I’ve written about Libertarians being the party of personal responsibility. While some on the anarchist fringe make us look bad; every group has their “one of those” that everyone ridicules, even within the ranks. I’d like to think most of us are pretty admirable, but a few seem to be lacking something important—honesty.
Just the other day, I got an email from someone which stated that from a “VERY” credible source, they learned Obama dismissed a female soldier who supposedly told him that the flag on his lapel was upside down, and that because she corrected/helped him, he had her dismissed. Furthermore, it indicated he wears it purposefully upside down as a sign of solidarity to Muslim radicals, because he doesn’t love America.
For the love of all that is holy, if you’re one of the people spreading this nonsense—STOP!
The people at Snopes do a masterful job dispelling this junk every day, but it just keeps coming in droves. So if you’re not sure about the latest Obama conspiracy email you received, try a simple internet search before you become part of the ignorant conspiracy theory crowd and forward it on. If you can’t verify it with a credible news organization, rest assured it’s likely bullshit, and move on.
Do you have any idea what kind of nonsensical idiots you make us conservatives look like when you spread such nonsense? Much like we associate radicals like Michael Moore with the left, people associate these conspiracy nuts with us, and it makes all of us look bad. If you care about the image of the conservative movement, then don’t forward these ridiculous emails, post them on Facebook, or even bring them up at your next soirée. If you’re really responsible, you reply back with the disprovenance, so they get the hint that you’re not into spreading such nonsense. I do this quite often.
Think about what’s happening for a second. Every conspiracy you spread was started by someone who knew it was a complete fabrication; they are the ones who made it up after all, right? Then they counted on you, and many others like you, being ignorant enough to believe it, and spreading their lies for them. In doing so, you’re allowing yourself to be a tool for someone who doesn’t respect you enough to assume you’ll make intelligent decisions on your own. Prove to them that you’re not by exercising healthy skepticism when you’re faced with any fantastic tale. Just because you hope it’s true, doesn’t mean it is.
Please remember that independents decide elections. Every time you do something that makes conservatives appear ignorant, you drive an independent into the arms of our opposition who do everything in their power to convince people that they alone are the ones capable of intelligent critical thinking.
The other dishonest tactic is a little more subtle, but a lot more rampant. That is feigned outrage. People who are apoplectic about Obama playing golf or taking a vacation for instance are a good example. Every person deserves to take time to de-stress by engaging in a hobby or sport, and the president is no different. He has a job to do, but also has a right to spend time with his family and friends, and to clear his mind. Do you really think the presidency isn’t so stressful that he shouldn’t need to unwind every once in a while?
So do me a favor. Ask yourself these questions next time you lash out at the president in a fit of rage:
If my candidate were in office and did the same thing, would I be equally upset? Is what this person really doing actually going to affect us negatively in any way? Is what they are doing immoral, unconstitutional, or unjust?
If your answer to these questions is no, yet you’re thinking of teeing off on them anyway, then again, for the love of all that is good in this world—STOP!
Sadly, I see members of congress, media pundits, and other prominent figures engaging in this behavior far more often than should ever be tolerated. How many times have we seen our opponents do this in regards to candidates we support, and each time think to yourselves, “You’re playing for the camera because no one would be that upset about this, now shut up and sit down!” Yet somehow, we’ll do it ourselves with no compunction whatsoever.
I think most of us on the right believe our current president joins Carter as of one of the most unsuccessful presidencies in our lifetimes, by economic standards anyway. He has a myriad of honest criticisms that can be leveled at him using facts, history, logic, and reasoning. It is imperative to stick to those and only those if we are going to be the winners in the upcoming election.
Spreading lies and disinformation only serves to ruin our credibility once those lies are vetted. And feigned outrage is just like the proverbial crying wolf. Since we know much of the media is biased against us, and more to the point, love trying to catch us in a lie, it behooves us to be extra diligent about the information we spread, and the genuineness of the emotion behind our message, so we don’t seem hypocritical. If you are going to sling mud, make sure you can’t or won’t be proven wrong later. Otherwise, bite your tongue.