A few days ago I received a note from a fellow traveler who wanted to know how to “counter” a right wing blog received from a right wing friend, written by a man named Lou Pritchett, a former Procter and Gamble vice president. Mr. Pritchett is “scared” by Barack Obama, very scared. He says so twenty one times giving twenty one reasons why the president scares him. The blog reads like a biblical treatment of God in reverse. He uses the familiar litany of anti-Obama clichés including one I hadn’t heard. “You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy League education and your upscale life style and housing with no visible signs of support,” aka “know your place boy.” Evidently Mr. Pritchett isn’t aware of scholarships.
Right wingers differ from us in that that they scan the blogosphere to pick up items like this to send to the faithful. I’ve received a few blogs from fellow lefties for me to simply read, none of this “pass it on” business common to most right wing messages. These people must think of themselves as Twenty First Century Paul Reveres.
And understandably so! Annoying facts flying around are an impediment to right wing talking points that they contradict, which I think of conjecture or prejudice, take your pick. In this effort they have help from the media, not limited to Fox, where a strenuous effort is underway to present the infamous “both sides.” But even allowing for this “impartiality,” in my opinion if the game is played solely on what the public as a whole comes to consider as fact, the right would eventually lose. The truth often comes out slowly, but it does come out, hence all this missionary zeal.
Compared to the looming threat over admission to voting booths this misinformation is small potatoes. The shared political persuasion of the senders and recipients gives the whole exercise an inbred aura. Presidential campaigns generally last long enough to weed out much of what I once heard a local New Jersey politician refer to as his opponent’s “false facts.” To appear just a little bit objective I’ll refrain from mention his political party. Pretty sneaky eh?