Archive for August 28, 2015

What is it with conservatives and their rampant propagation of chain emails, photos and Facebook posts that are outright lies? One would think that if their arguments and positions are sound, then they wouldn’t need to resort to such tactics. But sadly, the Internet age has brought them front and center.

I bring this up because a Facebook friend shared this Facebook post the other day:

Robert Rosie Rosenkranz' Facebook post, in which he falsely claims that a photograph of the wall along the United States / Mexico border in Arizona is actually a wall that Mexico built on its border with Guatemala.

Robert Rosie Rosenkranz’ Facebook post, in which he falsely claims that a photograph of the wall along the United States / Mexico border in Arizona is actually a wall that Mexico built on its border with Guatemala.

The Facebook user who posted the photo, Robert Rosie Rosenkranz, claims “This is the gigantic WALL that Mexico built on the Guatemalan border. Hummmm. Imagine that? I guess it is not racist for Mexico to build a wall to keep Guatemalans out.”

Some other Facebook users pointed out that the photograph does not depict the Mexico / Guatmala border, but is actually a photograph of the wall along the United States / Mexico border in Arizona. That didn’t stop Robert Rosie Rosenkranz and his duped conservative friends from posting more fake photos of the Mexico / Guatemala border.

Notice that the photo has been shared over 23,000 times. Even after it was pointed out by several commenters that the photograph was a fake, other users continued to comment as though it is legit. Welcome to the Internet age of conservative misinformation. Apparently, critical thinking is not a strong suit among conservatives.

So what to make of Robert Rosie Rosenkranz’ motives? If he was sincere, he would have acknowledge the error of his post once it was brought to his attention. Instead, he has continued to post more false photos of the supposed Mexico / Guatemala border.

My first personal encounter with this conservative tactic was in January 2008, when I received an email entitled, “FOR ALL TO KNOW….WHO IS BARACK OBAMA,….READ THIS ONE!!!!!!” Now, I barely knew who Barack Obama was at the time. I read the email. It didn’t pass the smell test, but it did advise, “We checked this out on ‘snopes.com’. It is factual. Check for yourself.” So I did. It wasn’t.

Then there was the one about Obama’s draconian income tax plan. The email (intentionally) failed to take into account how marginal tax rates work, instead calculating taxes owed based on the using the highest marginal tax rate on an individual’s entire income. I corrected these as I got them, but I soon grew tired of it and realized that it didn’t really matter because no amount of correction would cause them to stop.

Things like this–especially the “FOR ALL WE KNOW” email–simply help drive me to the Obama campaign. Incidentally, I exchange email with dozens of former Obama volunteers, and I have never received lies like this from them. Rather, this seems to be a conservative thing to do.

Which brings me back to the beginning of this post. If conservative positions are as sound as they claim they are, then why do they need to persistently and repeatedly lie? Why do they need to dupe other people in order to bring them to their point of view?

Advertisements