Quote Of The Day

Whoever lies beneath, is beneath, a liar.    -Me


Post#: 002-19 – Words: 1552 – Audio: N/A

Maybe it’s not the lie itself but the believer in the lie.


The line of potential 2020 candidates is already starting to form to the “Left”.. and it’s yet to be determined if a line will form to the “Right”… and we’ve got two years to go before election day.  It seems like just yesterday, 2016, most of us were wincing in pain at that election result.  The strange irony in Trump’s campaign is that he literally made campaign promises that were truly doubtful in being a success if he had won.  It was almost that most of us knew he was overtly lying to get elected.. and when he got elected, the lies haven’t stopped… and his base still believe him.  But I think for the most part we can generally agree that politicians typically hyperbole their way through campaign promises, many of those promises being outright lies.  Regardless, if they are convincing enough we will vote for the candidate with the better promises, and their ability to package it sweet enough to seduce our vote.  Once elected most politicians fail to carry out some or most of those promises.  Are they lying?

 

Well, Are They Really To Blame?

I mean… candidates in general aren’t truly out to lie to the public.  After all, most are running for office to make a positive difference on American life.  No one is really engaged in running for elected office to get rich or attain the power to rule over other people just for the sake of being in-charge.  Personally, I tend to accept people positively until such time as they may demonstrate who they really are, and then I make a personal judgement call on how I react toward them in the future.  Pretty much we all do that to some degree.  But I don’t presume that because a person is running for office that they are automatically a crook.  Now.. a seasoned politician is another thing.  As the idealism of their early days being new to public office fades into the reality of the frustration of changing public opinion, your fellow elected associates shifting about trying to stay in office and looking good for their constituents back home, and the need to compromise your own ideals in order to get support for your goals… all tends to make one cynical as the years progress.  It’s a level playing field that got you elected but no level playing field at all once you are elected.

But the question remains… do we blame the politician for lying, or is it more about the voter believing what the politician says without using some common sense?  In other words, is the voter just plain gullible?  Well, people are being people.. all different, all with different interests, personal priorities.. it’s the normal diversity of the human species that we all don’t think or act the same.  We are the products of our individual upbringings and life experiences.  The fact is… most of us should easily be able to determine a politician’s campaign “lie” when he/she first spews it out.  But many of us don’t want to bother going through all that effort, preferring to make our judgements on who to vote for using other more visual and audible criteria… and even pure faith… rather than fact checking what’s actually being said.  Let’s try some thought examples…

First common sense criteria… if a presidential candidate is making a promise that he can’t deliver on without Congressional support… then will his/her party be the majority in both houses in order to get the job done?   Of course, you, the voter, could hope that maybe the candidate’s personal charm and charisma could win over a House or Senate with an opposing party majority.. but seriously?

Second common sense criteria… even if the campaign promise has Congressional support to some majority, is the issue so historically controversial with the public, hence the media, that even members of the party majority will think twice and go the other way?  Example… think anything that tinkers with the Second Amendment.  “I promise to put restrictions on magazine capacities.”  Ask yourself, how exactly does he/she plan to do that once in office.. and is there any chance of it working?  Now, as a voter you could vote your conviction, indicating that you have to at least make the attempt.  That’s fine.. but when the attempt is unsuccessful, don’t call the politician a liar.

Remember when President H.W. Bush did the “read my lips” thing… “No new taxes.”… and then he did indeed push for a tax increase?  Was he at fault for the lame promise or was it that whoever voted for him because of that promise was gullible?  All a voter needed was a little bit of critical thinking skill to figure this one out.  There is NO President ever in history who could actually predict in advance that he could ever keep such a promise for four years, much less 8 years.  More to the point… why would I even want to vote for a president who makes a promise that could very easily paint himself into a political box down the line?  If any president felt a tax increase was needed for the welfare of the nation I certainly do NOT want him to not do it for fear of not getting re-elected.  It was a dumbass promise to begin with meant to get gullible voters to elect him.  “Read my lips!  I will not encourage frivolous new taxes.” or something similar would have made better sense.  It’s the same as promising, “I will not start a nuclear war.”  Well… you just might have to, Mr. President… and I’d certainly not want that option off the table should that time ever come.  Common sense.

“We are going to build a big beautiful wall and Mexico will pay for it.”  Jeez.. c’mon.  That can’t be done by Presidential decree alone.. Congress has to be won over to appropriate funding.. and… do we really think he knows what Mexico will pay for or not?  Of course not.  It was a dumbass promise and he’s paying for it politically.. but more important, gullible voters bought that he could do it.  Trump got into office on a number of transparent promises… and a ton of wishful thinking on what he thought the power of the presidency (and his ‘art of the deal’ nonsense) could actually accomplish by itself.

Third common sense criteria… if a candidate suggests he/she can change something in world affairs, like agreements, treaties, etc.  I’m not sure the candidate can read the minds of foreign governments to know if they would agree.  Also keep in mind if the promise requires Congressional action.

Fourth common sense criteria… candidates can indicate that they will “begin initiatives”, “establish a commission to study”, “call on Congress to act”, “introduce a bill to…”, things like that are pretty general and describe a beginning of a process, not the end result.  You could also include in this criteria promises that can easily be made by Presidential decree… and likely more easily kept.  It’s far easier to keep the promise of “intention” rather than the promise to “do”.

All this criteria is not just with Presidential candidates.  You have to weigh what the promise is with the actual honest ability of the candidate to keep it after being elected… from local municipal candidates to state legislature representatives… and even governors.  Now, this does not mean a winning candidate can’t change their mind on a campaign promise.  That requires constituents to challenge their elected officials and get explanations for un-kept promises.

I would encourage all voters to check out one of the fact checking sites (factchek.org, Politifact, etc.) on Obama and/or Trump to get an idea of the reasons promises were kept, some are in-process, some are a compromise, etc.  It can give you an idea of the various obstacles that can interfere with fulfilling a promise.   In fact, many promises are the same or similar for many presidential candidates to varying degrees.  Looking at fact checking sites can give you a working example of how a previous president managed to  fulfill a similar promise.. or not.

Try something new for this next election.  As all these candidates line up to proclaim their political differences and plans for a “new” America.. use your head on determining what they can actually promise by themselves.  Especially do this after all the primaries are over and the two primary candidates are in place.  They are going to make promises… before you vote, make sure they can actually have a chance on delivering those promises… especially if you are placing your vote on Candidate B not because of issues but rather because Candidate A sucks so badly.

I’d think twice about accusing politicians of lying to get elected.  Look in the mirror at the gullible one.  Now, if you prefer to vote for a presidential candidate because of the way he/she talks without saying anything, how he/she dresses, skin color, hair color… well.. it’s your vote.  Go for it.  Don’t blame the politician should he/she falls flat on his/her face when he/she’s the President.

 

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