FALSE EQUIVALENCE: The War on Intellect by the GOP: With a Strong Assist by the Media. By Frank D. Pond

Dissembling the facts so as to con-vince the populace that apples are truly oranges is one of the political strengths of today’s GOP.  Assisting them is a corporate controlled media which exists to create stories not report them.  And to do so in a way that allows a false sense of fairness, i.e. present a fact on one side and then an argument against fact based on opinion and say that such is a presentation of “both sides.”  When it comes to facts there are no two sides.  Facts are facts.  The media should get this but they don’t.  When a fact is presented, one need not present a contra-position to show evenness.  One can do that if it is opinion presented v. opinion presented but not fact v. opinion.  But, the media feels cowed into creating this false dichotomy and present facts blurred against opinion with great regularity and they then call it news.

With this same approach, facts are regularly reported by the media as opinion and vice-versa.  And often this comes directly from talking points by the GOP.  Blur the facts, blur the opinions and create a horse-race to keep the population reading or watching.  President Obama has lowered taxes to their lowest levels in history.  That is a fact.  President Obama wants to raise taxes only on the wealthy.  That is a fact.  What is the contrary position–there can’t be one.  So, the GOP comes up with an opinion that shouts loudly over the facts and that makes for a more interesting show.  In response to President Obama has lowered taxes to their lowest level in history, the GOP responds not to the fact but rather they proclaim that Obama is a tax-raiser because he wants to raise taxes on the wealthiest 1% of Americans (who might not even notice–the difference of making $30 million net a year rather than $29.8 million ain’t all that noticeable, unlike the difference between making $50,000 v. $49,800).  The facts then are blurred falsely to create a sense of “truth” for the past based upon a premise for the future.  When the smoke clears, FOX tells us that Obama is a taxer of the first magnitude.  Blur and confuse.

The GOP took this approach recently in the most outlandish of fashions (and most ridiculous).  It is an example of what the Repug-nicans do all the time.  In a concrete example of the continuing War on Women that the GOP have waged they tried to gut the Violence Against Women Act (“VAWA”) recently to deprive it of many teeth especially as it might apply to women most at risk.  This, along with the continued desire to vaginally intrude all pregnant women who might want to consider their options regarding abortion and cutting all health subsidies and insurance–even when not paid for by taxes, i.e. on private insurance policies, represents a real “warfare” on the person.  Yet, the GOP responds that it is “unfair” politics to say “War on Women” and this phrase clutters the positive discourse about politics (Query What positive discourse are they promoting?).  But, obviously the factual points being made by the Democrats (e.g. destroying the efficacy of VAWA, vaginal probing of women considering their options over their bodies, cutting government subsidized Medicare for the poor relating to female health screening, and forcing private insurance companies to NOT provide birth control free of charge but covering for Erectile Dysfunction pills) were working.  What to do?  False Equivalence to the rescue.

The GOP, in the middle of one of the worst economies on record and one that they wrought and have done everything to continue and nothing to fix, in Congress served up and voted on a bill to cure what they said was a very real problem in America–the bill was to make it illegal for anyone to seek an abortion based on preferring one gender over another.  The bill was promoted as a way to protect female babies from the infanticide that must be happening all throughout America.  HUH?  There is no such thing happening.  While one certainly cannot favor aborting over gender preference, this is not a real issue AT ALL in the US.  So, why the bill?  To distract from the real War on Women.  Now the GOP can say that the Democrats voted against this bill MUST FAVOR ABORTING FEMALE FETUSES.  Of course, the Democrats voted against this Bill because it was a silly waste of time in the middle of a time requiring serious approaches to governance and not because they want more male babies.

As a result of the vote, several GOP Congressmen came out and wrote op-ed pieces and went on the news to decry the hypocrisy of the Democrats for saying that the GOP was waging a (REAL) War on Women as the Democrats don’t care about women or they would protect those precious Female fetuses.  OMG–fact v. slanted opinion all over again.

And what was the basis of the GOP rationale–that there are many places on the planet where aborting fetuses to promote male babies exist.  This is sadly true but it Ain’t happening in America.  So the law, focused solely on the US, would solve absolutely nothing.  It was a trick to create a False Equivalence argument and a despicable one at that.

It’s time for the GOP and the Media to GET REAL.  If you have a contrary FACT to a FACT tell us.  Don’t blur and game the system.  American politics won’t grow up until we demand that it does.  Start with calling out False Equivalence at every turn and demand the Media to present facts as facts and without requiring a contra-position.  We need to grab a hold of this nonsense now before it makes the most optimistic American a cynic!