The left continues to believe that the best offense against lies is the truth. And this is why we keep losing the Big Arguments. The truth has almost no power over fear and emotion.
Recent hateful, paranoid assertions getting airplay will not be refuted by calm repetition of the facts. When someone believes that an army of AmeriCorps members is going to be taking over the country, telling him that "AmeriCorps is a program that provides math tutoring, neighborhood improvement, and technology assistance to low income residents" is not going to make him go "Oh. Ok! I was just misinformed." Some part of the American population wants to believe that the government is coming for them.
The only thing that can be done, the only thing that has a possibility of even opening a chink in this alarmist armor is turning it back on the individuals. Ask open ended questions. Make them think about what they are saying. Make them elucidate and then support their beliefs. Turn their accusations back on them. Some may only be parroting what they have heard on talk radio, and no one has questioned them. Some may be beyond reason.
But it's not as simple as offering up the truth. The truth is more accessible than ever with our information systems.
And the lies keep getting bigger.