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[politics] Post-truth campaigning in a world where no one cares - Lakeshore
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Jay Lake
Date: 2012-11-01 05:36
Subject: [politics] Post-truth campaigning in a world where no one cares
Security: Public
Tags:media, politics
When Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said after the 2010 mid-term elections, "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president", he was saying in so many words that conservatism as a political movement depends on destructive non-cooperation. Not vision. Not purpose. Not legislation. Not advancing a governing agenda or meeting American ideals. Just destructive non-cooperation.

When Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said during this year's Republican National Convention, "We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term", he was saying in so many words that conservatism as a political movement depends on anger and resentment. Not ideas. Not ideals. Not vision. Not philosophy. Not plans for the future. Anger and resentment.

When the Romney campaign ran an auto industry based ad in Ohio this week that flat out, knowingly lied about about job outsourcing, a GM spokesman said, "At this stage, we're looking at Hubble telescope-length distances between campaign ads and reality. That's the Republican Party lying for votes because they can't win on ideas, on vision or on merits.

If we had a meaningfully liberal media in this country, these would be top stories. Every voter would be aware of them. Just as every voter would be aware of Romney's astonishing stonewalling on tax returns, his reversals (sometimes in the same day) on every topic from abortion to disaster aid to foreign policy.

And no one cares.

Instead we have a political climate where conservatives brag about the benefits of lying, through "Etch-a-Sketch moments" — in other words, we will cheerfully and knowingly reverse our positions for the slightest political gain — and "We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers." — in other words, we will cheerfully and knowingly lie for the slightest political gain — while consistently refusing to discuss the reality behind their own campaign promises because "It would take me too long to go through all the math", or ""in the light of day[…] just not until after the election".

And no one cares.

We live in a country where the most recent experience of conservative government was the most enormous economic disaster since the Great Depression and the most destructive foreign policy disaster since the Vietnam War, where conservatives running today are lying about almost everything they stand for, and bragging about doing so, where conservative ideas have so little merit they can't be discussed in detail prior to the election, and still the Republican Party is very close to winning this thing.

And no one cares.

It's through the looking glass, living in the GOP's post-truth world. Once again, given that millions of my fellow citizens seem to prefer outright, knowing chicanery to political reality, maybe we are getting the government we deserve. But I can't help think we deserve a hell of a lot better than what the modern Republican Party is offering us — anger and resentment and lies and deception. They're not even pretending any more. And it's working for them.

And no one cares.

All of us, even the most severely conservative, deserve better than this.

If you care, vote.

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Kerry aka Trouble: Moi?
User: controuble
Date: 2012-11-01 13:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Moi?
Yes, actually, I DO care - and have already voted a pretty much straight Dem ticket. One of the worst TeaParty offenders of women happens to be my current Congressional Rep and I cheerfully supported and voted for his opponent.
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PolyDad
User: polydad
Date: 2012-11-01 15:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
*adds you to friend's list*
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-11-01 14:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Quote away!
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scarlettina: WW: Decisions made
User: scarlettina
Date: 2012-11-01 14:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:WW: Decisions made
I take exception to the idea that no one cares. Beyond many of the people of your acquaintance--most of whom are politically aware and follow the news pretty assiduously--there's a whole swath of media that is paying attention to Republican strategy, if it can be called something so carefully considered. The problem is that those who are following and documenting this behavior--journalists like Maureen Dowd, Paul Krugman, Rachel Maddow (whose blog, in fact, called out the whole Romney taxes thing again this morning), and Lawrence O'Donnell among others--are often dismissed for their liberal bias and therefore their reports are discounted. But they've all been calling out the Republican machine regularly for its behaviors and practices.

It's not that no one cares. It's that while there's an enormous population in this country that does care, there are still enough people who don't care or who believe in what they call conservative values that allows the Republican party to retain its power and influence. It's also that the media itself has become as polarized as the political extremes in this country, so that it's hard to tell what's actually happening. Interestingly, this morning's Washington Post reports on a National Journal piece saying that media polls are tracking more closely with the Democratic view of the race. I think we're at a point in this country where most media perspectives are distorted enough that there's no way to know who does and doesn't care, and who is and isn't reporting on the perfidy that has permeated not just this election cycle but the behavior of Republican pols during the last four years overall. And I don't know enough, myself, to be able to determine that there's a way back.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-11-01 14:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Fair enough. I'm being rhetorical when I say no one cares. Obviously, millions of people do care, or these stories would have no daylight at all. But outside of the liberal echo chamber, I don't see a lot of coverage of these stories, and I don't see any public accountability for gross Republican misdeeds and even rarely so for outright criminal conduct. That millions on millions of my fellow citizens would rather live in the entirely imaginary fear of Kenyan Muslim socialists coming to take their guns and force their kids to gay marry rather than simply open their eyes and ears to what their own leaders are openly saying depresses the hell out of me.

And Your Liberal Media, the only true force for widespread accountability in our current culture, really doesn't do a hell of a lot to push back on this. Maddow et al notwithstanding.
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joycemocha
User: joycemocha
Date: 2012-11-01 14:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I got truly frightened by two age peers saying "I'm the lucky one; you guys left behind will have to deal with the mess" shortly before they died. I'm not sure about the guy but I have to wonder about the degree to which despair at our current political situation (and other things) played in my friend's very quick passing. She was very political as well.

On an encouraging note--we did an election simulation in my 8th grade US History class yesterday, with the entire 8th grade. Given that we're in deepest Clackistan, I feared we'd see a lot of young conservatives voting Romney. Nope. VERY strong Obama performance. I'm hoping this is reflective of parental voting.

