The Big Lies We Cannot Question

The following was posted on social media recently by a widely respected California-based journalist:

I don’t like being an alarmist but the epidemic of misinformation is becoming critical and increasingly dangerous. It was bad enough when we had a lying POTUS but it is now clear that it’s become a political tactic of a large part of one of our main political parties. And, if one major party can get away with mass lying, so can the other one, so I fear this will spread across ideological boundaries.

It’s fair to say this reflects a majority opinion among journalists throughout the American media, and it invites a response. This journalist accuses “one of our main political parties” of engaging in “mass lying,” obviously referring to the Republicans and obviously blind to the lies promulgated by the Democrats.

The biggest lie allegedly spread by Republicans, now called “The Big Lie,” is to claim the 2020 election was illegitimate. But even if the 2020 election was not compromised due to a relentlessly hostile and partisan media, endless political persecution designed to damage Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, voting rules that were violated and manipulated in swing states, Zuckerbucks, and possibly much more, this assertion still isn’t a Republican “lie.” For better or for worse, there are diverse opinions within the ranks of Republicans. Some think it was a stolen election; others don’t.

But no such dissent exists among Democrats over some of the biggest lies ever told.

The lies Democrats unanimously affirm, with the active complicity of almost every major American institution, are treated as background facts. To deny any of them is to spread “misinformation.” They have become the premises upon which reports are prepared, decisions are made, debates are framed, and policies are imposed. They’re so ubiquitous that if you’re not a skeptic, you don’t even notice. 

Collectively, these lies are destroying our civilization.

Perhaps the biggest lie in terms of how it is going to damage the prosperity and freedom of Americans is the so-called “climate emergency.” Almost every major news network now devotes a significant portion of its headline content to what used to be relegated to local television weather reports. Once in a great while, a massively destructive hurricane used to dominate national news. Nowadays, every major heatwave and every big storm is heralded as evidence of devastating “climate change.” These events are often tragic and should never be trivialized, but the implication is that any measure, no matter how draconian, is justified to supposedly stop them.

The reality of climate change is not in dispute. The Big Lie is that we face a “climate emergency.” That lie, in turn, is built on many lies: Anthropogenic CO2 is the sole cause of climate change. The most likely climate scenarios are catastrophic if we don’t act now. Weather has never before been this extreme. Renewable energy is more sustainable and climate-friendly than conventional energy. We can accomplish dramatic reductions in CO2 emissions without destroying the American middle class. It is feasible to replace fossil fuels. Humans have to be concentrated in cities because that is more “climate-friendly.” Other nations will follow our example, regardless of the consequences. People who question the climate emergency are “deniers” and should be marginalized if not prosecuted. Global warming is certain to cause more harm than good.

An honest fact checker would rate every one of these assertions as “mostly false.”

These lies are necessary for politicians, backed up by opportunistic industries, aggrandizing public bureaucracies, and fanatical zealots to further their interests at the expense of the American people. These lies are not subjected to even the mildest objective scrutiny by America’s media or academia, much less the withering, hopelessly biased analyses those same journalists and academics use to debunk any challenges to the integrity of the 2020 presidential election.

Another assortment of big lies arises in the Democrat adherence to woke race and gender ideology. Some of the many lies attendant to this ideology include: 21st-century America is systemically racist against people of color. America can have open borders without reforming its system of welfare entitlements. A colorblind meritocracy is racist. SAT scores are not predictive of success in higher education. Mathematics and engineering pedagogy is racist. White supremacists commit the majority of hate crimes. Incarceration of criminals does not deter crime and reduce crime rates. Men can menstruate and have children. Women can have penises. Teaching 5-year-old kids that they can choose their “gender” does not confuse them. “Gender-affirming” puberty blockers are a legitimate medical treatment for children. The list goes on.

If the big lie of the climate emergency will leave Americans destitute and without their freedom, the big lie of woke ideology is going to destroy American culture. Maybe that is the intent. Underlying most of the woke lies is the notion that cultural norms and expectations don’t matter or do more harm than good, and that instead the most important goals for a society should be to achieve equality of outcome across every institution and at every level, and to avoid offending anyone. This is impossible.

A vivid example of woke ideology personified is Sam Brinton. This man has decided that he can publicly flaunt his revolutionary sexuality while simultaneously performing his role as the deputy assistant secretary of spent fuel and waste disposition in the U.S. Office of Nuclear Energy. It isn’t necessarily Brinton’s choice to live as a “nonbinary” that is the problem—it’s that he chooses to dress in a manner that he knows will distract nearly anyone with whom he has official interactions from issues that involve the security of nuclear waste, to instead notice the bright red lipstick he’s applied immediately beneath his thick mustache.

If Brinton wants to be an LGBTQ activist, he should do that. It’s still a free country. But it is selfish and unprofessional for him to make sure the first thing people notice about him are his eccentricities when he has a serious government job that is completely unrelated to his sexuality.

A lot of conservatives, myself included, have not focused on gender issues. When gays got the right to marry, many of us said live and let live. But the sexually correct expectations of woke society have progressed well beyond accepting gay marriage, to the point where we cannot look at someone as obviously performative as Sam Brinton representing our nation, and say “that’s weird and inappropriate.” If we say this, Democrats call us bigots. And that, too, is a lie. Norms exist for a reason. They are a survival trait. Reluctance to precipitously discard them is not bigotry, it’s sanity.

The biggest lie, then, is to suggest that Republicans are spreading lies and misinformation, and Democrats are not. In any healthy democracy you are going to have hyperbole emanate from every side. And our media, backed up by our once trusted institutions, are doing everything they can to marginalize as hyperbolic and untruthful the political party that is still dedicated to preserving our prosperity, freedom, and culture. At the same time, they are promoting countless harmful lies that constitute the base currency of their partisan favorites, the Democrats.

Partisan journalists claim to be concerned about “mass lying.” But their ideological bias prevents them from questioning the lies they believe, or considering the truth in things they don’t believe. As a result, the epidemic of misinformation they help spread is becoming critical and increasingly dangerous.

About Edward Ring

Edward Ring is a senior fellow of the Center for American Greatness. He is also is a contributing editor and senior fellow with the California Policy Center, which he co-founded in 2013 and served as its first president. Ring is the author of Fixing California: Abundance, Pragmatism, Optimism (2021) and The Abundance Choice: Our Fight for More Water in California (2022).

Photo: Thierry Monasse/Getty Images

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