by Mark Williams
If we are to believe the theories of Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow then we must consider the possibility that parallel worlds must exist. In their book the “The Grand Design” they argue that “no single mathematical model or theory can describe every aspect of the universe.” Quantum Physics models mathematically seem to prove the existence of parallel worlds even though such notions cannot be proven with the naked eye. I think if physicists studied the political world more they would realize that indeed the notions of alternate universes in fact can be proven definitively. I pose to you that many Americans defected to such a place over the course of the last decade.
I first noticed this during the fall of 2006 when the primary election season really kicked in. At the time I was an avid reader of the Washington Post, the New York Times, and the relatively new website the Huffington Post. All in all I felt I was a relatively well-informed person and thought that I was getting a good cross section of news and opinions. But from time to time in conversations (arguments really) with my conservative friends I would encounter little factoids that made me wonder just where in heaven’s name were these people getting their information? For example my conservative friends were convinced that President Clinton didn’t leave a surplus. They were convinced that tax cuts for the 1 percent were the only way to help the middle class. I was astounded and had never heard that it was Democrats who opposed the Civil Rights Movement of the sixties and certainly I didn’t know that so many people were sure that Roosevelt’s New Deal was the beginning of the end for the American way of life. When it was stated as fact that it was Republicans who were without question the sole party that favored small government and true fiscal conservatism I had to shake my head in wonder. What was I to think? The GOP I knew charged two wars to America’s credit card, expanded a Medicare program without figuring out a way to pay for it, and when challenged on any of their runaway spending simply said “deficits don’t matter”. And then on top of that joyfully followed it up by questioning my patriotism for having the audacity to even pose these questions,
The point is I had to find out where all these talking points were coming from and that’s when I started my journey into the Conservative Bubble—an alternate universe where conservative dogma dictates the laws of discourse and reality itself. I began with the obvious paper trail— the staunchly conservative owned Washington Times—which in turn led to the sensationalist NY Post and eventually the somber Wall Street Journal—all reliable sources for conservative and Republican talking points. The best I can say about these papers is while they may not be lying to their readership outright, they definitely make no bones about serving a right leaning audience—much like Fox News. These sources represent the doorway if you will to the “Right Dimension.” The Right Dimension is a complex place where opinion and hard news are often considered to be one and the same. Sources like the Drudge Report, Townhall, Hot Air, Michelle Malkin, World News Daily, and now Breitbart’s many sites attempt to combine journalism with right wing advocacy that often has little to no regard for the facts—which is not their job or their intent. All they want to do is throw as much mud on the opposition and hope something sticks and finds its way into what they call “The Mainstream Media”. All too often they succeed in finding the cracks from their parallel world back to ours where they inject their brand of fiction with fact and leave many of us shaking our heads that such wondering nonsense could ever be seriously entertained. These are the people who drove the narrative that President Obama was a Muslim, or even more slanderous that he was the most far left candidate ever in the history of time. Even as I write this the conservative media machine is desperately trying to push a false narrative about the recent tragedy in Bengahzi. I guess I would be more sympathetic had I not seen them use these same scurrilous tactics in trying to say that BP oil spill would be the Obama Administration’s Watergate. It certainly must be pleasant to live in a bubble where your faulty prognostications are held up as virtues. I mean where else could people like William Kristol and Dick Morris wield so much influence after such grand theories such as Sarah Palin would make a fine vice president and that Herman Cain would survive his scandals because the African-American community would undoubtedly rally to him?
Educating oneself about the political process in the country is key to making sound choices. Part of that process is also taking a hard look at where certain news stories come from and how they found their way into the mainstream. Believe it or not there is in fact an alternate world just a few steps away where everything you believe is twisted and perverted by smear merchants without shame. It is incumbent upon all Americans to be their own media watchdogs because if you don’t do it, you risk falling prey to falsehoods and lies. And that my friends is exactly what certain people are counting on.
(Mark Williams is a writer of science fiction, poetry, and political commentary who is currently based in St. Louis, Mo. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)