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Di Leo: Beyond Political Arguments – Politics in the Days of Falsehoods

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By John F. DiLeo - 

 

Those of us who watch the world of politics, the media, and pop-culture have noticed a shocking change in the past five years.

 

It is tempting to assume that the main change is in the outright acceptance of Marxism. By the end of the Obama administration, the Left became comfortable advocating blatantly socialist positions, to the point that the current Democratic party platform now advocates positions as authoritarian as any Marxist country.

 

But even that should not be such a shock, because the Democratic Party has been trending that way for a century. The massive growth in government, the disregard for the United States Constitution, the abandonment of our republican allies in favor of Marxist enemies – all these have been the stock in trade of the Democrats for generations.

In fact, one can argue that the change that has been most jarring in recent years is something else entirely, something not necessarily even political:  the abandonment of shame in outright lying in public.

 

A generation or two ago, there may have been severe policy differences… but they were clearly philosophical in nature, and could conceivably have been argued honestly from either side.  We had the same end goals; we differed on what approach was best.

  • We agreed that the Soviet Union was our enemy, and we disagreed on whether trade or boycott would be more effective in transforming them.
  • We agreed that we all wanted the poor to be able to rise up and join the middle class, and we disagreed on whether welfare programs, however well intentioned, were holding people back, or giving them a chance to move forward.
  • We all agreed that getting the unemployed into the workforce was imperative, and we disagreed on whether such tools as a youth minimum wage, mandatory benefits, and similar regulations would help or hurt in that effort.

Both parties agreed on most of our desired results, generations ago, however much we may have disagreed on the policies to attain them.

 

Gradually, over the years, the Democratic Party was taken over, not only by its most leftist members, but also by its most shameless.  We may not have noticed this subtle difference until recently, but it is jarring.

 

The modern Left has changed its very goals; it no longer wants what real Americans want.  At all.

 

It has taken Americans decades to admit this to ourselves, and for many of us, it has been the ultimate lesson, and the ultimate heartbreak for patriots. We have to admit that our political opponents or not just wrong in their methods, but they are often evil in their intentions.

 

  • We have to admit to ourselves that they don’t just feel very sorry for a young expectant mother in trouble; they actually like abortion, and consider it a societal good.
  • We have to admit to ourselves that they don’t just feel sorry for poor people, and want to offer them a lifetime on the dole out of compassion; They actually like seeing generations dependent on the government, because of how much it increases the government's power.
  • We have to admit to ourselves that they don’t just feel sorry for the so-called "palestinians" who are being abused by Hamas and Fatah; they actually support these terrorist anti-semites, siding with them in their effort to destroy the nation of Israel.

 

We don’t like admitting any of this to ourselves. Those of us in politics, in particular, pride ourselves in the honor of a cordial, gentlemanly rivalry between the parties; fighting clean fights in election years, sharing a drink at the bar across the street from the capitol, after the session is over.

 

We find ourselves having to admit to ourselves that we were wrong. That the battle between Republicans and Democrats – more rightly, between Americans and anti-Americans – has become more cutthroat in every way.

 

This recognition must change the way that we approach our lives and work.

 

And now, on top of all this, we have another revelation to face.

 

There is a new battle, tied to the old battle, but overwhelming it, and changing the nature of the fight.

 

It is the battle between truth and falsehood.

 

Today's Left, shamelessly, denies clear truths and prizes false narratives in a way unimaginable a generation ago.

 

We have certainly had hints.

 

  • For 50 years they said that abortion wasn’t really murder, because that baby wasn’t a human life yet. We chalked that one up to self-denial.
  • For 50 years, they said that we shouldn’t be so harsh in judging Castro’s Cuba, Stalin's Russia, Mao’s China. We chalked that one up to an understandable mental block. Who could believe these men would murder millions of people? They were just in denial. They had to be.
  • And for 50 years they have said that tax cuts don’t help the economy, even, that tax hikes inexplicably aid economic growth. Ridiculous. Blatantly untrue, as demonstrated by so many examples across the 20th century. But we chalked that up to wishful thinking. The left stands for big government, which can only be afforded by massive revenues; of course they tell themselves these things work, because to admit reality would cause their world to come crashing down. Again, we understood. We gave them the benefit of the doubt.

 

But today, the lies are overwhelming, and there can be no excuse for those who pretend to believe them. 

 

The Russian collusion hoax that they attempted to perpetrate against President Trump. The claim that the 2020 election was clean, when it included tens of millions of votes without voters attached to them. The insistence that you can print two, four, six trillion dollars in fresh currency, without it causing inflation. The insistence that an administration can shut down massive oil pipelines and ban oil drilling, and still claim that the current doubling of gasoline prices is not the administration’s fault. Insistence that a lethal coronavirus – one that emerged in the very same town as China’s only biological weapons research lab studying coronavirus – was completely independent of that research lab, just a coincidence, nothing more.

 

The lies double and quadruple in scale and shamelessness.

 

Political philosophers over the years have talked about The Big Lie, the idea that if you double down on a claim, however outrageous, one’s powerful support of that claim will carry the day, and make it stick. It is horrifying that such tactics can work on an educated republic, but they do.

 

Those of us who are engaged in the arena, whether as writers or speakers, teachers or pundits, candidates or politicians, must change our approach to face this new world.

 

How do you campaign in an era in which you speak a different language from your opponent? How do you win elections, when the press jumps on you for a punctuation error, but allows your opponent to get away with blatant lies?

 

The United States of America find ourselves facing new and powerful challenges every day.

 

We on the American Right find ourselves having to wear more hats than ever before. We must be the educators; we must be the press; we must be the parents, and teachers, and law-enforcement, as well as the candidates.

 

We must call out the lies for what they are.   If social media punishes people for speaking the truth, we must start our own social media, just as we started our own broadcast and print offerings decades ago. If the left will use boycotts and cancel culture against us, then we must use the same tools against them, more effectively, more determinedly.

 

We let it go too far, for too long. Saving America will take more work than it ever has before. But it’s worth it.

 

The legacy of our Founding Fathers is worth whatever it takes. They gave their all; they would expect us to do the same.

 

Copyright 2021 John F Di Leo

 

John F Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based trade compliance trainer, transportation manager, writer and actor. He has written for Illinois Review since 2009. A collection of his columns on the problem of vote fraud in America, The Tales of Little Pavel, is available on Amazon in e-book and paperback.

 

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