How to Combat Republican Half-Truths

Economic absurdities that
Democrats must expose:

...because it's wrong to penalize success and hard work.

...therefore, we should eliminate the capital gains tax.

...After all, they came from, and understand, business.


...even though it is based on pitting the worlds' workers against each other.

...union bosses are only out for themselves.

...and the more the rich have, the more will trickle down to everyone else.

...Democrats are communists, or at least, socialists at heart. when we tax wealthy investors, we lose jobs. investors, not workers, create wealth. we should give them all the tax breaks possible.

...Democrats just want to tax and spend today.

General Issues:

...check out this 2-minute video.

...It's a mountain, and a terrible defense of globalization.

...for those of Indonesia, Mexico, China and India.

...and how not to do it again.

...and the "crisis" is just a ploy by those who want to destroy it.

...Republicans' most important propaganda technique.

...and get the media on your side

This Site

     When a Republican presents a half-truth, it’s not enough simply to reply with a truth. In the age of sound bytes and short attention spans, such a response results in a draw. Casual listeners decide that both persons have a case to present and most issues are too complicated to make easy conclusions.

     This means that, in addition to addressing specific issues, Democrats must also inform listeners what is going on in the discussion, or must challenge the moderator to follow-up on the issue. By saying something like the following:

  • “Mr. X is telling a half-truth that distorts what’s actually happening here. As Mr. X well knows…”

  • "It's important that your listeners understand what Rep. X is doing here. When he says that Democrats hope the economy goes into recession, he's admitting that he has no response to what I just said about the economy. All he can do is attack me personally by suggesting that I have terrible motives, which is a classic tactic of demagogues."

  • “When Mr. X wants us to spend money on a missile defense system that hasn’t even been developed yet, he’s following the usual reactionary Republican approach to problem-solving and the economy. Rather than rely on the science involved, and prioritize the best solutions for homeland security, Republicans react to the most recent pressures from industry lobbyists and their right-wing financial supporters.”

  • “When Mr. X talks about a free market, he actually means a market that is ruthlessly controlled by our most powerful corporations.” (Then define what a true free market is: the freedom of corporations who have moral standards to compete. Not the freedom of the ruthless to drive principled corporations out of business.)

  • “This is a very important issue. Either Mr. X is distorting what is happening or I am. Mr. Moderator, will you followup on this next week and report which one of us is being accurate?” If the moderator punts, “When you have guests who have such divergent views of what’s happening on such an important subject, aren’t you obligated to your listeners to follow-up?”

  • “When Mr. X calls it a ‘death tax’ he is deliberately distracting voters from the fact that people who inherit money pay no tax on that money, even though people in factories and coal mines must pay tax on all the money they get for working hard.”

  • “When Mr. X refers to ‘Americas’ workers,’ remember that that’s Republicaneze for the top 20% of income earners. His proposals have almost no benefits for average Americans. To refer to this as a tax cut for workers is his intentional effort to distract voters from understanding the bill’s real intent.”

  • “So, after their policies have failed miserably, Mr. X and his Republican colleagues now want to get tough on corporate criminals. That’s right in line with the Republican management style: Wait until problems occur and then clean up the mess later. Where were they three years ago when Levitt…etc.? Mention any looming problem—like S& L crisis, environmental disasters—and the Republican response is always to keep government out of the picture until the problem gets almost impossible to deal with. And on some issues, we may wait too long to save ourselves or the planet.”

  • “When Mr. X equates increasing the minimum wage with socialism, he’s making a Freudian slip. You see, Republicans see capitalism as an economic system that is designed to benefit primarily investors, corporate executives and the rich. In their view, workers on the lowest level shouldn’t even be able to make a living wage. And anytime any economic policy benefits workers, they call it socialism. Democrats, however, believe that we should design a capitalistic system that benefits not only investors, corporate executives and the rich, but also benefit those at the lowest level. At the very least, anyone working hard for 40 hours a week should be making a living wage.”

  • When a Republican states something like “The Dixicrats of the 1960s were Democrats, so Sen. Lott’s problem is actually a problem shared by both parties," respond with “That’s a deliberate distortion and Mr. X knows it. Prior to the 60s the Republican party in the South was irrelevant. The two parties in the South prior to the 60s were the Bourbon Democrats and the populist Democrats…etc.” (Explained here)

  • When the appropriate occasion arises: “Come on Mr. X, integrity doesn’t mean just that you don’t lie, but that you tell the whole truth. And you have to know that…”

     If any of these sounds too crude, note that Republicans have been even more strident in their treatment of Democrats, which is probably a major reason for their successes. The Democrats hoped that voters would see through their boorish demagogic behaviors. Instead, they just saw the Republicans as sincere believers with conviction. Now it’s time to take the gloves off, and we don’t even have to lie or tell half-truths to do it. Just tell the unvarnished whole truth with enthusiasm.

     Incidentally, how can such nice people [Republicans] be so devious? They have such high standards for personal conduct, and most have honestly convinced themselves that a plutocratic aristocracy is best for society. Therein is the answer. An integral part of a belief in aristocracy is the accompanying notion that the general public is not competent to exercise proper judgment in matters of politics and finance. Therefore, it’s perfectly correct for the educated and wealthy elite to do whatever it takes, even deliberately lie, to mold public opinion in ways that allow the aristocracy to thrive.