You Are Being Lied To. Do You Care?

Not a week goes by on my radio program without me having to correct something I’ve said. Often it is a small thing like giving credit to someone when I meant to credit someone else. Sometimes it is larger, like misquoting a poll or other number. But I try to make an effort. Even knowing my audience shifts each day, as is the nature of a cumulative audience, I don’t want to knowingly tell my listeners something and have them then look bad by repeating wrong information. It happens. I talk fast and sometimes misspeak.

Here too at The Resurgent I have on several occasions had to update pieces as stories changed. Now, this is not to say there are disagreements. Some people think I should correct things I stand behind. Their view of the world is different and there are some objective facts that cannot be disputed and there are other subjective thoughts and opinions that you may disagree with, but that does not make them any less true or valid.

Over the past few months, though, I keep coming back to the old saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” In 2012, I also thought the polling was wrong. Hell, I got the primaries wrong this time and was dismissive of the Trump phenomenon, thinking he was going to eventually drop out or collapse, because I thought the primary polling had to be off. But as in 2012, the polling in the primaries was largely correct. That same polling — the polling in the primaries that was right — contained head to head questions about the general election. That polling consistently showed Trump losing to Clinton; in fact, it showed him losing worse than any other candidate. That polling trend is now reflected in the general election polling.

Now I see pro-Trump pundits hanging on to every pro-Trump poll that goes against the weight of the polling averages. All the others are wrong, but this one poll must be right. Or when all the polls are against Trump, they have to be unskewed. We did that before. I did that before. I was wrong and so were you. The polling was right. Pollsters do not want to be wrong. They make a living by polling and if they get it wrong, their business is hurt. See e.g. Rasmussen and Gallup.

These sorts of stories traded between the various propaganda sites of the Trump supporters may tell you what you want to hear, but that does not make them true. Social media patterns do not mean Trump is going to win in a landslide.

Covering ever narrowing poll, but then ignoring when the same poll shows the lead expand again just builds false hope.

The stories of Hillary Clinton’s health get exaggerated and make people believe what is not so. A Gateway Pundit story suggesting someone in Hillary Clinton’s security detail was carrying a diazepam syringe turned out to just be a flashlight.

Yes, it is true the media was willing to spend inordinate amounts of time talking about John McCain’s health in 2008 and they won’t talk about Hillary Clinton. Yes, it is true there is a double standard. Yes, it is true the left did this on their own side in 2004, convincing themselves John Kerry had it in the bag. Neither side is immune from it.

But folks, we have been here before. You are being lied to. You are being told what you want to hear and it is going to end badly for you.

On my radio show now, I try to avoid talking about Trump unless there is a major news story. You can hear the extent of my coverage from 5:09pm to 5:14pm each weeknight. All I do is review the polling, the electoral college projections, and the very basic headlines of what the campaigns are doing. Every day now I get a flood of angry emails that I start my show by attacking Trump. I’m not attacking him. I’m just telling you what the polling averages are. Truth is truth; it is not mean. It is truth.

Do you even care that you are being told what you want to hear, though it may not comport with reality? Do you care or do you just want to be told everything is okay when it isn’t? Will you wake up the day after the election thinking the election was stolen because your guy lost when everything you read on the internet said he would win?

It may make you feel good to be lied to — to be told that you look good in that outfit when you don’t. It may do wonders for your self esteem in the short term. But in the long term it is going to end badly for you. Do you even care?

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Erick Erickson

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