With the November presidential election quickly approaching, I’m in a real quandary this year. I’ve always been pretty much an apolitical animal, claiming no allegiance to either party. As a registered independent, I have always voted the candidate, the issues and the campaign, in that order.
This year’s version of “the elephant versus the donkey” may even give “dirty politics” a bad name. When did misrepresentation, innuendo and blatant falsehood become such an integral part of the campaign process. More importantly, why are so many deliberately distorted statements unquestionably accepted as gospel by an unthinking general public?
“Warning, danger Mr. Robinson!” Goebbels, the Nazi Propaganda Minister, said "A lie told often enough becomes truth."
In a recent speech, President Obama claimed that he was used to being outspent in elections, citing both his 2004 and 2008 campaigns. I don’t know about his 2004 one but the record speaks for itself in 2008. Not only was he not the spending underdog that he portrayed in his speech,his war chest actually brimmed with more than 750 million dollars.
His opponent, McCain, the Republican’s “scarecrow” candidate - a great American, a fine man and war hero, but lacking charisma, public appeal and totally unelectable – conversely, raised just slightly over 550 million, including 84 million in government funding. See where this is going?
Initially, Obama outspent McCain at a ratio of 3 to 1. In the homestretch, he actually increased it to a 5 to 1 rate! Why the distortion? What was he tryng to prove and to whom? If the truth sets us free, what do lies do besides question credibility? Hmm. Politician speaks with forked tongue.
Since when is it illegal to have an offshore account or a numbered account in a Swiss bank? Is this not still the United States of American, the land of the free and the home of the brave? Recent ads suggest that the Republican candidate is doing something wrong by having one. The implication is that it is illicit funds not the product of an honest businessman's effort. It never actually says anything; just leaves it up to your imagination with a little help from the Democrats.
The irony is that the person making this seem so "un-American" reportedly has her own 401k in offshore funds. All of Romney’s assets have been held in a blind trust for several years now. Only his trust administrators have control over it. Now that is "the pot calling the kettle black."
Another allegation about Romney's overseas jobs outsourcing, during his Bain Capital career, proved equally spurious upon closer observation. Even ex-Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Alan Greenspan’s wife, during a recent media event, although she had no comment about the twenty-nine billion dollars of stimulus funds that had gone overseas to countries like Finland – along with the related jobs – but acted astounded when she was told that the number of jobs that Romney had out -sourced was “0.”
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood gave credit to President Obama for providing the incentive funding for green energy automotive initiative in 2010, recently wondering who would have believed two years ago that Lexus would produce a hybrid.
Actually, lots of people would have believed it since the Lexus hybrid was first introduced in 2006! Now there’s a novelty, predicting the past in the future! I bet I can even predict who won the Civil War! This is fun.
I could go on and on, citing multiple instances of distortion and misrepresentation but what's the point? What really concerns me just as much is the conspicuous silence from the Republican camp. Instead of damning his opponent with his own words, Romney leaves those arrows, unknocked, in his quiver.
Why? What is he waiting for, another Republican landslide defeat? Until he made his most recent speech at NAACP convention, I was beginning to wonder if “backbone” was even part of the Republican arsenal. His opponent, President Obama, has declined to attend the same convention in person but is sending the Vice President in his stead. Guess it’s not that important? Hmmm.
Come on kiddies, let’s play nice. Here’s a thought. Why don’t both sides forget the “BS” and focus on what’s wrong with this country and tell us, honestly and sincerely, how each of them will fix it? Wouldn’t that be a refreshing change?
Let’s put truth back into politics. What’s wrong with “telling it like it is?” Let’s run on the issues and not the candidates! If you've got a better mouse trap, now's the time to roll it out!
That’s what I think but then again, that’s just one man’s opinion. What do you think? Let me hear from you.