The political class is full of people who believe that perception is reality, and who are committed to spinning people dizzy so their distorted perception becomes a disfigured reality that favors the spinners and the benefactors on whose behalf they do their voodoo.
In America today we have one political party that is seen as the pro-government party and another seen as the anti-government party. Funny thing is, it was the anti-government party that was responsible for the biggest expansion of government in the last 50 years, an inconvenient truth told by one of that party's leading voices 10 years before he was one of the last men standing for his party's presidential nomination.
The sprawling bureaucracy known as the Department of Homeland Security was created by the Homeland Security Act of 2002 sponsored by one of the anti-government party's top congressional leaders with co-sponsorship by well over 100 of that party's members before being overwhelmingly approved by both houses of Congress and signed into law by the anti-government party's president. A mere decade after its establishment, DHS ranks as the third largest cabinet-level federal agency.
Reality is reality. Although it's hard to tell sometimes with all the efforts to scramble the signals by cynically manipulating perception. One of the anti-government party's most beloved figures completed his transformation from lightweight actor to national political colussus in 1976 by spinning a fictitious yarn about a "welfare queen" on the south side of Chicago with 80 names, 30 addresses and 12 Social Security cards who was collecting veterans benefits for four nonexistent deceased husbands as well as other public aid that brought her tax-free income to over $150,000 a year.
He understood perception. He cared little about truth. He was not bothered by irony. In 1976 and 1996 and 2006 the anti-government party was the most outspoken and ardent defender of what is by far the biggest component of the welfare state. It remains so today. It maintains a flow of government assistance to the nation's corporate welfare kings that dwarfs what those stigmatized by the "welfare queen" label could ever hope to see.
Reality is reality. If we're not too disoriented to see it.