Jujitsu in Action - The Smart Way to Fight Smears Against Obama

by: Joe Brewer

Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 08:33


(Interesting perspective on fighting Obama's memetic email problem. - promoted by Daniel De Groot)

By Evan Frisch and Joe Brewer, co-founders of hivethrive

How should we respond to lies and deceptions about a person who has instilled hope in millions of Americans?  The attacks, as we know only too well, have a long history of effectiveness that could keep our hopes from being realized.  This is unacceptable.

The Obama campaign has just launched a new website to fight the smears.  While it is encouraging that they are taking seriously the need to respond quickly to hateful distortions and fabrications, we want to lay out a more effective approach than the standard myth-busting tactic.  This conventional approach to dispelling myths about a candidate is to first present and label the smear, then offer facts that contradict it. Recent studies have shown that this approach can backfire and reinforce the ideas you are attempting to debunk. Studies have shown that people often to "misremember" falsehoods as facts the more efforts to dispel the myth are repeated.  The Washington Post and FactCheck have also pointed out the drawbacks of this approach to myth-busting.

Joe Brewer :: Jujitsu in Action - The Smart Way to Fight Smears Against Obama
Let's consider why these smears work in the first place.  This will allow us to identify a strategy that works.

What is the purpose of a smear?  Every smear has a proximate goal and an ultimate goal.  The proximate goal is to instill some false or misleading idea in the minds of listeners.  This serves the ultimate goal of subverting the moral character of the person being attacked.  So when Obama's birthplace is called into question, the ultimate goal is to spread doubt about his integrity and weaken the inspirational power of his life story.  When his religious affiliation is challenged by falsehoods, the ultimate goal is to instill fear and distrust in the populace through associations with beliefs that are unfamiliar to and mistrusted by many Americans.

This observation about the nature of smears leads to a piece of strategic advice: respond to the ultimate goal directly.  To focus on the proximate goal is to fall into a trap of reinforcing the original association that the smear-mongerer is pushing.  

A second observation can be made about the focus of a smear.  Karl Rove is famous for asserting that opponents should be attacked where they are strongest.  A key part of his approach that doesn't receive enough attention is the fact that the focus is always directed toward a perceived moral strength.  So when Obama's integrity is challenged by a smear, we can safely conclude that his integrity is widely seen as an advantage that his opponents must overcome.  

Another piece of strategic advice: respond with a focus on the moral weakness of the attacker, rather than the intended target of the original attack. To focus on the details of Obama's birthplace, for example, creates a sense of legitimacy to the controversy.  All the while, the attacker remains hidden in the wings and suffers no rebuke.

Missing from responses that focus on the details contained in a smear is the story about why these smears are being conducted, and who is doing the dirty work.  There is an effective strategy that deserves consideration - what we'll call Political Jujitsu.  The central feature of this approach is to turn the attacks against the aggressor by calling into question the intentions and credibility of the instigator.  

Political Jujitsu, like the martial art, is a form of self-defense that is only effective when a person is forcibly attacked.  Smears are intended as a weapon for character assassination, used by aggressors who prefer to remain hidden from view, which we could liken to the art of assassination, Ninjutsu.

This approach is founded upon the recognition that human beings organize our knowledge in the form of stories.  Facts alone will not demonstrate the moral character of our candidate, just as they do not encapsulate the moral failures of our opponents.  New information can transform the stories we tell, just as a new ingredient can transform a recipe.  Adding turnips to a cake makes for a very different dining experience!  Instead of simply seeking to "update" the facts, we must craft alternative stories that reveal the deception at work.

Let's attempt to clarify this with an example.  How might we respond to an email asserting that Obama is secretly a Muslim?  Just as in jujitsu, there must be a point of contact for leveraging a shift in the attacker's momentum.  One point of contact is the role that the facts play in the story.  Shifting this role can reverse the direction of the attack back upon its creator.  

