The “double-down” lie is a significant ingredient in the deterioration of productive political dialogue. Critical thought has been replaced with the sound bite. The idea is when caught in a lie, DO NOT be contrite; become indignant and repeat the lie and keep repeating it. Today, there are no consequences for lying; ergo a lie is as good as a truth. Somewhere Orwell shakes his head. The lie as a tool to control and manipulate the citizenry is as old as human civilization itself, however with today’s myriad means of dissemination of information and our willful buffet selectivity of data we are, at best, hobbled when it comes to making informed decisions and at worst incapable.
An essay in another local Key West publication’s op-ed page was a sterling example of the doubling down of right wing nonsense. I read with stunned incredulity Thomas Sowell’s diatribe on “gun control zealots” and their lack of factual evidence in making the case for gun control legislation. Mr. Sowell uses the word “zealot” numerous times (9) to drive home his belief that anyone advocating for sane gun laws is a traitorous unbalanced fanatic. He goes on to describe “mountains of data” that gun restriction has no affect on gun death and that “restrictions actually increase gun deaths”. Balderdash.
A few minutes of web searching and you soon discover Mr. Sowell is nothing more than a shill for the highly lucrative gun industry. In reality the mountains of actual data disputes the entire thrust of his essay. Sure, one can find obscure sites that proclaim the virtuousness of guns and their owners, but the consensus from respectable bona fide sources consistently bears out the connection between stricter gun laws and less murder and mayhem. In the real world there are no absolutes. No laws end crime completely, but they sure as hell can reduce it.
It disgusts and saddens me that I have to even write this letter in defense of rational thought.