Many of the same politicians on the right crying crocodile tears for the future of their children and grandchildren are doing the most to destroy that future. It is that hard to figure out. Look at the economy, education, the environment, equal rights…you’re hard pressed to find facts to support their ideological claims.
Paying attention and digging just a little exposes the disconnect, but you hardly have to do that. Just ask questions and demand answers.
The litany of bad actors on the right is nearly a comprehensive list of any pundit, politician, or any other sort of right wing ideologue. It is a disgrace. Recently Peggy Scott, a Minnesota GOP state legislator, was complaining that MNSure, Minnesota’s ACA health exchange, and Obamacare had cost jobs and hurt families. I wrote to her asking for numbers and sources. No surprise, but there is no answer.
On the national stage, the lies are more impressive. We’re told millions of jobs are lost and people are being left to die because they cannot keep their health care under the laws of the Affordable Care Act. There is absolutely no facts to back up these statements, but turn on the Sunday morning talk shows tomorrow and you’re likely to hear the leaders from the Republican Party make these claims as an absolute truth.
Perhaps the average voter hasn’t the gumption to question these claims. Maybe they don’t have the facts, especially given the years and years of lies being told about these issues. We expect our leaders to be credible, after all, do we not? Don’t we expect people of integrity and responsibility to be the same people who rise to the top levels of leadership here? Maybe it has never been that way entirely, but today it is a given that politics is a sport of lies and deception.
So if the voters are not going to question the liars, shouldn’t the media? When Peggy Scott told a KSTP reporter that MNSure and ACA were both hurting families, should the reporter have left her off the hook? Reporting still has something to do with uncovering facts, does it not?
Unfortunately the media today is little more than a tool for loudmouths. Get in front of a camera and let it fly. As such the media has built some amazing and appalling careers. Bachmann, Palin, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz, among many others, and the supporting chorus of disinformation from the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, and Beck. Ask them to back up their claims with facts. They can’t do it. But few people are asking and those that should ask won’t.
Who is holding these people accountable, demanding valid answers? Some are, most are not.
Part of the problem is a bastardized notion of objectivity and balance. To be “objective” today seems to mean giving both sides of a debate balanced credibility. If representative A says health care insurance is good, then give representative B time to say health care is bad and never mind the facts. That’s not objectivity. It is hyper-subjectivity, one that enables opinions to be confused for facts. As such our so-called “objective” discourse has blurred opinion into fact with reckless alacrity. It is bad enough that we have people willing to lead on deception, but even worse that we allow it to happen.
These are not good people or we are electing woefully uninformed and poorly educated people to public office. Whatever it is, it does not bode well for our future. Simply look at where we are today and how we got here. The very social and economic dismantling that has undone generations of public work and investment for the common good is exactly what conservatives promise for the future, a promise standing on a foundation of lies. Why would we choose to do that? More alarming is the madness behind such a choice. Why would an intelligent leader hide from the facts behind a shield of failed ideology? The grip of ideas is a powerful one or maybe it is just a tool. Again, they’re either bad people or ignorant. Take your pick. Either way, it’s time to stop being “balanced” about it. Demand more from the people who are setting the course for our future.
As an addendum here, there is a link below to “More MNSure casualties.” I hope Sago.com will comment. I guess we can disagree about whether taxpayers paying for public services are a good thing or a bad thing — although I think the debate is a shallow one — but I am interested in the sources here. I am also eager to debate the myopic view that underlies it all. Look…everyone benefits from programs that taxes support, but not everyone uses the same public programs. The good family that always “paid their own way” is included. The idea that government cannot help people is a terrible misrepresentation of what makes for a strong society in the first place. When we debate these issues, we need to go to the beginning and start there.