I think that politicians campaigning for office should be fitted with a collar that delivers a shock each time they utter an incorrect fact. I was listening to the Republican candidates after yesterday’s caucuses and they were all doing it; about each other, about Obama, about democrats. They make what sounds like a statement of fact and it’s wrong. They all employ fact checkers so they have to know that they are saying something that isn’t true. Doesn’t anyone else notice? Have we become such sheep that we don’t question what comes out of someone’s mouth if it’s said with enough conviction?
These are opinions or different ideas for how to solve issues that face us. These are facts. You can look them up. If I say that Mary Beth hired 10 people and she only hired 3, it’s a lie. Mary Beth may have wanted to hire 10 people, she may have intended to do so, but the fact remains that she didn’t.
A friend was repeating a fact that Gingrich used. I said “You know that’s not true.” And he said “yeah, but it sounds really good”. It sounds good???? That’s right, let’s not muddy the waters with the truth. As long as someone says what we want to hear, we’re going to believe it. And while we’re at it, let’s put that person in charge of the country so we can just feel good.
As I write this I was thinking that we wouldn’t accept this in our personal relationships so why would we elect someone to run the country that tells us pretty lies. Then I realized that I know plenty of people who do accept what they want to hear despite the facts facing them. A husband comes home smelling of perfume and says a woman at work dropped her bottle and it went everywhere and the wife smiles and washes the shirt. Your son comes home smelling of alcohol and cigarettes and says he wasn’t drinking or smoking, Tom was, and he was keeping him out of trouble. What a good friend you think.
I guess it makes perfect sense that we blindly accept that what a candidate says is true. After all it takes time and effort to verify what you are hearing. You have to put in some work to discover which candidate truly represents your point of view.
Back a step. You have to have a point of view. I was making conversation at a function and turned to the person next to me and asked what they thought about the topic. “I don’t know, I never thought about it”, was the response. Think about it now, idiot (I didn’t actually say that although I wanted too). We waited a few minutes for them to contribute something and when nothing was forthcoming we went on with our conversation.
A friend that’s been reading my blogs said “Wow, you have an opinion about everything.” “Yes”, I replied “don’t you?”