(Then again, if Occupy or some such similar group is still around in about five years, I think I'll be knowing one of the young future leaders.)
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Chris McKitterick: Me'n'Baby-Greg
User: mckitterick
Date: 2012-11-01 18:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Me'n'Baby-Greg
That's hopeful!
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houseboatonstyx: smaller-healing-buddha
User: houseboatonstyx
Date: 2012-11-01 21:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:smaller-healing-buddha
I got truly frightened by two age peers saying "I'm the lucky one; you guys left behind will have to deal with the mess" shortly before they died.

Being aged myself, I sometimes get that feeling too. But I suspect it's from hearing gloom about Social Security etc from BOTH sides. Especially since in the 1950s and 1960s, neither side dared openly talk that way. Have you seen copies of the Republican platforms for that era?

Rationally, I try not to take seriously either side's doom-saying, especailly in an election yar.

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russ: quo vadis
User: goulo
Date: 2012-11-01 15:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:quo vadis
It is depressing indeed.

My mom has a lot of Republican friends who forward nonsensical emails (birtherism, Obama is communist, and other such provably idiotic false nonsense) to her despite her requests to quit and her occasional forwarding of rebuttals.

It's very strange, seeing apparently half the country so willfully counterfactual, anti-science, happy to accept obviously cynical lies, etc.

It's also sad that there are things they really could validly slam Obama for, except that they apparently support them (e.g. drone wars; increased surveillance of "terrorists", "militants", Muslims, progressive anti-war activists, and other such trouble-makers; the continual war on drugs and privatized prisons; indefinite detention of whistleblowers and other political prisoners with no rights; Guantanamo still functioning; etc.)

I don't honestly have much hope for the US getting saner any time soon. It's hard to imagine how to turn things around.
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Danny Adams
User: madwriter
Date: 2012-11-01 20:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
What I still naively can't wrap my head around is that when I get one of these e-mails (particularly Birther idiocy) and debunk it in detail, I'll get the exact same e-mail--weeks or months later--from the same person. They don't want to know the reality because apparently the lie is more fun.
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kimberlywade
User: kimberlywade
Date: 2012-11-01 16:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I just want to point out that i heard the story about the Romney ads on NPR yesterday. They played the actual ads followed by rebuttals from GM. And yes, they called them lies. I know, for this truth-telling, NPR is labeled "liberal media" but it's not MSNBC. I do agree with you for the most part. I have plenty of relative in Texas who send me emails that appear to be seeded by Fox News. The ignorance displayed in them is stunning.
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Sacchi Green
User: sacchig
Date: 2012-11-01 16:19 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
There are also people like my 92-tear-old father who are relatively liberal on social issues, but can't be budged from his Depression-formed position that borrowing is evil and spending more than we "have" dooms his grandchildren and great-grandchild to worse lives. I can't make him understand that national economies don't work like household ones. He'll either vote republican or not at all. (Yes, I know there are different lessons to be learned from the Depression, but I can't budge him.)
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houseboatonstyx: smaller-healing-buddha
User: houseboatonstyx
Date: 2012-11-01 21:20 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:smaller-healing-buddha
Then there are people like me who missed the Depression but grew up in the relatively Liberal 1950s+, when Social Security was considered an eternal Third Rail, enlightened semi-socialism was spreading, etc. Many of my age lack the energy and the Internet-fu to fight what the 1% is hiring professionals to broadcast. But the coming generations do have that, and the world is getting smaller: Iceland, Argentina are showing us how to deal with the financial 'crisis', and other countries are showing how to make green energy work.

Hopefully, reality will prevail, and we know how that's biased. ;-)
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mmegaera
User: mmegaera
Date: 2012-11-01 22:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My 88-year-old mother has spent most of her life in the South, where up until we moved to California in the early 60s, she'd always been a registered Democrat because that was the only way to vote in a meaningful primary (she's lived in Texas since 1991). As long as we don't talk party politics as opposed to the issues, we agree on an astonishing number of those issues. But she will never, ever vote Democrat again, no matter how much sense it would make to her.
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Little and foxy and sexy... what more do you want?
User: little_foxy
Date: 2012-11-01 22:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
*hugs*

We care all the way over here!

Mind you we are suffering from the same thing, that whole destructive non-cooperation thinig from our Opposition. They had a really good oppurtunity to work with the minority government to show the country that they did have what it takes, but all they do is block good policy. To the point that the leader of the opposition is now know as Mr. No in the media.

The other thing the Mr. No has done is out and out called our Prime Minister a liar, frequently when it just isn't the case.

It is all getting rather pathetic and demoralising, and we are now about 12 months out from our next election....

Hoping that Sandy doesn't cause too many voters issue and that as many of you as possible have your say.

I am truly scared as to what will happen globally if Mitt Romney gets into power.
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Max Kaehn: Politics
User: slothman
Date: 2012-11-02 00:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Politics
It’s on my calendar! Did my research, blogged it for the edification of my friends and coworkers and sangha. (The links will be useless to you in Oregon, but the California propositions research may be handy if anyone in California is reading this).
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mtlawson
User: mtlawson
Date: 2012-11-02 03:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well said, Jay.

I get to hear this more than most because Boehner is from the district just north of mine. The funny thing is that around here we commonly hear complaints that Boehner "isn't conservative enough." Just chewing on that makes me wonder just what it is they really want.
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