In the original attack, the role of facts (e.g. Obama's religious affiliation) is a point of entry for introducing a new narrative - one in which Obama has secretly practiced something other than what he publicly professes.  Here is a sample response that references the use of faulty facts to deceive people:

We need to be aware that there are people trying to use us to spread misinformation and do their dirty work for them.  We live in a democracy and there are powerful interests who fear the idea of letting us choose our own leaders.  Some have exploited the flaws in our democracy to get their hands on the levers of power and they don't want to let go.  One of their standard tactics is to introduce an anonymous message filled with lies and distortions, trusting that we will blindly distribute it to all our friends.  This is terribly destructive, not only to democracy, but to our personal lives because the tactic exploits the trust we share with those who are closest to us.

Barack Obama has devoted his life to public service.  He has worked tirelessly for years to help people, like the factory workers in South Chicago who lost their jobs when work was shipped overseas (work he did through a Christian church).  Whatever your political views, I'm sure you'll agree that fighting for American workers is something we can all respect.  

I am happy to share with you a thoughtful speech by Obama that tells how his Christian faith has shaped his political beliefs.  Weigh his lifetime of service motivated by his belief in Jesus Christ against the anonymous author spreading falsehoods through email.  We need to call out the act of deception for what it is - an attempt to assassinate the character of a good man.  

A question I urge you to ask yourself is why the exploiters of power who started this lie don't have the integrity to be honest with the American people?  The vast majority of Americans know that the economy is not working and the country is going in the wrong direction.  But a few are profiting like never before at our expense and they are afraid of policies that would respect and value the efforts of hard-working Americans.  Rather than challenge such policies head on, they prefer to use us to spread their propaganda.

Smears like the one in that email are meant to draw our attention to some moral failing in our leaders.  The real moral failing is in the people who concocted this smear in the first place and thought so little of us when they sought to hijack the democratic process that makes America great.

There is more I could say about attacks on a person's faith, such as the impossibility of responding to claims by an anonymous attacker that you, or a member of your family, secretly believe something other than the faith that you profess and demonstrate.  But I think it is more important to point out the level of vigilance we need to practice if we want to preserve our democratic traditions.  This includes a recognition of the motives held by those who would so cavalierly distort our political process to serve their selfish ends.

We're going to see more smears by these powerful elites who profit while most Americans suffer.  I hope I can count on you to help alert others when they use these tactics to try to divide us in the days ahead.

This sample shifts the role of facts from asserting a falsehood in the original attack to revealing the existence of a deceiver in the response.  The emphasis becomes one of questioning the sources of such messages to confirm their validity, instead of digressing into a "he said, she said" that only reinforces the false idea as it is repeated over and over.

This Political Jujitsu can be used every time you are exposed to a smear against Obama, or any other honest candidate.  The story of deception is there to be told in every instance of smear.  It structures the facts in a way that is meaningful and memorable.  Try it and see how well it works.


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My question (4.00 / 5)
So isn't this kind of what Hillary did way back when she talked about the Vast Right Wing Conpsiracy?

She was right, of course.  But I guess I fear that Obama making vague assertions of "powerful interests" who fear him will land him in conspiracy theory waters.

The main difficulty with the memetic emails is there's no way to know who is starting them, it's amorphous and ownerless.  The few people who will openly admit to believing the lies in the emails are generally already in the discredited fringe, so what use pointing them out?


There may be use (4.00 / 1)
Pointing out the wizard(s) behind the curtain may have use on an interpersonal level if not on the larger stage.

As I read the jujitsu response (which I found very clever), I thought of my mom--a registered Republican who is very intrigued by Obama--because she's the first person I ever got the Muslim email from.

I responded with a quick and snarky "Don't believe everything you read..." and she responded that oh, she didn't believe it at all and only sent it to show what kind of crap was already being flung around.

My mom's pretty sharp (despite the registered R), but she'd forwarded that smear without comment.

If my snarky response had been more like the one in this diary, I think she would have reflected a little more deeply about her role in a pretty nefarious distribution system...and would've prefaced her forward of the smear with the explanation that I ultimately received.

It would've been a whole lot different if the first time I got the 'Barack is a Muslim' email, it began with "Look at the kind of obviously false crap that's coming out already..."

I do agree, Daniel, that there's no use for this particular jujitsu to be used by the Obama campaign and it would smack of the Clintonian "vast right-wing conspiracy" in an unflattering way.

But the concept of political jujitsu is intriguing and this particular usage may have validity as a one-on-one response.


