That’s the reason the Republicans distort, misrepresent and tell lies. Yes, that’s an incendiary thing to say. Yes, that especially includes those who honor their pledge to Grover Norquist over their pledge to the Constitution. Yes, we’ve been fed a steady, high calorie diet of dishonesty by these people for a long time. And don’t go looking for Democratic equivalency. The D’s surely have had their day (I’m thinking now about Lyndon Johnson’s “credibility gap”), but this is the era of neo-con dishonesty.
The Republicans like to say that President Obama apologizes for America. On the few occasions when those making that claim have been challenged, they have not been able to cite a single instance of apology – not one – yet they continue to spread the lie.
The Republicans charge President Obama of having a failed foreign policy. Of course, they never offer any substance to support their sweeping accusation. That he has a far better record of protecting America than President Bush, that he has focused on aggressively pursuing the perpetrators of 9/11, that he has re-established strong diplomatic ties with most of the rest of the world don’t seem to matter to the Republicans. They continue to make their fatuous charges.
Indeed, President Bush and his Republicans told us repeatedly that President Bush kept America safe. That’s a very interesting claim for a president on whose watch nearly 3,000 people were killed in New York, Washington DC and in Shanksville, PA in the worst direct attack on America in our nation’s history. In some bizarre, Through the Looking Glass logic we are supposed to believe that the Republicans are the ones who are strong on defense and President Obama has failed. It’s strange how the Republicans falsely accuse President Obama of the most terrible failing of President Bush and his Republican Congress.
Since President Obama’s inauguration the Republicans have been telling us that what is most important is “jobs, jobs, jobs.” Oddly, over the past 4 years they have managed to block every job creating bill with only one exception: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the “Stimulus”). That bill passed in spite of every Republican in the House and all but three Republican senators voting against it.
The Veterans Jobs Bill was designed to promote employment for our military veterans. It’s an important bill, because our military personnel come home to a veteran’s unemployment rate that is 30% higher than our citizenry as a whole. Nevertheless, the flag-waving Republicans in the Senate blocked that bill with a filibuster, leaving vets to suffer in their unemployment. Still, the Republicans continue to tell us it’s all about “jobs, jobs, jobs.”
Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan told us about a “welfare queen” living on the south side of Chicago. He said that she was collecting welfare under 81 aliases and living the high life. That was just the inflammatory story his base wanted to hear and, with his slick acting skills, he even sold that to middle-of-the-road voters. The only problem with Reagan’s story was that there was no welfare queen with 81 aliases. Reagan lied because it was self-serving and there’s a connection of that to what is going on today.
Mitt Romney is telling lies that blow the same dog whistle that Reagan blew. Romney tells us that 47% of Americans pay no income taxes, that they refuse to be responsible for their own care, that they see themselves as victims and are dependent on government and that they think they are “entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it.” Oh, those blood suckers, those lazy bums who steal from the rich, Mitt implies. He wants us to believe they’re wealth redistribution lowlifes who have “foreign views” and will vote for Obama, whom Romney says is not like “us”, not like real Americans. Romney does that in order to create an enemy for their followers to hate, just like candidate Reagan did, and it’s just another self-serving lie.
The continuing drumbeat of lies is successful in manipulating less informed voters into voting for the liars. And their votes, coupled with those of “the base” are enough to win elections. That’s especially effective if done in conjunction with preventing legal voters from voting. The Republicans do that through Republican generated state laws to disenfranchise low income, minority and elderly voters, who tend to vote Democratic.
Lie, cheat, steal. That’s the Republican platform and they do those things because they work. It really is so easy to manipulate people. Just inflame them with the Big Lie over and over.
Copyright 2019 by Jack Altschuler
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