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Thu Feb 9, 2017, 09:03 AM

It still astounds me how dangerous propaganda is just allowed to run rampant in this country [View all]

Should I even be surprised any more?

I was once having an email conversation with a conservative. This was shortly after Obama's election, and coincidentally around the same time the debt and deficit suddenly had become very important to conservatives. He was complaining about the deficit and blaming it on Obama. Remember, this was right after the world global economy had collapsed from fraud in the housing market, and Bush's two mostly off-the-books wars had drained the treasury.

Anyway, I found a site that had the debt figures for all of the presidents from Carter to Obama. I calculated the amounts added to the debt under each term, being careful to use the fiscal year cutoffs for budgets that had been signed by each president. I was able to show that by year, the GOP presidents WAY outspent Carter and Clinton, and that the Bush's between them were by far the drunken sailors of spending.

He finally admitted the numbers were correct, I guess, but continued to rant about Obama's reckless spending. It was clear his anger was being fueled by Fox "news" and other right wing sources. Finally I asked him, "those people are LYING to you. Doesn't that make you angry"? It didn't, of course. He was happy to be lied to.

Conservatives and authoritarians rely on their followers not being able to tell lies from the truth, not identifying sources that constantly lie to them, believing whatever bucket of chum is served up to their gullible maws.

Which is why what happened last week was so chilling.

The president's spokesliar stood in front of a room full of reporters and said that Iran had committed "hostile actions" against "our navy vessel".

It turns out that by "Iran", he really meant rebels in Yemen. And by "our navy vessel" he meant a Saudi Arabian ship. This is the kind of lie and misdirection that starts wars under false pretense. And I think back to my emails with my conservative friend, who couldn't tell or didn't care that he was being lied to, and realize that there is very little we can do to hold up the truth.

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