[ Parent ]
Well said (4.00 / 4)
Well done, guys. I'd point out that this counter-attack strategy is often employed by the Right. One thinks of the attack on Dan Rather in the Bush AWOL controversy. It worked brilliantly in that case. The press simply quit reporting undeniable facts that a man sending thousands of troops to their deaths had himself hidden from combat and finally run away from military service before completing his commitment.

There is ample evidence that in this case, the "political jujitsu" as you've called it was actually set up in advance. For instance, the White House knew some documents used by CBS were suspect (the WH may even have participated in putting together the docs in the first place) but let CBS air their story before they moved to discredit them.

A couple of additional thoughts. Volume matters. If the counter-attack is to be heard, it has to be shouted by an army of allies. Kerry made the mistake of thinking facts and reason would prevail in neutralizing the swift boaters in 2004.

Also, don't confuse venues. If you are attacked on television, you gotta answer in that venue. If you are attacked in the press, likewise. Viral email attacks present a special problem though, because fighting back in that venue gives no guarantee that recipients of the original attack email will receive your counter-attack. But you don't want to take it the issue to a larger venue. So persistence in internet communications becomes key.


With all due respect to tactics and their (4.00 / 4)
brilliance, no tactic will be considered brilliant unless it has a chance of success, and, chance of success comes only when the monsters on TeeVee pick up and run with it.

It is by now very clear that they are only going to run with McCain.  Just one case in point:  after Jim Johnson resigned, the Obama camp issued a blistering response to the McBushes' witch hunt by fingering Culvahouse and Fiorina.  Not ONE single TeeVee gasbag picked it up and asked McBushes about it, except of course Keith Olbermann's rather cursory mention of it.  They are now shamelessly on to Holder in the Obama campaign, but will not call out the two in the McBush campaign.  This, after the pitch-perfect memo from the Obama camp calling them out.

There is only one way to break through into the public consciousness, despite the TeeVee gasbag gatekeepers:  Obama and other Dem surrogates must ambush them -- they must mention the most important points in every one of their appearances.  


[ Parent ]
Well said. (0.00 / 0)
This is an important thread. It might just need to be a top mounted thread or even its own website. This is important stuff.

!!!

Here is an example of Obamamama's point Jim Brewers Point and my point (found below)

" Distractions as I have said since I began this unlikely run for the White House, have no part in the important business of serving this great nation, finding solutions to the problems of this great nation. Although distractions and falsehoods and lies have played a large role in how we got where we are now.

"Al Gore played an early and important role in making the internet free and available to all, John Kerry was and is a decorated war hero, there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the surge isn't making America safer and I don't need a flag pin to Love this great land, the United States of America."

"There were no weapons of Mass destruction, I am a humble still learning, still growing christian. We will not be distracted this time."

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Thanks Glenn (0.00 / 0)
As always, your perspective about media is invaluable.  We were only seeking to demonstrate the technique with an elaborate example, but you are right of course that the venue matters.

We'll keep this in mind as we expand our thinking.

- Joe

Empowering community entreprenuers and progressives at www.hivethrive.com


[ Parent ]
Joe Brewer, not Jim sorry .... (0.00 / 0)
I misread and typed your name too fast, sorry.

I once again promise to slow down, re-read and re-type. The importance of our duties demands no less from me, from us.

BTW thanks for this Joe, thanks a lot. Great article. I can only hope it becomes part of activist training in great depth everywhere.

Political Tai Chi. Wonderful.  

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
You need to counterpunch (4.00 / 7)
So that the lasting memory is of the counter-attack.

For example:
Barack Obama is not a Muslim, but John McCain is a pretend Christian who switched his stated affiliation from Episcopalian to Baptist for political purposes.

Michelle Obama never used the term "whitey", but John McCain likes to use the term "gook".

Obama hasn't hidden his birth certificate, but John McCain hides behind his wife's skirt by filing taxes separately so that their millions are hidden behind Cindy McCain's (mostly) undisclosed tax returns.

The basic thrust is to paint McCain and his Republican colleagues as lying hypocrites, but above all, you need to attack McCain so that the media gets into the narrative that McCain needs to be questioned.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both


I disagree. Jim is more correct, expose the liars ignore the lie. (0.00 / 0)
See my example Obama speech fragment for an example above.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
I like the response and the concept (0.00 / 0)
But, it seems to be most effective on the personal level, i.e. communicating with someone who is spreading the smear second, third, of umpeenth - hand.

