Since the Bolsheviks inaugurated the first edition of their party newspaper Pravda (the Russian word for truth), the left has shaped truth to serve its goals. On an individual level, there are plenty of progressives who are honest and plenty of conservatives who aren’t. But truth is just not a left-wing value — feminism, environmentalism, material equality, and fighting racism, sexism, homophobia and Islamophobia are far more important.
The myriad falsehood-based hysterias unleashed by the left in our country — the alleged heterosexual AIDS epidemic in America, the number of homeless people, the number of deaths from anorexia, the current charges of a “war on women” in our society and of a “culture of rape” on American college campuses, the immediate assertion that the killing of a black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri was caused by racist police — testify to the left’s cavalier attitude toward truth.
The latest shaping of truth is almost funny because the left’s claims are so transparently self-serving. Since last Tuesday’s elections, commentator after commentator on the left has declared American politics “dysfunctional.” When Democrats win by a landslide, the left regards the vote as testimony to the great message of the left and the good sense of the American people. Only when Republicans win by a landslide does the vote reflect dysfunction.
Here is the first sentence of New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof’s post-election column:
“Let’s face it: The American political system is broken.”
Here is the first sentence of New York Times columnist Tom Friedman’s post-election column:
“We’ve just had a nonsense midterm election.”
According to the left, the lopsided Republican win last Tuesday wasn’t a repudiation of the Democratic Party, let alone of its belief in ever-expanding government. Rather it was a repudiation of “Washington’s dysfunction.” The voters were sending a message, the argument goes, not to Democrats, but to Washington. The message? That they are sick of the inaction and dysfunction there.
A second explanation on the left is related to the first. The elections were a repudiation of Congress. Thus, Kristof’s second sentence: “A poll last year found Congress rated lower than cockroaches.”
I checked that poll. It is no wonder Kristof didn’t cite the name. Readers might ask, “What poll is that?” and “Cockroaches? Are you serious?” It was conducted in October 2013 by an obscure polling group, “Pubic Policy Polling,” that showed that Americans prefer cockroaches to Congress.
Does Kristof really believe that? Doesn’t anyone not predisposed to believing in self-serving explanations not recognize how absurd that is? Who prefers cockroaches to Congress? And that poll gets even more absurd: Americans, it claims, “have a lower opinion of [Congress] than … hemorrhoids and even witches.”
But it was so important to Kristof to explain last week’s vote as a rejection of Congress and Washington dysfunction that he favorably cited such transparent nonsense.
Another example of the Democrats’ dishonesty regarding the election is that of President Obama.
As the Washington Post reported, “Despite saying repeatedly that his policies were on the ballot Tuesday, Obama insisted Wednesday that the message of the election wasn’t a rejection of those policies.”
How does anyone, let alone a president, say “Make no mistake: These policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them” shortly before an election, and thoroughly deny that on the day after the elections?
There is one incontrovertible proof that all this talk about the election’s being about a dysfunctional Congress — in the president’s words “a sign that the American public wanted politicians to work together to get things done” — is, to put it nicely, phony. That proof is the state elections. People don’t vote for their governor or for their state assemblies because of how they feel about Washington and its alleged dysfunction.
Yet the Democrats were trounced in state after state elections, including some of the most liberal states.
As reported by the National Conference of State Legislatures on Wednesday, Democrats lost their majorities in the West Virginia House, Nevada Assembly and Senate, New Hampshire House, Minnesota House, New York Senate, Maine Senate, Colorado Senate, Washington Senate and New Mexico House. The vote also increased the number of state legislative chambers with Republican majorities to 67 from 57 (out of a total of 99).
Tim Storey, the bipartisan group’s election analyst, observed, “Democrats will control the lowest number of state legislatures since 1860.”
Not to mention the fact that Republican governors were elected in such liberal states as Massachusetts, Illinois and Maryland and retained in liberal Michigan and Wisconsin.
All because of Washington dysfunction?
Apparently, the left really believes its version of truth.
For America’s sake, let’s hope they continue to do so through 2016.
Dennis Prager’s latest book, “Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph,” was published by HarperCollins.