Those of you with the stomach for it know that if you follow right-wing rhetoric by politicians long enough, you can pick up on the latest inaccurate claims du jour. But for a long time, many of us dismissed their talk as transparent hyperbole unworthy of attention or feared that repeating their nonsense would make it seem more legitimate. As a result, last year, our state spent millions in taxpayer money for legislators to debate imaginary problems like voter fraud and we've seen state laws crippled by rumors, myths and religious beliefs.
I believe it is time to systematically start calling out elected right-wing politicians on their distortions of the facts while pointing out how much their manipulation of the truth is costing taxpayers. We must get the word out to ordinary, middle-of-the-road North Carolinians so that they understand these sound bites are nothing but strategic lies. You and I understand that right-wing leaders have gotten far by distorting the facts and will continue to lie until they are confronted. But most North Carolinians do not understand this -- and their own moral code makes it hard for them to believe that their elected officials would lie to them to the extent that they are.
A Case In Point
Right now, one of the most pervasive right-wing soundbites making the rounds is the idea that Pre-K education is “government funded babysitting.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Study after study has proved early intervention through education increases school performance and graduation rates, improves parental involvement in academic achievement, keeps kids out of jail and eventually leads to jobs and higher salaries for at-risk North Carolinians. However, the Heritage Foundation and other thinly disguised right-wing “research” organizations are distorting legitimate research reports and spreading misinformation about Pre-K. Why? Because many of the right-wing politicians pushing education cuts and so-called “reforms” are heavily funded by donors who operate private schools and who would benefit financially from any contraction in public services.
Don't let them get away with this. For studies on the benefits of early education, please visit this link and write to newspapers in your area with the facts. And if you would like to join a group of volunteer letter writers to address this issue, or other progressive issues for that matter, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on our LTE outreach program. We can give you sample letters, talking points and more. We'd also love to work with any other LTE efforts being mounted by other organizations. Let's start countering the far right’s disingenuous 2012 talking points now with common sense and the truth. At the very least, we can make it harder for them to get away with it.