Here's a fun game:
One of the following sentences is a fact and the other one is not. Can you tell which one is which?
A.) Getting punched in the dick hurts.
B.) President Obama wants to take away everyone's guns.
If you answered "both" or "B", then congratulations! You need to go back to elementary school and relearn some basic truths about life. Let's start with what a fact is and what a fact isn't. The dictionary definition of the word "fact" is two-fold: (1) Something that truly exists or happens : something that has actual existence, and (2) a true piece of information.
Why should you care? If you're a liberal, it's because after arguing for years with Republicans, Conservatives, Libertarians, etc., it's crazy obvious that these groups are incredibly dismissive of factual information and, if you're a Republican/Conservative/etc., it's because I'm tired of you being so goddamn stupid.
No matter how much truth you throw at a Republican (complete with graphs, statistics, quotes), it gets waved away as though you're the crazy one. It's enough to wonder if maybe, just maybe, you are.
And then you remember that you're on the side fighting with facts: true pieces of information. Facts are unbiased. They don't care what your political affiliations are. They are either true and can be backed up with actual evidence, or they are not.
Here's an example of fiction currently being played off as fact in Conservative Land: As of June 16th, 2014, President Obama has passed more executive orders than all of his predecessors - 923 total!
None of the rides in Conservative Land actually work
That is a flat out lie, and a simple search would show any mouth-breather with internet access just that. The president has passed approximately 168 since he first entered the Oval Office compared to the 291 of George W. Bush and 381 passed by Ronald Reagan.
So what is so confusing? If facts are always true (as to not be would make them fiction), then why can't we agree on their validity?
The truth is, some of you are fucking morons that think you can cherry pick what is and is not fact just like you can choose which sections of the Bible you want to follow (e.g. not allowing gays to marry) and which ones you just don't want to (e.g. wearing clothing made of two different fabrics is punishable by death, just like adultery, sleeping with a menstruating woman, and not being circumcised). Unfortunately, just because you deem something as not a fact, doesn't make the fact any less true for the rest of the world, much like how me being an atheist doesn't make your God non-existent to you and everyone else that follows him/her.
I am very tired of having this conversation with conservatives:
"Well, sorry "X", but what you've said simply isn't true. Here are facts A, B, and C to prove it to you."
"Sorry, "Y", but those facts are bullshit written by people who just want you to think those things are facts. Open your eyes and read a book."
"Those facts came from a book."
"...Read a different book."
"One that agrees with you?"
I will easily admit I am wrong about something when presented with facts that disprove whatever it was I was originally asserting. It's how most adults learn new things. So the next time you are presented with information that goes against your talking points, don't flat out deny it. Who knows? You might learn something and become slightly more intelligent for it.
Here, Conservatives! Visual stimulation
that doesn't require you to think! Felt like I was losing
some of you, there...
In my next post, I'll cover the difference between a fact and a scientific fact, as well as give you pointers as to how to determine fact from fiction (preferably before you share that questionable article from Drudge on your Facebook wall).
Bonus Tip! Conservatives, take note! If you're reading a "news" article from Drudge, Breitbart, The Blaze, World News Daily, etc., that is curiously absent of hyperlinks or sources, then what you're reading isn't news. It's gossip and/or second-hand information. Take the following two links for example: This link will lead you to a Think Progress article, and this link will lead you to one from Breitbart. Can you spot the differences? In the latter article, the only sources cited are other Breitbart articles, and the content itself is both inflammatory and written with a clear bias (the last several paragraphs, for example, have nothing to do with the headline). The Think Progress article, on the other hand, is informative, has more than ten links to sources that all check out, and is actual news.