How does a simple lie turn into a grand scheme? It's easy: just say something outrageous and 20% of American will believe it because you said it. That's the sorry state of affairs in dumbed-down America.
Enter former New York GOP lieutenant governor, Betsy McCaughey. She is a fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute and, not surprisingly, on the Board of Directors of Cantel Medical Corporation.
During the Clinton years, McCaughey spent much energy and lots of OpEd ink condemning the Clinton Health Care proposal back in the 90's writing many columns against the plan in the conservative New Republic. Many of the claims she made were false, yet Andrew Sullivan, The New Republic's then-editor, later acknowledged "I was aware of the piece's flaws but nonetheless was comfortable running it as a provocation to debate." Provocation rather than fact.
Fast forward to July 17, 2009. Ms. McCaughey learned that, no matter what the facts are, there is an audience that will 'believe' what she says. No doubt encouraged by Cantel Medical and the Hudson Institute, McCaughey said in a radio interview on that date,
"Congress would make it mandatory, absolutely require, that every five years, people in Medicare have a required counseling session that will tell them how to end their life sooner."
It was a lie. A pure bald-faced lie. Just like her OpEd lie 15 years ago, she said whatever was in her clients best interest.
And the 20% ran with it, swallowing the lie, and burping up their ignorant anger!
Man Tan John Boehner moved the lie forward 6 days later, and the none-too-bright Sarah Palin enhanced it 14 days after that with her dopey, "evil health care" statement.
That's all it takes here in the land of the free and home of the dumb. One needs only a few 'authority figures' to say something and the 20-percenters run with it as if it came directly from the preacher's mouth on Sunday.
In fact, that is my point.
I have come to the conclusion that there is a wild knot of people here in America who are very easily bamboozled by 'authority figures,' both in the pulpit and in politics. I think that one as led to the other. The mind of the evangelical, fundamentalist christian is such an easily manipulative sponge that whatever the preacher says, the congregation says, 'Amen!'
The right-wing of the Republican Party learned long ago just how easy it is to capture the sponge-mind of these people. The abortion issue is the prime example. The GOP and its minions 'preach' the anti-abortion pap that is quickly absorbed and 'believed' by the fundamentalists. The GOP politicians are elected, Roe v. Wade remains. Hoodwink.
Enter Betsy McCaughey. To the angry, sponge-minded people who are still upset with the election of Obama, she spoke the 'truth' that they wanted to hear. And they ran and babbled it wherever they could.
Now, after the lie was revealed, they are labeled the Deathers. Some must feel some embarrassment over being pimped, but the vast majority, I bet, don't give a damn- they still hate Obama and will look for any talking head, any OpEd column, any talk-radio host to feed their anger and resentment. The truth is not important. It is what they' believe.' And the fundamentalist christians patsies lead the propaganda parade.