As I watch listen to the Republican Presidential candidates, as I listen to political talk on radio, as I read stories online one question pops into my mind over and over – Why can’t Republican politicians and apologists for their party tell the truth about darn near anything? Whether it is on local level, state level or national level almost every issue they address is distorted or facts are omitted or even changed.
What is almost as galling is that during interviews and discussions these lies and distortions are almost never challenged, thus allowing these lies, distortions and ommisions to be picked up later and presented as fact. It is especially galling when a highly paid media journalist fails to to ask follow up questions that would cite sources for some of the false claims that are made.
Shall we take some of Rick Santorum’s claims to begin with? It is a long stretch to tie a requirement that employers who provide health insurance for their employees provide a full standard insurance package somehow violates freedom of religion, yet Santorum has done it. He has also been able to tie in statements that Pres. Obama is hostile to religion and seeks to destroy it. When I was younger claims like this would get a person laughed off the stage. Now lies like this make him a hero and he goes unchallenged.
That is just a sample. We could go on to discuss his lies on climate change, on the economy and ad infinitum. In short when Santorum speaks, Santorum lies. Were he the only candidate who was taking such liberties maybe it would be easier for a journalist to stand up to them. But lies, distortions and ommissions are standard fair for Republicans. Mitt Romney claims to be bishop in his church. Normally in America we conflate a church going person, and especially a member of the clergy, with a person of truth. But with Romney we get a person whose relationship with the eighth commandment (‘Thou Shalt Not Lie’ as I recall) is damn near non-existent.
Mitt, is it really true that the Obama administration has raised taxes? No.
– Have they run up the biggest deficits? No.
– Have they intensified wars? Not exactly true.
– Are employment numbers going up or down, Mitt? You say down, the truth is employment is going up.
– Have they caused businesses to close with their policies? See General Motors. (BTW Romney’s policies do close businesses directly)
On and on goes Romney, making statements that are so out of sync with reality it makes you wonder how he even functions in society. Or maybe he really doesn’t.
Newt Gingrich’s life is pretty much a living lie. Passing himself off as a family values person while having three wives and innumerable affairs. Using racially coded language to attack Obama and score big points with those who still believe race to be an issue. And of course the statements he makes in those coded sentences are lies. Seriously, Newt, ‘food stamp president?’ I guess it would be better to let people just die. He even lies with the one word he chooses to describe himself when he chose ‘cheerful.’
Let’s move down to the state level. We still have Bob VanderPlaats and his ilk out there constantly putting out the lies against marriage equality. Claims that gay marriage will affect heterosexual marriages is such a bad joke, but is still bandied about the media with little challenge. Secretary of State Matt Schultz pushes his ALEC created voter-id law claiming there is voter fraud afoot even though it has been shown over and over again that this is a false statement. On and on the lies are put out into the discourse and seldom are they challenged.
Challenging Republicans on their lies will not be easy. Venues for speeches and debate appearances often don’t allow for questions. Even when questions are allowed asking a “hostile” question in a crowd of folks who aren’t like minded can be intimidating. Mitt Romney stopped taking questions from the public long ago and from the media for about two months, so getting questions in can be tough. But we simply can’t allow such misinformation to be put out unchallenged.
So this year as in most of the recent past election years we have Republicans running on a platform of deceit and fear. So why does the media let them get away with it? As with many things these days the answer is “follow the money.” For the media, election year is a huge bonanza. With billions and billions of dollars about to be spent on advertising in the media, they must make sure there is a product to sell. It is in their vested interest to do what they can to keep races close so that candidates and PACs will feel a need to pony up the big bucks for advertising. Makes a person wonder why the press would sell their precious freedom.