Campaign Claims: Who's Telling the Truth? Is Anyone?

By:  Ralph R. Reiland
10/30/2012
       
Campaign Claims: Who's Telling the Truth? Is Anyone?

“Well, the liar won!” That’s what half the country will be saying the night of the election or the morning after, no matter who wins, given the current level of political polarization, anger, and mistrust.  It’s probably, in fact, much more than half the population who won’t be in a very celebratory mood about the election results in view of the core political belief that says, and not without an abundance of evidence, “they all lie.”

“Well, the liar won!” That’s what half the country will be saying the night of the election or the morning after, no matter who wins, given the current level of political polarization, anger, and mistrust.

It’s probably, in fact, much more than half the population who won’t be in a very celebratory mood about the election results in view of the core political belief that says, and not without an abundance of evidence, “they all lie.”

Some of these folks don’t vote and some only go to the polls to try to stop an even-worse phony from winning. As W. C. Fields said, “Hell, I never vote for anyone, I always vote against.”

In his “Damn Lies and Statistics” recent column, Peter Coy, economics editor at Bloomberg Businessweek magazine, asks this question regarding the misinformation in the presidential campaign and the increasingly toxic nature of American politics: “If the candidates can’t agree on basic facts, what hope does the U.S. have of coming together to fix the economy?”

In the second presidential debate on October 16, here was the exchange on domestic oil production during the Obama presidency:

Obama: “Production is up.”

Romney: “…is down,”

Obama: “No, it isn’t.”

Romney: “Production on government land of oil is down 14 percent.”

Obama: “It’s just not true.”

Romney: “It’s absolutely true.”

This “war over facts reflects a coarsening of American politics,” writes Coy. “Polarization has undermined civility and fair play,” while the two parties have become more adept at “engineering factoids” than developing solutions to the nation’s problems.

Click here to read the entire article.

Ralph R. Reiland (photo)

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