The Big Lie

Democrats, including presumptive Presidential nominee John Forbes Kerry, have learned well the art of the Big Lie. Assert early and often something contrary to the truth, and it will be repeated by others (especially by allies in the press). The sheer repetition will lend the presumption of truth to the assertion, particularly among the vast majority who don't pay close attention to political matters.

 

At the moment, the strategy is being executed brilliantly. Consider two propositions relentlessly being sold to the public.

 

1)     It is difficult to find a Kerry campaign function without a prominent round sign proclaiming the candidate to be 'The Real Deal.' In the field of phoniness, it is difficult to find a competitor who can surpass the achievements of John Kerry. The man who pretended to toss his Vietnam medals over a fence at the Capitol, only to later display those same medals on his office wall and admit that he borrowed someone else's medals for the protest knows a lot about phoniness. The man who relentlessly runs as a war hero with three Purple Hearts, but who suffered only one day's absence from duty to recover from his wounds, refuses to release his military records. The man who married wealth in the hundreds of millions of dollars — twice — masquerades as a fighter for the little guy. The man who attended St. Patrick's Day Breakfasts in Southie for years, celebrating 'our heritage' turns out to have Brahmin (Protestant) and Jewish ancestors, but nary a son or daughter of the auld sod among them.

 

Democrats hope that they can inoculate Kerry from the deserved label of a phony by early and often asserting the contrary.

 

2)     The Republicans are conducting a dirty campaign, smearing the patriotism of Kerry and his allies. No one has been able to find a single instance of any Republican of any gravity doing so, but Democrats are repeating the assertion that mentioning the voting record of the candidate amounts to questioning his patriotism. Meanwhile, Democrat spokes assail President Bush as a liar and stone—hearted meanie, in the most purple of prose.

 

The long eight months ahead of us offer a laboratory to test the ability of the Big Lie Strategy to work over an extended period.

 

Only a decade and a half ago, the odds would have strongly favored the Democrats. Their allies in the Big Media reigned supreme, and all but unquestioned, except by a few small fringe outlets. But today, there is a critical mass of media, from talk radio to Fox News to the web universe of blogs which thrive on raising serious questions about the received wisdom peddled by the old guys of the liberal Establishment.

 

The public has also become accustomed to the fun of defrocking the pious priesthood of political correctness. Dan Rather does not enjoy the trust which his predecessor Walter Cronkhite wielded so deftly as a weapon against the war in Vietnam. Rather is, as much as anything, an object of fun. Conservatives have adopted the weapon of ridicule, and ridicule is one of the most devastating penalties a public figure can endure.

 

So ask yourself, is John F. Kerry in danger of being ridiculed? Will his appeal fade enough over the next two thirds of a year that people will become sick and tired of his mournful face, run—on sentences, and monotone dirges? Is he likely to become the butt of jokes?

 

I think the questions answer themselves.

Democrats, including presumptive Presidential nominee John Forbes Kerry, have learned well the art of the Big Lie. Assert early and often something contrary to the truth, and it will be repeated by others (especially by allies in the press). The sheer repetition will lend the presumption of truth to the assertion, particularly among the vast majority who don't pay close attention to political matters.

 

At the moment, the strategy is being executed brilliantly. Consider two propositions relentlessly being sold to the public.

 

1)     It is difficult to find a Kerry campaign function without a prominent round sign proclaiming the candidate to be 'The Real Deal.' In the field of phoniness, it is difficult to find a competitor who can surpass the achievements of John Kerry. The man who pretended to toss his Vietnam medals over a fence at the Capitol, only to later display those same medals on his office wall and admit that he borrowed someone else's medals for the protest knows a lot about phoniness. The man who relentlessly runs as a war hero with three Purple Hearts, but who suffered only one day's absence from duty to recover from his wounds, refuses to release his military records. The man who married wealth in the hundreds of millions of dollars — twice — masquerades as a fighter for the little guy. The man who attended St. Patrick's Day Breakfasts in Southie for years, celebrating 'our heritage' turns out to have Brahmin (Protestant) and Jewish ancestors, but nary a son or daughter of the auld sod among them.

 

Democrats hope that they can inoculate Kerry from the deserved label of a phony by early and often asserting the contrary.

 

2)     The Republicans are conducting a dirty campaign, smearing the patriotism of Kerry and his allies. No one has been able to find a single instance of any Republican of any gravity doing so, but Democrats are repeating the assertion that mentioning the voting record of the candidate amounts to questioning his patriotism. Meanwhile, Democrat spokes assail President Bush as a liar and stone—hearted meanie, in the most purple of prose.

 

The long eight months ahead of us offer a laboratory to test the ability of the Big Lie Strategy to work over an extended period.

 

Only a decade and a half ago, the odds would have strongly favored the Democrats. Their allies in the Big Media reigned supreme, and all but unquestioned, except by a few small fringe outlets. But today, there is a critical mass of media, from talk radio to Fox News to the web universe of blogs which thrive on raising serious questions about the received wisdom peddled by the old guys of the liberal Establishment.

 

The public has also become accustomed to the fun of defrocking the pious priesthood of political correctness. Dan Rather does not enjoy the trust which his predecessor Walter Cronkhite wielded so deftly as a weapon against the war in Vietnam. Rather is, as much as anything, an object of fun. Conservatives have adopted the weapon of ridicule, and ridicule is one of the most devastating penalties a public figure can endure.

 

So ask yourself, is John F. Kerry in danger of being ridiculed? Will his appeal fade enough over the next two thirds of a year that people will become sick and tired of his mournful face, run—on sentences, and monotone dirges? Is he likely to become the butt of jokes?

 

I think the questions answer themselves.