I just went several rounds arguing with someone trying and trying and trying to get them to admit that dishonest smears from the right (which are far more prevalent, at least in presidential politics) are wrong too. He refused time and time again. This was on a blog about Newsweek asking in their cover story if the "wimp factor" is a problem for romney, and pointing out that they made an almost identical cover for george bush sr.
I denounced it in my very first comment as "partisan bullshit" and cited that it's not a "liberal" thing, even effortlessly finding examples of obama being labeled a "wimp" by the right wing media. He said (as though I were defending it):
"The Wimp meme does not seem based on events but a partisan agenda that seems ad hominem instead of issues or what is on the campaign trail."
To which I replied:
"I agree. So is almost every meme critical of the president. Or do you think he's a foreign born secret muslim antichrist sent to take away your guns and make america a communist country?"
To which he replied:
"Your supposition of critiques of President Obama are caricatures which were never said nor consequential."
To which I replied:
"Really? A republican frontrunner didn't claim to have proof the president wasn't born in america? I just searched for "obama" and "birth certificate" on foxnews.com and got over 5,000 results, the first is an article from this month alleging it is "definitely fraudulent". I guess this didn't happen either.
And nobody called reverend wright an extremist or repeated the phrase "black liberation theology" over and over (without defining it) to try to scare people. As for the antichrist thing, that came from a john mccain ad which used references from the left behind series and revelations calling obama "the one" and countless references to him as "the annointed one" which refer to the antichrist. How's that for "mainstream"?"
To which he replied by... not replying to any of that part of my response.
My conclusion was that he was a political bigot. I said:
"You don't care when republicans smear a democrat and you are furious when the reverse happens. You are biased, you are a political bigot. It is no different psychologically than seeing a lazy black man and saying "look at all of them, they're so lazy!" Then seeing a lazy white guy and it not even registering."
Bigotry is bigotry. Dishonesty is dishonesty. But in our culture honesty is a lost virtue (if we ever had it to begin with, which we probably didn't). I have to shake someone and yell at them to try to get them to see dishonesty right in front of them and they still don't see it because they don't want to see it. I sometimes feel like I'm the only person in the world that thinks dishonesty is wrong. It's probably what fundamentalists feel like when they see gay people not being persecuted.
And as for fundamentalists, they are the worst offenders of them all. To quote abraham lincoln:
"It is an established maxim and moral that he who makes an assertion without knowing whether it is true or false is guilty of falsehood, and the accidental truth of the assertion does not justify or excuse him."
The constant attempt by evangelists to conflate hope, belief and fact as though they were the same thing is dishonest. It is driven by the same manipulative cynicism that drives all false advertising.
This video is extremely appropriate:
Imagine a world where dishonesty was criticized and shunned in politicians and so-called news anchors more than blowjobs or not wearing a flag pin or any of the other stupid bullshit that we find so offensive.