Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

[politics] Post-truth campaigning in a world where no one cares

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.

Tags: media, politics

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