A few months ago, leading GOP presidential candidates talked about how Planned Parenthood was essentially killing babies and harvesting their parts for profit.  These allegations were of course proven to be completely false, despite prominent Republicans like Carly Fiorina refusing to admit that she was lying about watching an actual video from Planned Parenthood that showed what she claimed:

“Do you acknowledge what every fact checker has found…that it was only described on the video…there is no actual footage that you just mentioned?”

Republicans have been calling for Planned Parenthood to be stripped of all funding because they provide abortion services. Nevermind the fact that the Hyde Amendment, passed in 1976, already ensures that no Federal Tax Dollars go towards abortions – That never seems to get brought up in the debate. Apparently, our tax dollars going towards things like diabetes and cholesterol screenings, mammograms, condoms, STD testing, physicals, flu shots, PAP smears, and pregnancy tests for hundreds of thousands of men and women is a bit of a hot-button for conservatives. Imagine if this much scrutiny was given to tax dollars that went to subsidize oil companies, or to fund yet another war, or to cover corporate tax breaks?

After Robert Lewis Dear killed three people (including one police officer) and wounded another nine, he surrendered to police while muttering the phrase, “no more baby parts.” The shooting was motivated by right-wing lies and propaganda; That rhetoric is directly responsible for cultivating yet another domestic terrorist.

In simple terms:

Words matter.  FACTS matter.

Words matter. FACTS matter.

Not surprisingly, not a single Republican presidential candidate spoke out against this homegrown terrorist. After all, he was an anti-government, anti-abortion nut who passed out derogatory pamphlets about President Obama and warned his neighbors that they needed to install metal rooftops on their houses so that the Government couldn’t spy on them. Who would he identify with in this current political environment?

Things need to change. I’ve tried to keep the politics of abortion out of this column. I understand that there are people who believe that abortion is murder. I understand that there are people who recognize abortion as a constitutionally protected medical procedure. What I am more concerned with is that at some point in the not-to-distant past, we stopped caring about the facts. We stopped expecting the truth. A large part of that is the fact that with the Internet, even the most insane conspiracy theorists can find like-minded people to validate their claims. There is a growing cognitive dissonance in our society, and the only way to fix it is to start identifying the idiots and to stop listening to them.

So when Donald Trump calls Mexicans drug-dealers and rapists, he identifies himself as an idiot. When he says 200,000 Syrians are coming when it is actually no more than 10,000, he is an idiot. When he claims that thousands cheered from the rooftops on 9/11, he is an idiot. Sure, other idiots will follow him, but why are the rest of us paying any attention? When Ben Carson says that the Pyramids were built by Joseph and are full of grain, he identifies himself as an idiot. Sure, he might be a great brain surgeon, but I wouldn’t want a brain surgeon controlling economic and foreign policy any more than I’d want an investment banker to come fix my washing machine.

It’s important that we start doing a better job of seeking the truth. Verify your sources, take 30 seconds to Google that story before you just blindly share it on Facebook. You could be part of the problem – You could be sharing a made up video about how Barack Obama is building FEMA camps full of black helicopters and any day he’s about to unleash Martial Law on America and come for all of our guns.

And then some idiot might watch that video. That idiot might hear someone on TV talk about it. That idiot might think that crazy propaganda is actually real. And then that idiot might decide that the only way to stop that crazy Kenyan Socialism Muslim Dictator is to drive into town and start shooting all of those “sheep” who don’t know the REAL truth.

Don’t think it can happen?

It just did in Colorado.

“Spiffy” Sean Styles is the administrator of Politics Without the Crazy Pills and a freelance writer. Check out his band HERE.