Why You’ll Never Convince Ryan Supporters His Facts Are Wrong

Paul Ryan’s distortions about everything from the auto plant to Medicare are fundamental and horrendous

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Thinking folks who listened to Paul Ryan’s speech last night may feel as though they are stuck inside a bottle, screaming louder and louder and still not being heard. Ryan’s big lies keep resonating with the public. We keep saying that if that public only heard the truth, they would turn against him and Mitt Romney. If only it were so easy.

Of course—as is now well-documented—Ryan’s distortions about everything from the auto plant to Medicare are fundamental and horrendous. But we all should have learned by now that people understand the facts, or what is alleged to be factual, in a way that will conform to their pre-existing worldview. So the odds of convincing any significant number of voters who believe the Ryan-Romney myths that those myths are false are pretty slim. This is a divided electorate with virtually no undecided voters remaining.  Passion, not logic, will determine the victor. Turnout will decide the election. Hence, the Ryan-Romney strategy is to show no doubt, raise the decibel level, and keep pounding. Facts, as they have admitted, will not be the guiding force in their campaign. 

Paul Ryan’s bleating about a credit downgrade that resulted from his own party’s obstinacy about the debt ceiling is no better than Tea Party seniors on Medicare screaming: “Get government out of my Medicare.” But this hypocrisy won’t change, and we should stop expecting it to.

We have a binary choice ahead of us: a theologically driven Republican ticket that denies science, reason, logic, and fact, or a president who was too willing to negotiate for no gain, but at least is now fighting the fight. So while we will never stop trying to convert the probably unconvertible, let’s make sure we focus on getting those on our side of the aisle to take the election seriously and turn out to vote.