Why You’ll Never Convince Ryan Supporters His Facts Are Wrong

How to Make Government Work
Aug. 30 2012 3:19 PM

Why You’ll Never Convince Ryan Supporters His Facts Are Wrong

150990554
Paul Ryan’s distortions about everything from the auto plant to Medicare are fundamental and horrendous

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Thinking folks who listened to Paul Ryan’s speech last night may feel as though they are stuck inside a bottle, screaming louder and louder and still not being heard. Ryan’s big lies keep resonating with the public. We keep saying that if that public only heard the truth, they would turn against him and Mitt Romney. If only it were so easy.

Of course—as is now well-documented—Ryan’s distortions about everything from the auto plant to Medicare are fundamental and horrendous. But we all should have learned by now that people understand the facts, or what is alleged to be factual, in a way that will conform to their pre-existing worldview. So the odds of convincing any significant number of voters who believe the Ryan-Romney myths that those myths are false are pretty slim. This is a divided electorate with virtually no undecided voters remaining.  Passion, not logic, will determine the victor. Turnout will decide the election. Hence, the Ryan-Romney strategy is to show no doubt, raise the decibel level, and keep pounding. Facts, as they have admitted, will not be the guiding force in their campaign. 

Advertisement

Paul Ryan’s bleating about a credit downgrade that resulted from his own party’s obstinacy about the debt ceiling is no better than Tea Party seniors on Medicare screaming: “Get government out of my Medicare.” But this hypocrisy won’t change, and we should stop expecting it to.

We have a binary choice ahead of us: a theologically driven Republican ticket that denies science, reason, logic, and fact, or a president who was too willing to negotiate for no gain, but at least is now fighting the fight. So while we will never stop trying to convert the probably unconvertible, let’s make sure we focus on getting those on our side of the aisle to take the election seriously and turn out to vote.

Eliot Spitzer, the former governor of the state of New York, hosts Viewpoint on Current TV. Follow @eliotspitzer on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.