Shouldn't there also be an effort to change the media narrative, as well?  Currently, the available narratives on Obama and Muslims are either that he might be a closeted Muslim (although he's fighting to bust that myth), he has been tacitly endorsed by the leadership of Hamas, he has the support of the nation of Islam, or he is weak on "terrorists" because he wants to negotiate with Iran, and pull the US out of Iraq.

What's missing is a positive narrative about Obama and Islam. Thus, if a "reporter" wants to talk about Obama and Muslims, there are only negative stories to tell, even if they present them in a non-judgemental, reportorial way. I'm no expert, but it seems obvious that if one's goal is to turn the media away from spreading the smears simply by talking about them, one needs to provide an alternative story.  A story that is more favorable to the candidate.

Develop a positive counter narrative, as opposed to countering the negative narrative.  How?  Reach out to the Muslim community of the US during the campaign.  

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


Positive with implicit negative (0.00 / 0)
I agree that the Obama campaign needs to tell a pro-active and positive story (which they already do beautifully!).  The trick with smears is that there needs to be a set of positive associations with Obama - accompanied by a strong negative impression of the opposition.  This second part is just as critical as the first.

Of course, it can be difficult to find such a balance... though other commenters here have already come up with a few exceptional ideas.

- Joe

Empowering community entreprenuers and progressives at www.hivethrive.com


[ Parent ]
We don't disagree on the "balance" issue (0.00 / 0)
But, how does the jujitsu approach translate into the mass media?  It only seems to become "newsworthy" if the campaign can personally indentify those responsible for initiating these e-mail smears and can tie them to some prominent republican, or republican supporter.

Can you point me to a story about the Obama campaign where they tell a positive story about his relationship to Muslims?

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
Yes, and also ... (0.00 / 0)
The response needs to be shorter and more directly to the point. Few people read long emails.

Also I would rather see:
"...an attempt to attack the character of a good man ..."

rather than

".. an attempt to assassinate the character of a good man ..."

I feel uncomfortable seeing the "a" word when talking about Obama in any context.

McCain on the minimum wage


You don't overcome a fiction with a truth, (4.00 / 5)
you overcome a story with a better story.

I completely agree with this diary ... but I also lost interest in the sample response about halfway through. A story like this needs a villain, one that is more explicit than 'some' or 'the exploiters of power.'


The question is this: who is using good honest Americans to spread lies about Barack Obama? Who is so afraid of Obama that they're attacking him with the vicious online smears?

You've got to think like a detective. Who benefits? Who benefits from spreading anonymous messages filled with lies, trusting that we'll blindly distribute them to our friends?

Let's run down a list of culprits:

Barack Obama wants Big Oil Companies who make $35 billion in pure profit every few months to pay their fair share.

Barack Obama intends to bring our troops home--to invest in America not just Iraq--even though Haliburton makes tens of billions on the war.

Barack Obama plans to lower taxes for ordinary Americans earning  $75,000 and less ... but raise taxes for rich folks making more than $800,000 a year.

Barack Obama plans to insure all American children, even if the big health insurance companies don't think they make a big enough profit helping injured kids.

Why are anonymous cowards lying about Barack Obama? Not just because they hate him, and hate the change he represents. No, because they're scared, they're threatened.

Because when you stick your neck out for the little guy like Obama does, the Big Guys try to chop off your head.

So the next time you get a lying smear email about Obama, don't wonder if the smears are true. You know they're not.

Instead, wonder: who's behind all the smears? And why are they working so hard to bring down a man who wants to change things for the better?

Well, that's the direction I'd go, anyway. Except I'd probably focus on one of the above 'villains' per email and build a few sentences of narrative around each one.


Great stuff! (4.00 / 1)
This is likely to be much more effective than the sample we wrote.  Our goal was to make the example elaborate to include a variety of possible techniques.  You've streamlined it considerably - to the improvement of the concept methinks!

