Friday, October 12, 2012
The "Truth" Hurts
This ad is currently running in Iowa. It echos a refrain of many Republican candidates all over the country, including Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan last night at the VP debate.
Yet NPR reports:
FactCheck.org writes that "Ryan says Obama turned Medicare into a 'piggy bank.' Not so." It has previously written that "Republicans claim the president's $716 billion 'cuts' to Medicare hurt the program's finances. But the opposite is true. These cuts in the future growth of spending prolong the life of the Medicare trust fund, stretching the program's finances out longer than they would last otherwise."
Biden stated that the consulate in Libya didn't need more security before it was attacked on September 11.
But The Washington Post's Fact Checker responded quickly to that assertion. It pointed out that that Biden's claim had already been "contradicted by State Department officials just the day before, in testimony before a congressional panel and in unclassified cables released by a congressional committee." (also from NPR)
This illustrates how politics can not only reframe facts to fit ideologies, but willfully and blatantly ignore them to further their agendas. In normal, everyday life, people call this behavior lying.
Whether Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or any other political party (or non-party), it's important to admonish these behaviors from our representatives and leaders. It's easier, to be sure, to recognize the lies when they're coming from a politician you don't agree with. However, no one can claim the moral high ground of an argument without, in good-faith, representing the facts to the best of their ability. Therefore, it is in everybody's best interest to press their own political affiliates to represent the truth as best they can, and not just frame them in a way that advances our own ideology and bias.
We allow our politicians to stretch, bend, exaggerate, or ignore the truth, in order to make short-term gains. Yet, the long-term effects from accepting this behavior will only hurt all of us.