"Mr. Smith, do you still beat your wife?" and other lies the GOP must contend with in order to win in 2016

The lies of the left drive American politics. For years we heard the “Bush Lied” mantra chanted endlessly. It didn’t matter that the claim was wrong. A lie is a very specific thing… Saying a falsehood when you know it to be wrong. Bush never did that. While in retrospect the question of Saddam’s WMDs is unclear, at the time George Bush, Bill Clinton and the intelligence agencies of most of the world believed he did. There is a difference between being wrong and lying… but the left doesn’t care about truth when a lie better serves their purposes, whether it’s WMDs, the “rape culture”, the “war on women” or blaming Benghazi on a video.

Two illustrative examples can be found in Ferguson, MO and Indiana. One was the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” meme that played itself out everywhere from the House chamber to the NFL and countless places and broadcasts across the country. Of course the basic premise was a complete lie, and an easily known one at that, but that didn’t matter. There was little hard reporting by the mainstream press to illuminate that fact because it supported their political agenda.

Similarly a similar scenario played itself out on the national stage recently when Indiana passed its Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Across the mainstream media and the left (sorry for being redundant) cries of discrimination could be heard. The suggestion was that the RFRA would allow any business to choose not to serve gay customers simply because they were gay. That was a lie. The legislation did nothing of the kind. It simply protected from suit or prosecution those whose believed their religion was against gay marriage and therefore declined to participate in the wedding or its various supporting activities. The difference may be subtle, but it’s distinct. Not that that matters to the left because fealty to the truth are foreign concepts to them.

Why does any of this matter? Because government responds to the voices of the people, eventually. We got the disaster of Obamacare because the left convinced enough people that the failures of the healthcare marketplace were due to insufficient regulation, despite the fact that the opposite was true. We got Dodd-Frank because the left convinced enough people that the financial collapse of 2007 / 2008 was due to a lack of regulation when in reality the opposite was true. Even now Barack Obama is ramping up his push of the fictional “global warming” agenda because he buys into the hoax that’s been foisted on the nation over the last two decades despite overwhelming evidence that no such warming exists.

In modern day America reality is no longer the driving force for policy, instead it’s whatever the left says it is, factual or otherwise. Even when it comes to the GOP, they play according to the rules established by the left rather than dealing the reality most Americans actually live with. And that’s a problem… for the GOP and the country. If the GOP agrees to play by the ground rules set by the left, they will have handed victory to Hillary or Pocahontas or whoever emerges from the cesspool of the Democrat party.

2016 promises to be the single most defining election in a century and a half. The choice will be between continuing down our current path that inevitably leads to a fascist state where economics and culture are dictated by whatever the left deems is acceptable, or returning to a path ordered by limited government and individual rights. But that choice only exists if the GOP is willing to stand up and make the argument for freedom.

In both 2008 and 2012 the GOP candidates allowed the left to set the agenda and played a defensive game throughout. Defense may be the winning strategy in the NFL, but it’s not in national politics. It is preordained that the GOP is going to be labeled racist, sexist and homophobic. The left and the media (again… apologies for the redundancy) will no doubt seek to portray the GOP as the party of the rich that cares not for the pain and suffering of the poor. Like the innocent man who spends his time answering “no” to the question “Mr. Smith, do you still beat your wife?” rather than disputing the premise of the question in the first place, if the GOP allows the left to define the parameters of the campaign they’ve lost before the nominee is even selected.

During the run up to the convention and through to the general election, the GOP candidates have to be willing to take the slings and arrows that come with saying that Michael Brown was not the “Gentle Giant” the left has made him out to be and that his death was directly related to his actions, not his skin color. They must be willing to withstand the vitriol directed at them as they articulate the difference between discrimination against gays and the religious freedom that protects Christians from being forced to participate in gay “marriage” activities. They must be willing to endure the accusations of racism that would follow any suggestion that the need for strengthening the southern border is a matter of national security.

Whoever the eventual GOP nominee is, he or she will have the most fertile soil to till since Ronald Reagan in 1980. Eight years of Barack Obama will have set the lines stark, between economic fascism and free markets, between cultural coercion and individual rights, between international retreat and international leadership. The challenge for the GOP will be to articulate conservative positions that offer the greatest prospect for prosperity but rarely fit easily on a bumper sticker like “Coexist” or “Hope”. Not only will they have to figure out how to make the arguments in a way that a majority of Americans can understand and embrace, they’ll have to do so while facing a media that is lined up against them from the start and who is actively carrying water for the other side. The first step to doing so would be learning that the right answer to the question “Mr. Smith, do you still beat your wife?” is not no, but “I reject the basic premise of your question and here’s why…”.