Awesome,

Joe

Empowering community entreprenuers and progressives at www.hivethrive.com


[ Parent ]
Thanks, the diary is (4.00 / 1)
great and I figured you were trying to do something like that.  Show how you can actually engage a lie while pushing a new narrative. I just sorta ignored the content of the lie.

I've actually been playing with the notion of 'inoculation' of these memes, in much the same way that (as someone in this thread mentioned) the Dan Rather thing inoculated Bush against any criticism of ambitious secretaries and avoiding duty. (Except, of course, in our case this would be in the service of truth, not the opposite.)

But I'm not sure exactly how. If only there were some thriving hive at which to discuss this ... (Gonna check your website now!)


[ Parent ]
Perfect! Brilliant and must be read. (0.00 / 0)
This is what politics is all about. This is smart. This is insightful. This is a prescription for victory for a generation.

As I have written elsewhere, I believe that exposure, pulling back the blanket of deception, knocking over the facades falsehood is important to the entire campaign, important to the re-establishment of democracy in America.

They Lied! That is who they are! Everything that comes out of Rush Limbaughs mouth is not just filth and hatred, but a fabrication, a lie. Everything the networks said in the lead up to war in Iraq was fabrication. "Bush arranged the facts" with Cheney, with Wolfowitz, with Powell and even some in the intelligence community. The media were embedded in those lies. The intelligence community was subverted, to the anger and resignations and behind the scenes revolt of many. This is the truth Scot McClellan tells among others, as many many know, it is the truth of the Downing Street Papers.

Swiftboating is lies, a three time decorated military hero was lied about, Gore's involvement, early and importantly, in the development of an open, net neutral internet was lied about. The entire thrust of the republican lies about liberalism, about governments ability to bring us together are lies. Self serving lies.

Exposure not of the lie, but of the liar, and the reason to lie, and the history of the lies. Here lies the discussion we must have.

I will put in a side note, that is central to my point on theis topic. We must make John Edwards Vice president of the United States. His growth, as I have written elsewhere is fundamental to this discussion. The lies that stole the election frrm him and Kerry, the lies he discovered as he re-thought his early support for the war, the lies that stopped Gore from becoming our President. These are the lies that America needs to know.

American was lied to, the release that can come from this knowledge, the relief from the burden of supporting such a misguided series of policies. The story of how we got here is vital to the restoration of America.

Tai Chi is the best ractice philosophy to understand this, though the depth of the knowledge to begin using it is not necessary. But here is some back ground.

When an opponent tries to hit you they push their hand forcefully toward you, with their arm pushing the hand, and with their body pushing their arm. They are moving toward you and coming off balance, balanced people do not hit. Tai chi teaches you, makes you practice methods that allow you, to see the force coming at you so that you can guide it past it you, and toward the floor, where gravity wants to take anything that is off balance. Watching any competition between a tai master and a "hard" martial art attacker is to watch the attacker begin to pant and sweat, and to see the tai chi master remain calm and slow moving and tireless.

The attacker is exposed, the attacked barely defends. Consider two children fighting in the school yard yelling "he started it!" and compare that to a thug constantly falling down as the intended victim remains almost motionless always calm.

You will need training to do this, and you should have it, put imagine it as seeing the fist comong and instead of hitting back, pulling the fist more forward and past you until the attacker is on the ground behind you.

So, and I have written too much, but this is very insightful point Jim Brewer is making, we need the Obama campaign, the Democratic party and progressive everywhere to use political tai chi to expose the decievers, to tie the decievers to the is situation we are in now.

One thing to do: Expose the swiftboat liars as the people responsible for some of the lies that brought us here, and now they are lying again. use names, do research, tie our present predicament our present Iraq war, 4 dollar gas, no schools, high debt falling dollar, loss of rights crisis as the result of lies they told before, and the fact they are lying again.

"We are in this crisis because we were all lied to, by these people, and now they are lying again. We are not going to be distracted, Not This Time!" said Democratic Party candidate Barack Obama.

As I said before, VP John Edwards is a singularly powerful addition to this message. He discovered that he was lied to about the war, about a lot of things. His voyage of discovery even after he was elected Senator, is important. We didnt get him as VP before because of deceit, his service was stolen from us, he was lied to, it is time for truth and reconciliation in America.

