I know politics is ugly and “everyone” plays games with the truth during a campaign, especially one as nasty as this one. But all the intentional lies and misinformation being spewed by Republicans these days has my cognitive dissonance in an uproar; my intellectual equilibrium is in a capricious state.
The Republican Party is not simply offering America different philosophies and policies to contrast themselves from the current administration, they are outright lying to the voters and intentionally undermining America’s most cherished democratic process.
I. Mitt Romney and company are incapable of putting across a simple concrete idea about how to fix the economy or
America’s other ills, but they are sure that they can do better than Obama and then Democrats. In the last 48 hours, Romney and a host of Republican big-wigs gave given synchronized interviews and speeches in which they claimed that President Obama cut Medicare by $700 billion. What the President actually did was reshuffle government health care budgets. The $700 billion the GOP is making reference to is still going to be spent on Medicare recipients, but instead of being paid after the fact by Medicare, the health care reform act provides the money upfront to service providers. If my spouse pays my bill does that make me a deadbeat? Does re-shuffling of the $700 billion mean that President Obama screwed Medicare recipients? Of course not. That would only make sense to a lying, desperate, deceitful Republican or a propagandist for a conservative media outlet.
II. For years now, Paul Ryan has told the world in numerous speeches and interviews that the author Ayn Rand was more responsible than anyone else for shaping his political philosophy and personal values.
But the Paul Ryan that the Romney campaign hopes will help them get into the White House is supposed to be a conservative Catholic man of faith and conservative values. Fact: Ayn Rand was a devout atheist who viewed religion as a dangerous elixir. Rand was also a die-hard social and economic evolutionist: if a person cannot financially survive on their own, that’s his or her problem and nobody else’s. Rand believed that individualism and capitalism take priority over the collective interests of society. To hell with government; to hell with charities that help the needy. So now that all these dreadful facts about the most influential person Paul Ryan’s life are coming to light, the presumed Republican VP nominee is back-tracking and telling the world that he only appreciated Rand as a novelist and nothing more. There are lots of videos online of Ryan worshiping his primary teacher.
III. Throughout the United States, in what has to be one of the most unethical, deceitful strategies ever employed by a political party in any democracy, Republican state legislators are, in what is obviously a very well-coordinated effort, trying to help Republican candidates win elections by limiting which American citizens get to vote and when. Under the disingenuous problem of wanting to prevent voter fraud, numerous states are now going to require voters to produce state issued ID’s to vote. Who might not have such ID? The elderly who don’t need drivers licenses anymore and poor people who can’t afford to drive. And which political party do such people tend to vote for? It’s certainly not the party of greed and me-first.
Here in Ohio where I reside, Republicans on local boards of elections have been instructed to extend voting hours prior to election day in those counties that are predominantly Republican and to limit voting hours in those counties that are predominantly Democratic. Does this sound ethical to you? Does that sound like the behavior of true patriots or desperate supremacists determined to achieve their political objectives at any price?
IV. Literate people who don’t get their news from Fox Noise, have probably read or heard the numerous background reports on the killing of Osama bin Laden. Military intelligence wasn’t a 100% sure America’s #1 enemy was hiding in a compound in Pakistan but there was some evidence to suggest he was. Should America chance it? What if Bin Laden wasn’t there? America would be humiliated and Pakistan could claim that their sovereignty was compromised by the most powerful nation on Earth for no reason. President Obama made the courageous decision to not pass up the opportunity to catch the man with the blood of 3,000 Americans on his hands.
Now we learn that a brand new right-wing group is going to launch a “swiftboating” campaign against President Obama. Leaders of the group, “Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund, Inc,” have announced that are going to produce a series of TV commercials in which former intelligent officers and Navy SEALS will deride President Obama for taking credit for Osama Bin Laden’s assassination. Of course the group did not register as a political organization. They are claiming to be a non-profit social service and educational organization. How convenient: as a politically unaffiliated non-profit, they need not divulge their revenue sources. (A good forensic investigator would no doubt find Karl Rove’s fingerprints and the Koch Brother $$ all over this operation.)
So, was is it always this bad? Was the lying and slimy behavior always this overt? Or is the right-wing, white political establishment in this country so desperate to destroy and defeat America’s first President of color that they’ll say and do anything?
“There you liberal elitists go again playing the race card! Can’t you see Obama is a dangerous socialist-closet Muslim out to destroy everything we hold dear?”
The greatest threat to America today is not the courageous leaders and intellectual giant who is currently residing in the White House, it’s the Republican Party that has unabashedly become a Fifth Column that is consciously undermining the greatest democracy in human history.