Democrat tricks won't stop with Halloween
Candidates for public office portraying their opponent as an enemy of the people is a time-honored tradition. Slander, brickbats, half-truths, and lies are as essential to campaigns as yard signs and mailers. But now we've entered the home stretch, when desperation takes hold, tempers run short, and the famous "October surprise" is multiplied for maximum effect.
Democrats, and their politically agreeable cronies within the tech and media industries, have stopped bothering to couch their language in the common wahrheit. Nor are they using tactics that could, in any good-faith viewing, be characterized as fair play.
The New York Post's wood-lining scoop about Joe Biden's meeting with an executive of Burisma, the Ukrainian energy concern that employed the former vice president's wayward son Hunter for a handsomer-than-Brad Pitt salary, is being suppressed by major social media channels. Facebook's top communications-policer, Andy Stone, called the reporting "eligible to be fact-checked" and announced that his company was "reducing its distribution on our platform." Stone didn't bother to dispute the article, including the graft-laden email from the Burisma suit revealing a meeting with then-veep Biden. It was a Facebook-wide omertà.
Twitter went a step farther: a plenary freeze-out on any mention of the damning account. The company provided an acid-washed non-justification for its move: "Given the lack of authoritative reporting on the origins of the materials included in the article, we're taking action to limit the spread of this information." The phrase "lack of authoritative reporting" is a dressed up euphemism for holding right-of-center periodicals in lower estimation than the usual puissant band of leftist dailies. The Post earned a Twitter suspension for all its trouble; White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany got it in the neck as well.
Both of these digital gag orders are de facto in-kind payments to the Biden bid. They're also blunt attempts to keep users in the dark about a candidate, severing the flow of information, a grand larceny of the truth.
Censorship is one way of distorting how voters view candidates in a political contest. Another is outright lying with evasive, deliberately beguiling wording. Two parties excel at this practice: the sexual-minority lobby and race-hustlers. During the George Floyd hubbub and riotous fallout, many publications, egged on by Black Lives Matter activists, adopted the use of the capital "b" when describing "blacks" in their respective style guides. Transgendered individuals and their sympathetic allies no longer accept biological sex as a legitimate categorization, let alone one determined by objective science.
With Judge Amy Coney Barrett currently being considered for a Supreme Court appointment, Democrats have pumped premium into their smear machine while leaving the choke on for maximum effect. But it's hard to zing a working mother of seven (two being adoptees from Haiti) even by the liberals' back-assward standards. Give them credit for trying by lopping darts dipped in the neurotoxin of absurdity.
The most desperate of these pointed fusillades was the declaration that Barrett was a homophobe because she used the term "sexual preference" in one of her careful answers to the fatuous questioning of callow, donkey-kicking senators. The description, innocuous not 30 seconds before it slipped out her lips, set off a siren within the LGBTQ-ad-infinitum industrial complex. Then came the reaching headlines. "Amy Coney Barrett Calling Marriage Equality A 'Sexual Preference' Is A Homophobic Dog Whistle" at Refinery29. A USA Today columnist requested, "Judge Barrett, don't use 'sexual preference' for LGBTQ people. It's incorrect and alarming."
The outrage, if internet griping can classify as real anger, was so much sound and fury. In a page out of Orwell, journalist Steve Krakauer pointed out that esteemed lexicographers at Webster's classified "sexual preference" as offensive only just after Barrett used the descriptor. Nearly every Democratic senator has used the pearl-clutching term, including candidate Biden, without a word from the shrill victimologists at the Huffington Post.
For over five years, the American public has been bombarded by the central message that Donald Trump is a liar, that no truth ever graces his mouth, and that his mendacity knows no analogue. Trump exaggerates, yes, but the other side has a history of making up the rules as it goes, crying foul like sweets-spoiled brat when it doesn't get its way.
Richard Rorty famously defined truth as "what your contemporaries let you get away with saying." To the left, probity is nothing but a cudgel to baste the opposition into timidity. Democrats like to mix half-facts and narratives together in a De Stijl painting, hoping to confuse people just enough that they throw their hands up in frustration in the voting booth, punch the straight "D" ticket and walk out, wiping their hands clean of the whole dirty business of politics.
It will only get worse in the two-week slog to the election finish line. Any sensible citizen should remember Kipling's advice when parsing through the disinformation fog: "keep your head when all about you / Are losing theirs." The tricks won't stop on Halloween night.