Reality: Product of the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy
Leonard Pitts Jr.
It was one of those jokes that isn't, one of those barbs that captures something painfully true, allows you to see it with clarity you never could if viewing straight on. It's worth noting that Colbert said this years before that jump-the-shark moment last week when conservatives accused the
Most of us considered this good news. Because it validates President Obama's narrative of a slowly-improving economy, many conservatives did not. They called the figure a fraud -- "monkey business," in the words of
And so it goes in the conservative War on Reality.
Not that this was the first salvo in said war. Just before the numbers came out, conservatives were working to discredit polls that showed President Obama leading
You see, the war goes back a ways. Back to Sen.
Heck, it goes back to the Bush administration cutting inconvenient facts from government reports, back to Bush brushing aside a pessimistic report on
The point here -- this cannot be overemphasized -- is not ideology. Rather, it is about the fact that we cannot effectively debate ideology if we do not have a body of facts in common.
Under such circumstances, political discourse must devolve into incoherence. We cannot discuss what color to paint the room if we cannot agree on what constitutes red or green -- or the room. We literally have no shared language with which to even have the discussion.
This is the legacy of the War on Reality. Some of us live under a new ethos, fueled and abetted by Fox, the Internet and talk radio, which holds that facts are optional and reality, multiple choice -- and that anyone who questions this is part of the conspiracy against you. The results have not been pretty. When, in the history of American political discourse, have conservatives -- some, not all -- seemed more paranoid, put-upon and ready to believe themselves the victims of outlandish plots?
Now, we reach a sobering watershed. Who knew even the professional numbers crunchers in the
Hearing that, one must believe one of two things: either math also has a liberal bias, or, it is time to ask ourselves what becomes of a country where problem-solving is paralyzed because problem solvers cannot agree on a common reality?
Math, should it need saying, has no liberal bias. So give that question some hard thought. After all, we have only the one country. We may not share the same reality, but we will certainly share the same fate.
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Reality: Product of the Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy | Politics
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