Many of my family and friends are vulnerable to Republican lies. They are honest people, quietly proud of their integrity, and they assume others are too. They are reluctant to believe one party is flat-out lying.
That's why the Romney/Ryan RNC lie-fest the last few nights has unnerved me.
Paul Ryan's speech was so dishonest, some in the media actually did their jobs (for once) rather than merely swooning over his smooth delivery and those earnest blue eyes. But other speakers, who didn't lie as constantly through their speeches, were allowed to rewrite history with minimal dispute.
Even if fact-checkers were willing to carefully enumerate each lie with links to the public record, who but the most dedicated political junkies would actually absorb the sordid details? And with piles of billionaire money airing Romney/Ryan lies 24/7, there simply aren't enough fact-checkers in the world to keep up.
That's why we need to do what we can to make the truth clear and easy to understand at a personal level--at least to those who are on the fence and open to persuasion.
Fortunately, it’s not that hard to do with the Medicare lie.
I'm certainly no expert in campaign communication (this is my second diary and I've never run for office, for pete's sake!), but I stumbled my way into an analogy for the Medicare lie that has worked well in my circles and is really easy to grasp.
I posted it in a couple of comments, and DKos user phonegery thought it diary-worthy (thank you!), so here it is. Please join me below the orange pig-in-a-blanket to find out how groceries debunk the Medicare lie and reveal the sliminess of modern Republican liars.
The analogy I've used to dispel the Medicare lie with family, friends, and on Facebook with great results so far is this:
"If my husband had been spending an average of $1,000 a month on groceries, but then started using the sale flyers and coupons to buy the same groceries for $800, how would you describe the difference? Did he ‘steal’ $200 from our grocery budget? Or did he ‘save’ $200?"
[Right there, the light bulb goes on.]
I continue: “Keep in mind, we’re still buying and eating the same food, but the store and the food & beverage industry are getting a little bit less. They’re okay with that, though, because the sales and coupons draw new customers. In the same way, in health care terms, Medicare recipients are still getting the same coverage as before (even better coverage—more on that in a sec) but the hospitals and insurers are getting paid a little bit less. But they’re okay with that because of the huge influx of new patients entering the health care system through Obamacare.
“Now you can see how [idiotic/ridiculous/devious/effed up] the Romney/Ryan Medicare lie really is."
I then go on to explain that the $200 we saved on groceries can now be spent on food "extras," like going out to dinner several times or buying more fresh produce. That's like President Obama using the Medicare savings to close the prescription drug donut hole and allow seniors access to free preventive care, cancer screenings, etc. through Obamacare. (Not a perfect comparison, of course, because seniors being able to afford medication matters way more than going out to dinner.)
Compare this to Romney/Ryan who would use the same flyers and coupons to save the same exact $200, but instead of using the savings on food extras for our family (or, heck, even moving it out of our food budget to pay down family debt), they would send it to my rich uncle so he could stash it overseas.
So there you have it. Simple. Everyone understands groceries!
Once people get it, they’re irritated or even angry at Romney/Ryan for being so deceptive. It's given me an "in" to bring up the welfare lie. And it seems like revealing the cynicism of the Medicare lie might help inoculate people from other blatant lies.
I keep reminding my family and friends to think of this Medicare lie every time they hear something that sounds awful--in other words, pretty much every time Romney or Ryan opens his mouth--and to remember how easily Ryan feigned disappointment and affront while lying through his teeth about improvements and savings in Medicare. Once people understand these candidates' propensity to lie, every claim will be subject to skepticism and scrutiny.
That should have Romney/Ryan unnerved: If the truth breaks through, we win.
Sun Sep 02, 2012 at 10:08 AM PT: Wow! Thank you so much for the comments and recs! (Hungrycoyote, I’m looking at you especially! You built this!) I’m overwhelmed.
As someone who is pretty severely disabled, I’m often frustrated that I can’t do more for the Obama reelection campaign. I do what I can, volunteering behind the scenes, but read longingly of opportunities to canvass or phone bank and wish I had the physical abilities to do either or both. So it thrills me to know that some of you plan to put this analogy to work in your phone banking and canvassing—it feels like I get to go along vicariously through you, and for that I am very grateful!