Liberals Still Think Fact-Checking Will Stop the Right

For today’s liberals, the default approach to combating the Right is to fact-check the Right. But conservatives aren’t contestants in a debating contest: they’re waging a political struggle and playing to win. Fact-checking won’t save us.

n the hallowed tradition of hastily written and instantly forgettable election year books, David Plouffe’s A Citizen’s Guide to Beating Donald Trump amounts to pretty standard fare. Given its author’s bona fides (Plouffe served as Barack Obama’s campaign manager in 2008, a fact emblazoned on the front cover for those still unaware), readers who expect a master class in grand strategy will, I must regretfully report, be let down. As I’ve written elsewhere, Plouffe essentially spends two hundred pages telling rank-and-file Democrats to canvass, make sure their friends are registered to vote, and post regularly on social media.

Suffice it to say that, for a book that’s supposedly about what the average person can do to fight Donald Trump, it’s heavy on banal anecdotes from throughout Plouffe’s career and embarrassingly thin on insights about campaigning or political strategy. Although these add up to a very dull read, I was quite struck by several passages dealing with what the author wants liberal partisans to do to fight conservatism online come election season. Among all the instructions Plouffe offers his readers, the most clearly fleshed out has to do with how they should be reacting to right-wing narratives on social media. His premise is a simple and familiar one:

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