Sunday, September 19, 2004

Standard Issue Republican Hate-Mongering

Here's another exampel of Republican dirty tricks. Washington Monthly reports that the Republicans are sending campaign letters to voters in West Virginia suggesting that the Democrats will ban the Bible if elected.

The literature shows a Bible with the word "BANNED" across it and a photo of a man, on his knees, placing a ring on the hand of another man with the word "ALLOWED." The mailing tells West Virginians to "vote Republican to protect our families" and defeat the "liberal agenda."

Now, if I were an intelligent (though unscrupulous) republican, this is where I would say, "It's a metaphor, people! it's symbolic of the idea that by passing these laws, antithetical to the bible, the liberals are removing the bible from the public discourse!" I would then add, "sheesh" and go make fun of paranoid democrats with my conservative friends. (I would try to hide the smirk until that point.)

However, that answer is a cheat. Because, in fact, liberals (not all liberals everywhere, of course, but some liberals - not the ones running for president, probably not the ones running for any office in West Virginia) are in fact the ones advocating that gay marriages be allowed. So that part of the mailing is, in fact, literally true (if you discount the fact that the liberals doing this terrible thing are in far off Massachusetts and Northern California and places like that, and are not running for president.) So - if you combine two ideas - banning the bible and allowing gay marriages - and one refers to something that is literally true (in some parts of the country) - can you then claim that the other does not refer to something that is literally true? At which point - since no liberals anywhere are trying to ban the bible, in any literal, symbolic or other sense - doesn't this letter become a base lie and a dirty trick?

The last word then, to an ACT spokesman:

Jim Jordan, a spokesman for America Coming Together, described the mailing as "standard-issue Republican hate-mongering."

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