to feel that there was something at work here that felt palpably evil. So I did some soul-searching and some research, and carefully selected some quotes that support my point of view. Now, granted, there are certainly other points of view and I should be willing to consider them, but this is my blog and my outrage, so please feel free to publish your own and be aware that I moderate all comments.

"It’s not a matter of what is true that counts but a matter of what is perceived to be true."
Henry Kissinger

“A compelling story, even if factually inaccurate, can be more emotionally compelling than a dry recitation of the truth.”
“There’s a lot of money with a lot of big law firms that have a tremendous amount at stake by getting the right language to convince the right jury that my client is either innocent or that the opposition is guilty.”
“We decide based on how people look; we decide based on how people sound; we decide based on how people are dressed. We decide based on their passion.”
Frank Luntz, Republican pollster and consultant on the language of persuasion.

“I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends… that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.”
Adlai Stevenson, Governor of Illinois, (1949-1953)

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
Arthur Schopenhauer

When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken, or cease to be honest.
Unknown

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Martin Luther King Jr.

The search for truth implies a duty. One must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true.
Albert Einstein

And, don’t even get me started on the certainty of individuals defending the universal validity of their personal (religious and political) convictions, in the face of so many faiths. And, don’t even tempt me to start invoking George Carlin.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Republicans lie. This is news? n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, labwitchy

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Sat May 05, 2012 at 06:48:29 AM PDT

  •  Republicans know what truth it. . . (0+ / 0-)

    . . .it's what we say it is dammit, and we don't need your silly facts or science.

    I have had that said to me, almost verbatum.

    •  My new bumper sticker (0+ / 0-)

      Ha! Yes! I just acquired a new bumper sticker that says, "You are entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts."

      The problem, I think, is that conservatives are particularly emotionally responsive to authority figures who preach the accepted beliefs of their group. In fact, research shows that the more educated conservatives are, the more likely they are to be invested in, and to double-down on their accepted "facts."

      Liberals are generally less dependent on group identity and more likely to have made a personal, cognitive examination of available information in order to be persuaded of a thing.

  •  Republicans don't even know what truth is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    Their problem is that they represent a very tiny fraction of the country, so they can only get into power by creating an elaborate fantasyland.   It only works because they have total control of the media.  Fox's news director Roger Ailes was Regan's version of Karl Rove and CNN's news director Wolf Blitzer was communications director for the very right wing AIPAC.    MSNBC (Microsoft & GE) is simply counterpoint to the Republican's lead, amplifying their message by discussing it endlessly.

    In that environment, can you blame their politicans for losing sight of the truth?   The only thing they ever get called on is deviating from the "truth" of the moment.

    •  If they didn't have that media empire... (0+ / 0-)

      ....and if our country's schools taught critical thinking, the GOP would be a fringe right wing party.

      •  Teaching critical thinking (0+ / 0-)

        My wife taught in public elementary schools, which gave me frequent exposure to how our schools are changing. Typically, a higher grade is supposed to be given according to the lesson plan's rubric, ;which awards additional credit for more-critical thinking.

        In practice, however, there is an increasing emphasis on memorizing facts and passing tests, rather than discovering and exploring connections and thinking critically about ideas. ALL children are getting left behind.

  •  They process.interpret facts differently. (0+ / 0-)
  •  The Republican mindset: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    Truth = Power. In other words, that which is powerful is by definition true. There is no other criterion. You can hear it as subtext in the words of many conservative theorists, from Leo Strauss to Karl Rove.

    The authoritarian point of view is that truth is a self-contained system of mutually reinforcing facts that in unison support a power structure. Any extraneous data that is not homogenous with the power structure is by definition false.

    "Here's another nice mess you've gotten me into." - Oliver Hardy

    by native on Sat May 05, 2012 at 08:09:42 AM PDT

  •  this is a rhetorical question... (0+ / 0-)

    right?

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