The extreme right lies constantly. They lie on air, they lie in print, they lie in tweets, they lie in Congress, they lie in GOP legislatures, they lie in their sleep. The extreme right lies about things that they claim are false but are provably true. Documented things. Factual things. *coughCLIMATECHANGEcough*
But that doesn't stop them, because if you repeat a lie often enough, people will start to believe it. Especially uninformed, misinformed, ignorant people who can't or will not do any research of their own on any given topic.
Corporations are allowed to legally lie, too, by the way. Well, "corporate people," because, freedom of speech. Thank you, Supreme Court! Watch:
We can't stop them, legally at least. We can call them out, we can prove them wrong, we can try to be louder than the liars on the extreme right, and we can try to dissuade the gullible, the ignorant, the willfully ignorant, our friends and neighbors, and anyone else within shouting/writing distance. But they will still lie.
And with that, here are today's Los Angeles Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:
Police the liars? How did that work out for the millions of us advocating for equality as we tried to negate the lies coming from the pro-Proposition 8 campaign in 2008? There are people who, six years later, still hold to be true the falsehoods perpetuated by the television ads and mailers of the campaign's deep pockets.
The damage is done, is nearly irreparable and causes harm to this day. Shame on the Supreme Court for clearing the way for the continuance of fabrication within political campaigns.
Couple that decision with the Citizens United and McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission rulings, and we're all in for Proposition 8-style campaigns on any subject matter the extreme right deems worthy of a lie. Again and again, the damage will be done as many take as gospel untruthful propaganda.
In the world of the pre-Roberts court, your editorial about criminalizing false political advertising would be on target. But since Citizens United and its progeny under this Supreme Court, money is apparently king.
If a well-funded group (spelled K-O-C-H) decides to place ads deliberately misrepresenting a candidate or ballot measure, how does the citizen candidate ever have the funds to publicly correct the defamation?
Your position would give license for more negative (and deliberately false) political ads and still more expensive campaigns.
And, by the way, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy's line that "the remedy for speech that is false is speech that is true" reminds me of the National Rifle Assn.'s phrase about good and bad guys with guns. That also sounded good until the Las Vegas good guy with a gun was killed and the Seattle good guy with pepper spray became a hero.
So much for the turn of a phrase.