Hardball with Chris Matthews, 12/12/12, 7:00 PM ET

Matthews: The truth mattered in 2012

Chris Matthews says that the truth prevailed over the lies this year and that made all the difference in President Obama’s re-election.

The truth mattered in 2012

Updated

Let me finish tonight with this.

Memory is a fascinating thing: what we choose to hang onto, what hangs on in our mind no matter what we choose.

If you’re like me, you remember the big ones: You remember the president’s bad night in that first debate. Actually, that’s one I’ve tried hard to get out of my mind. It’s punishing just to think about.

You remember the oddness of watching Mitt Romney standing in front of those rich people in Florida talking trash about the folks who can’t afford to pay $10,000 to sit all dressed up listening to this stuff and feeling so, so successful in life.

You remember the times that one side or the other said something in a TV ad you knew was wrong and it bothered you. If you’re like me, you’ll remember that occasion when the side you often agree with said something that just isn’t fair.

So it’s a real battle of impressions and which of them get to stay in your head.

I think the good news for the country this year is that the side that told the truth more often, though not always, won the election. And the side that said things that were dead wrong (like Romney’s ad about the Jeep factory heading to China, and the nonsense of getting rid of the work requirement for welfare, and the pathetic claim that President Obama spends his time out there in the world “apologizing”) lost. It really did.

And maybe, just maybe, the reason the people telling the most truth won and the people telling the most un-truth lost is for that very reason: we were, all of us, paying attention because it really mattered.

The truth mattered in 2012

Updated