JACKSBORO, Texas, August 19, 2012 — It seems with each passing day, American politics is becoming more and more mangled by lies, damn lies, and divisiveness. Everyone tries to score points by distorting facts, spinning pure illusion, and launching the most incendiary attacks imaginable.
It’s all just a game, and the prize is the White House.
While nothing is new, in this election cycle the dirty politics have sunk to a new low.
When will our politicians decide that the American people deserve, and want, facts on how to fix real world problems. We do not want emotionally distorted dramas such as the senior citizen being pushed over a cliff by a Paul Ryan look alike ad.
That add is reminiscent of LBJ’s famous “Daisy” ad with a nuclear countdown – a purely emotional (but effective) ad designed to terrify people into voting one way without the slightest appeal to reason. The same emotional appeal leads to ads like the one that implies that Mitt Romney gave a woman cancer then denied her medical care.
Any reasonable, thinking person understands that an ad like this is just political pornography, and we know that people do love porn.
We do occasionally get true glimpses into the way candidates think, usually in those unscripted moments when they accidentally blurt out what they think. President Obama told us that the private sector was “doing just fine,” but then he probably thinks that if it hasn’t rolled over to play dead, it’s doing just fine. Later, supposedly when praising the national infrastructure, he told business owners, “you didn’t build that.”
Most recently, Vice President Joe Biden managed to affect a stereotypical black accent and tell a mostly black crowd that if Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan win, “they’re going to put y’all back in chains!”
After the outrage caused by Republican comments about “tax slavery,” you might have thought that comment would draw more negative attention from the left, but you’d be mistaken. We might doubt that Biden is a racist, but his comment drew on racialist sentiment.
What are people listening to? Are these ads persuasive, or do they pay more attention to the unscripted moments? The elderly don’t seem persuaded that Ryan plans to throw Grandma off a cliff, seeing that as a bit of political drama, but an actively dishonest ad can actually turn on a campaign.
The Obama political machine really got caught with its pants down on the cancer ad, in an act of political necrophilia with Joe Soptic’s dead wife. After the first surge of emotion, the actual facts started to dribble out:
* Mrs. Soptic was diagnosed years after Soptic lost his job;
* She had health insurance through her own job during that period;
* The ad, which was made by a pro-Obama PAC that was legally barred from cooperating with the Obama campaign, used a man who’d appeared in an Obama campaign ad and who’d discussed his story for the PAC ad with Obama campaign personnel. Even David Axelrod said that the Soptic Ad is dishonest, and the campaign has tried to insulate itself from it.
Talk about lie upon lie. Stephania Cutter (Obama’s deputy campaign manager) lied in an interview when she claimed ignorance of the Soptic story. Then Jen Psaki, (Obama’s campaign spokeswoman) contradicted Cutter on how much the campaign knew.
Can’t anyone tell the truth?
If ever in the history of our nation our youth needed to see and hear from wise, responsible and honest politicians, it is now. Unfortunately, the tone in politics is far from wise, and responsibility and honesty are rare in politics.
The Commander in Chief of these United States can set the tone of responsibility, though, if only he will choose honesty over dishonesty.
There are deep philosophical differences between our two parties, and those won’t change, but dirty politics will never solve the nation’s problems. Reasonable, thoughtful people can make a difference, and now is a good time to start.
Let’s not wait until November to start restoring the integrity of America. The world is watching.
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