Justin Elliot has an interesting story up at TPM about a third party Sharon Angle was a member of back in the 1990s, before the Tea Party made having fringe views the hot new thing in Republican politics. Specifically, he’s looking at their newsletter that they paid to have inserted in Nevada newspapers in 1994 and was absolutely filled with disgusting homophobia and hysteria.
One thing I took special note of was the box on the bottom right of page one that, among other things, teases a story on the crucial subject “CAN THE HIV VIRUS SURVIVE IN WATER?”
As you can see in the image I grabbed, the line the organization was pushing was that basically, yes, HIV is water-transmitted and the CDC has been engaged in some kind of massive coverup of that fact. These are the forms of political misinformation that really make me sad. The whole point of politics is to have debate and disagreement about policy judgments and values. But then you stray over into this kind of thing where hysterics are exploiting people’s fears and creating all kinds of problems that should be avoidable. HIV is obviously a very serious public health problem, and it’s crucial that people have accurate information about it.