The brilliance of Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes, Prince Waleed and their clade never ceases to impress me. Twenty years ago, they were subsidizing Rush Limbaugh and the neoconservatives to spread what's become the core notion of today's right. (Though it also crops up on the far-left!) One that is now fundamental dogma to millions of Americans.
The notion that assertions can trump facts.
the “fact based community,” the party line has become completely
untethered from any need for consistency or reference to evidence.
Leveraging upon a native and healthy American trait - suspicion of
authority - it has metastacised into the cancerous nostrum that all
experts are automatically wrong because they know a lot. From
scientists to journalists to judges, medical doctors, academics,
diplomats, skilled labor... indeed, the list of knowledge castes under
attack at Fox is now almost complete. (Find the exceptions!) Only the
Wall Street oligarchy has been left out. Those "experts" it seems are
Not even Marxists ever found so perfect a way to
insulate their followers from dogma-dilution. Is there any way to get
past the nostrums recited by Limbaugh listeners and climate denialists
and so on?
I found one. And it works. It works very well.
Make it a matter of money. Stone cold hard cash.
have found that no amount of facts or evidence will shift an “ostrich”
republican back to the old ways of Goldwater and Buckley, in pre-Fox
days, when conservatism respected knowledge and facts. Back when the
average education level of republicans was higher than
democrats, when 40% of scientists were in the GOP, instead of less than
5% today. When knowledge and intellect weren't the openly declared
I found a bullet! When faced with absolute denial and perfect
assertion-addiction, one thing cracks the turtle shell. Demanding a
“You are absolutely certain about your list of
assertions, even those that sound cockeyed and totally over-the-top, or
that denounce all of America's knowledge-experts. So certain are you,
of these Ailes-approved assertions, that you're willing to stake our
nation’s future on them, even putting back in charge the idiots who ran
America off a cliff in the first decade of this century. So certain
that you’ll demonize every opponent, despise all educated people, and
trash any talk of negotiation or compromise.
then, if you truly are that certain, make a bet! Take my money! Back
it up with cash that we’ll both deposit with some agreed-neutral party.
I’ll even give you odds. If I am the fool, for disagreeing with you,
take money from this fool! (And religion is no excuse; the loser could
pay the winner's favorite charity.)
You are willing to help ignite the latest phase of the American Civil
War, convinced that facts back up your side. Then show some guts. Put
money on it!”
== Clear-cut, provable wagers ==
are just a few of the matters I have offered to lay on the table, at
various times. I've made some nice cash. But mostly had the
satisfaction of calling the other guy "chicken" when he refused... and
seeing him stop using some outrageously false, Roger Ailes talking points.
* You have your panties in a twist over illegal immigration? Well I bet illegal immigration is always worse under Republicans, who upon taking over savagely cut
the Border Patrol. Democrats reinforce it. In any event, illegal
immigration across the Mexico-U.S. border has now, under Obama, reached net-zero. If you don’t believe it, make a wager and take my money! Or else, stop ranting about this!
note: many white males are instinctively noticing that the USA is no
longer theirs to control, alone. Some react viscerally against this new
era and blame illegal immigrants. But in fact, America's demographics
have been changed far more by LEGAL immigration, a matter the GOP never
ever raises. Why not? One has to wonder.)
Teen pregnancies are highest in states with abstinence-only policies. (In fact, get Crazy Uncle to bet on every
point of “immorality” from divorce rates, teen sex, STDs, and domestic
violence to almost every type of crime, in Red vs Blue regions. He’ll
lose on all counts. Take his cash. Or call him a coward.)
* Taxed enough already? That's the outraged Tea Party mantra. So make a bet on how high taxes really are in the U.S. today, especially for the rich, compared to any time in the last 80 years.
(Actually, we're at one of the lowest points since 1930.) Or what
fraction of the US economy is taken up by the Federal government. Or who is paying more tax and getting less in return. (Hint: Blue America pays more taxes, gets fewer benefits, but... key point... Blue America also whines much much less.)
The Obama stimulus of the economy in 2009 was a "catastrophe" according
to Republicans like Mitt Romney, who wanted the US Auto Industry to go
into bankruptcy and receivership, and thereby "learn a lesson." It was
claimed that the taxpayer would lose trillions... literally trillions.
So have your uncle bet you whether this is still what he believes...
then show him the NET PROFIT that we, the people, are making off the stimulus.
(Then ask him if he thinks we got our money's worth from a decade and two trillion dollars
and thousands of lives poured into "nation building" in Iraq and
Afghanistan. Ask him if he knows what fraction of that went to
companies co-owned by Dick Cheney. Finally, ask him why he doesn't
know, or care.)
* Obama the socialist? BHO got his party to pass the republicans’ own health care proposal
(circa 1994-2004). “Obamacare” is essentially the Gingrich Plan, later
adopted by Mitt Romney. Don't let them weasel by claiming "We changed
our mind!" Sure, they have that right.
But you do not have a right
to change your mind AND scream "socialist!" at those who implement YOUR
plan. Find a way to parse this as a bet.
Here’s one that always works. Offer to bet Crazy Uncle that Rupert
Murdoch’s top partner and co-owner at Fox News is a Saudi Prince. He'll
deny it in screeching outrage... then he'll refuse to make it a wager.
Nail him with that hypocrisy.
I could go on and on. Indeed, many
of you regulars are tired of hearing these same things recited here.
(Well, you knew it would happen in an election year!) But that’s not
the point, this time.
Sure, I know we won’t change many minds with
this tactic. Negotiation and mind-changing isn't in the cards. Not
during outright Civil War. Ailes and co. have succeeded in plunging us
down that path and nothing is left but to fight it. With the right symbols.
at least this’ll arm you to help get the nut-jobs to shut the f$#&
up over their favorite ranted assertion-incantations! Because they
care, above all, about their money.
== Hence this OPEN CALL! ==
Come to the comments section (below) and offer your own favorite crazy uncle bets,
parsed to go to the heart of a right wing "frame" and easily disprove
it. Offer it up as a clear wager... and provide citations for
devastating proof/evidence. Keep them short n' punchy and focused on
crystal clear FALSIFIABLE STATEMENTS or wagers subject to potent proof.
I'll publish the best ones here.
Oh, and just for fairness sake... you contrarians or republicans are welcome to offer up ways to bait your dogmatic-leftist crazy aunt, too!
may not be as numerous or dangerous as the Murdochite loons, right now,
but I consider them-there-lefties to be fair game. Only dig this...
try to stick to actual unbiased assertions that real liberals (and not a few campus lefty flakes) actually say, not things Glen Beck claims they say.
I’ll post the top ones on CONTRARY BRIN.
Even better, I hope someone will become convinced to run with this concept and create a web site devoted to Big Political Bets. As contributions to sanity go, you could do much worse.