Well done Jim! Mod this up! Send this page, this article to everyone that makes decisions in the Democtratic Party, at every level.

Political tai chi will save the world.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


Fight the smears (4.00 / 4)
I think the purpose of the 'Fight the Smears' website is to have stories reported about the existence of the 'Fight the Smears' website, thus providing ready-made context that random claim XYZ is, in fact, a smear. I don't think the Obama campaign wants to repeat the content of the smears, just the fact that they are smears. I think the Obama campaign is trying to change how these claims  are reporting from "false" to the stronger "smear". I'd say they are having some initial success.

John McCain

They still need an alternative narrative (0.00 / 0)
that does not include any reference to these smears.


"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
Exaclty, tie the liar to previous lies, now shown irrelevent or shown to have caused our predicament now. (0.00 / 0)


--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
That's one way to go (0.00 / 0)


"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."


[ Parent ]
I think the purpose (0.00 / 0)
Is to label any criticism of Obama as a "smear," so that people are primed to believe that anything negative towards the candidate is part of a dirty campaign.  I like this aspect.

Things You Don't Talk About in Polite Company: Religion, Politics, the Occasional Intersection of Both

[ Parent ]
We Need More than Jujitsu (0.00 / 0)
No no.  The response (Jujitsu) to smears that you presented is too level-headed and the whack-jobs who believe the smear in the first place will only see that type of response as a surrender, won't be placated and instead more convinced (in the long run) of the smear's veracity.  These people respect and believe only testosterone-filled, swift-boat type attacks to which John Kerry's people and he himself didn't aggressively counter-attack.  You see what happened to him and we don't want this to happen to Obama.  To counter smears to Obama, the gullible idiots have to be also again distracted by lies and smears and false attacks on McCain.  It would be better if nameless, hidden people on the left invent bizarre (like Karl Rove with "McCain's illegitimate black daughter") smears about McCain.  How about like this:  "Former Hoa Lo ("Hanoi Hilton") prison guard recounts John McCain's voluntarily offering up sensitive intelligence to interrogators to AVOID being tortured."  Or: "Former prison guard laughs about John McCain's homosexual relationship with chief North Vietnamese inquisitor."  

I'm sorry, but to save our republic, the ends justifies the means.  The Repulsicans deserve a taste of their own quack medicine.


This is right on (4.00 / 1)
I've argued something similar before (nowhere near as well) - that we need to call out the fact that somebody is behind the smear rather than the smear coming to existence out of thin air.  Most folks forget that someone had to actually sit down and type it out.

Can you please push the Obama campaign in this direction?  I think the fight the smears site sucks and really should go in the direction you suggest.


Excellent anti-smear strategy! (0.00 / 0)
The point that stating what the smear is mostly reinforces the smear message is critical.  (Media Matters.com does not realize this; they seem to have no idea how much damage they have done by stating the inaccuracy or omission by a media outlet MM is criticizing before they set out the true facts of record.)  

However, the responses to smears need to be much more pithy and compact. The response in your post would be a decent first-draft effort, then it needs to be honed down. On this example, something like this might work OK:

 

You may have just read an anonymous e-mail message filled with lies and distortions. The powerful people who are bearing false witness against Barack Obama are trusting that you will blindly send it on to friends because it “might” be something your friends need to know. These liars are treating you and your family and friends as ignorant, gullible people and these liars think they can use your trust for one another to keep you all from voting for a good man. But we know that if we give you access to the true facts, you'll reject this anonymous character assassination.  

Barack Obama has devoted his life to public service.  He has worked tirelessly for years to help people, like work he did through a Christian church in South Chicago to help factory workers who lost their jobs when work was shipped overseas and to help their communities.  Those anonymous emails didn’t tell you anything about his fighting for American workers, did they?   

In June 2006 Barack Obama witnessed to how his Christian faith has shaped his political beliefs.  Weigh his lifetime of service inspired by his faith in Jesus Christ against the anonymous author bearing false witness through email.  We need to call out the act of deception for what it is - an attempt to assassinate the character of a good man. You wouldn't fight an opponent with anonymous character assassination and I'm sure that no one who really shares your values would send lies and distortions to you anonymously.

(I couldn't manage to insert the link, either, but the link is in the main post.)


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