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As the old political adage tells us, a lie can be halfway around the world before truth gets its boots on.
The Karl-Rovian, Swift-Boatian school of smear politics relies on this lag time to discombobulate any real political debate and try to slip their candidates into office on nonsense. Sadly, we’re seeing another such effort this year by John McCain and his hatchetmen.
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But this time, truth has at least a fighting chance to catch up with the lies, thanks to a democratic mechanism that Barack Obama’s campaign has mastered: the Internet. They have a web page called “Fight the Smears,” giving him the ability to communicate directly and instantly with millions of people to refute untruths.
For example, one smear slung at him asserts that he isn’t an American, claiming that he cannot produce his birth certificate. But on the website, the campaign coolly and authoritatively responds by putting up a copy of his U.S. birth certificate for all to see. In another smear, the Republican Party ran TV ads distorting a comment by Michelle Obama, making it seem as though she is not proud of our country. In response, the website notes that even Laura Bush has refuted this malicious silliness, and it shows a video of her comments.
What about the “fact” that Obama is a Muslim, that he refuses to say the Pledge of Allegiance with his hand over his heart, that he wouldn’t take time to visit our troops on an overseas trip, that there’s no American flag painted on the outside of his campaign plane… and on and on? Lies, all – but he doesn’t have to hope that the establishment media will eventually catch up with the truth; instead, he can do it himself, informing people directly. Check it out yourself at mybarackobama.com. You can find the fight the smears page in the blog section of the website.
“Fight the Smears,” September 2008