Few things are more upsetting than people lying to you when both know it’s a lie. Pushing falsehoods is more important than telling you the truth.
We went through this in the midterm election with Trump-backed candidates. They signed on to the “Big Steal,” the lie the former President lost unfairly. Even though there is no evidence of any cheating, that would’ve changed the outcome. Adhering to this falsehood is the litmus test for Trump’s support. With his endorsement, a primary victory is possible. It worked. Even with lesser qualifications, those toeing the Trump line made it on the ballot.
However, the people signing on to the lies to get ahead mostly lost. People rightly conclude you’re loyalties aren’t to us. Voters made their displease known by sending candidates down in flames.
As I recently pointed out, those administering the pain to these prevaricators were Republicans and like-minded independents. We know this because those turned off by the lies voted for other Republicans that avoided them.
The punishment for the liar candidates isn’t only they lost, but most likely lost any future in public service. Republican voters meted their retribution to those lying to their faces, and they won’t forget.
The burning question is why Democrat leaders and their media allies can tell whoppers and Democratic voters not only accept them but cheer them. They put out stories, such as Trump’s Russian collusion, Afghan’s withdrawal success, and Hunter Biden’s laptop being a Russian plot. Covid-related falsehoods and ignoring the border problems. All wrong, but none punished. For instance, our Afgan withdrawal was an unmitigated disaster, leading to the Ukraine war. Yet, not one person involved has lost their job.
How does one account for the different attitudes on lying between those on the left and right? Wall Street Journal editorial writer Barton Swain attributes this to a difference in what people on either side know.
He informs us, “If you’re on the right, you simply can’t isolate yourself from the habits and attitudes of left-liberal progressivism. They are everywhere.” In short, the right can’t avoid what the left puts out because it’s omnipresent
On the other hand, a two-year situation like the one on our Southern border is suddenly getting attention from the media that previously ignored the problem. This coverage only appears now because a Judge ordered the expiration of title 42. In a matter of days, the crisis will explode into something impossible to ignore.
While Swain is correct in his analysis, the left receives a much narrower view of the news; the question is, why? He points to the comfort zone of the highly educated. Further, they have access to data and resources unavailable to the less educated. These are necessary to challenge them.
I have a different take. There is no lack of facts and data to challenge progressive orthodoxy. The authors of the Great Barrington Declaration based it on data. Drone footage shows what’s precisely happening on the border. Bjorn Lomberg and Steven Konin hardly lack facts and data to challenge progressive green proclamations. In most cases, the data is available to everyone. Interpreting or ignoring it is the issue.
The motivation to adhere to untruths is the same as with the Trump-backed candidate-Risk-reward, only on a much grander scale. Challenge the lies and get primaried and lose my political career. Even if you win, it’s a costly fight. With Trump’s support, even the unqualified can win primaries.
The fear factor is much more pervasive in areas dominated by the left. If your career path takes you to Hollywood or academia, having conservative views is likely an impediment. Government employees, of course, favor expanding bureaucracies. Questioning the progressive narratives can get you shunned. Being on solid ground on things such as Global warming, Covid responses, the border crisis, Russian Trump’s Russian collusion, and Hunter Biden’s laptop doesn’t matter. It’s a matter of discipline.
Much like religions in the past, dogma is a matter of faith rather than reason. Go against progressive cannon, and you find yourself on the outside looking in.
We have plenty of examples of people unfairly punished for views or actions out of step with current left-wing positions. Forcing out Editors at the New York Times and professors at leading Universities sends an unmistakable message., No matter how solid your thinking is, apostates aren’t welcome. Go along or get out.
We see the gulf between loyalty to dogma vs. actual progress in Blue state Governors compared to Red States. The Governors in States such as California, New York, and New Jersey deliver on progressive priorities. Even though businesses and people go to states with Republican Governors in increasing numbers, Democrats reelect them.
States have to balance their budgets, so reality often intrudes on narratives. Successful states usually have productive governors dealing with the realities of life.
The comparison between California governor Gavin Newson and Florida’s Ron DeSantis is instructive. California suffers high taxes and living costs. The result is an eroding tax base and outmigration. The direction of the Uhauls informs us of the false promise of the Governor’s schemes.
On the other hand, Florida is the opposite on all points. The government is friendly to businesses and people. Education and infrastructure are solid and improving. Taxes are low while the tax base is expanding. No wonder people are moving there with their money and skills.
Yet, both governors handily won re-election. Judging by the results, Newsom’s policies are comparative failures. However, his faithful adherence to progressive dogma won him democratic and the media’s overwhelming support. To those voters, devotion to the narrative, no matter how ineffective, is what matters.
DeSantis sees his job differently. The task is improving the lives of Floridians—actual progress on state challenges matters. If the facts and data suggest better results, that is where he goes. Narratives follow reality rather than the other way around.
Gavin Newsome even took out ads attacking DeSantis in Florida for failing to follow liberal pieties. While Republicans and independents asked why he would criticize success, progressives across the country cheered him.
The choice in the future is between those who knowingly lie and those who reject falsehood purveyors. Ultimately reality intrudes on fantasies.