I agree with your point with some small observations:
a) There does seem to be something uniquely American (at least in comparison to my other country of residence: India) about the stronger attachment to image and words than reality. So, when McCain or someone says the lives of US soldiers is/was "wasted" there is a huge outcry and apology, because the word "wasted" implies accepting similar things as involved in pursuing a Bush impeachment. The thing though is that at least some of the other cultures will attempt to reconcile with the reality by changing the wordplay/imagery. For instance, the other side (to the one in power) may be able to capitalise on the debacle through opposing phrases ("betrayal of our finest"). But that doesn't work in the US, despite all the liberal gymnastics about "framing".
b) Regarding fear-mongering, etc: yes, the approach of the left (both the idealistic sort of "truth will set you free" or "love will save the day" and the mechanistic type) is quite mistaken, if it does not recognise the bio-cultural proclivities of individuals and groups. The right has been able to manipulate these to their advantage. Whether we can do the same is to me an open question, but it seems clear (to me) that we cannot have an approach that does not take them into consideration.