Steve Martaindale

Author of the JP Weiscarver Mystery Series

11. Lies & fear

us vs them

It is 11 days until the next U.S. congressional midterm election.

Is it Lies & Fear or is it Fear & Lies?

Never mind; it really doesn’t matter. In whatever order they’re doing it, Trump and the Republicans are making it work.

(NOTE: I wrote the bulk of this before the package bombs began appearing and that’s definitely not the fear I’m talking about. However, the GOP’s lies and fears surely fed the mind or minds implementing this recent episodes of domestic terrorism.)

And they’re awesome when it comes to wielding the tools of lies and fear. I would not have thought such a huge swath of God-fearing, America-loving, my-country-right-or-wrong self-styled patriots could be turned by repeated lies into a dependent pile of cowards lashing out in fear at the “snowflakes” they’re warned will take away the conservatives’ resurrected white-is-right lifestyles.

Quick public service message here: If this article has already made you angry, if you think I’m talking about you, then please discontinue reading and go back to your Fox News coverage. As I’ve been saying throughout this countdown to the election, this series is intended for folks who are confused by all the lies and fear they’ve been hearing and are seeking answers.

Here’s the deal. I’m just an old, retired newspaper editor whose greatest strength was a high-quality BS detector. People are pushing agendas all the time, sometimes utilizing smoke and mirrors, and the folks who are supposed to help protect us have been overwhelmed.

In fact, when I started writing this entry, I planned to address some of the biggest lies out there as we’ve entered early voting across much of the country and are only 11 sunrises from Election Day. However, confronting all the lies and fear is a crushing endeavor.

Therefore, I have two points of advice for you.

  1. Don’t believe them

Inspired by the unprecedented lying ability of Trump (who I consistently refer to as #DonTheCon on my Twitter posts for good reason), Republicans have chained Truth to a clothes line in their fenced-in back yard and have unleashed upon society zombie hounds of horror to terrify their masses with baseless disgusting fabrications about political enemies.

My wife and I have been vacationing while easing our way back to our winter home and have watched more television than usual the last couple of weeks. I have seen only one Republican ad – for a local office – that did not rely on one or more of Trump’s scare tactics. You know what I mean: things like (a) immigrants are crashing our borders with the intent of eating our children, or (b) Democrats want to take all our money and send it to a sect of Hare Krishna monks in Asia, or (c) Democrats want Medicare for all to more easily kill off old white people … or some similarly mindless drivel.

Don’t believe them.

  1. Research

If you hear Lyin’ Ted Cruz (one of the few things Trump got right) say, for example, Beto O’Rourke wants to confiscate all your guns, check it out. A simple search will turn up O’Rourke’s issues page, which details his desires, primary of which are background checks on all gun sales and to stop selling weapons of war. That’s a far cry from banning all weapons.

If Trump or one of his enablers is talking trash about something, hit up the major news organizations. My first stop is usually The Associated Press, still the standard for sticking to facts.

Here’s a graphic that can help you consider the best places to get your news.

Those that are listed toward the top tend to report facts while those toward the bottom are more likely to lean toward persuasion or blatant fabrications. Those in the horizontal center are more neutral while those to the left or right have a habit of reflecting some or more bias.

So, concentrate on those that are high and center – the AP, Reuters, ABC, CBS, NBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, PBS, The Hill, Politico, BBC, AFP, Bloomberg, Time … that’s a pretty good selection.

Stay away from Fox News, Forward Progressives, Breitbart, Palmer Report, Infowars and others in the red box on the bottom, labeled “Nonsense damaging to public discourse.”

Research.

There you go. Filter out the lies, determine what candidates stand the best chance of helping our nation and serve all of us while leading to a better life for all. In most cases, you’ll find that person is running as a Democrat. Vote for those people.

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