Thursday, September 27, 2012
President Obama was at his eloquent best this week at the U.N. when he said the strongest weapon against hateful speech "is not repression; it is more speech. … We cannot ban blasphemy.” He apparently was ignoring last week's White House’s request for Google to remove a Muslim film from You Tube (which they denied). The beloved cartoon character made popular by Disney is more and more human and Mister Geppetto’s head is spinning around.
Mitt Romney’s no honest Abe Lincoln himself. The Washington Post actually has assigned the Romney/Ryan campaign 4 Pinocchio’s. At the Republican convention the campaign said “we won’t be dictacted by fact checkers.” Honesty seems to have no place in a Presidential campaign.
There’s no Constitutional right for truth. CNN outlines how the half-truths are commonplace in this campaign on all sides. Americans used to aspire to truth and justice. Instead the next six weeks will be a battle to the bottom.
The result of the “he said” / “he said” mentality is that is has become white noise for the electorate. They both lie. They both misrepresent themselves and their opponent. It’s all in an attempt to sway the 5% who describe themselves as “undecided.”
Romney got some heat for saying that 47% of the country will vote for President Obama no matter what. He was inelegant, crass and inaccurate in his justification – but the overall point was actually right. Presidential contests throughout time show - with some rare exceptions – a country nearly evenly divided throughout history.
The difference today is that once the election is done and governing begins – those who didn’t win no longer look for the greater good or service to the country – it’s all about beating the other side the next time. Thwarting a second Obama term was the Republican’s priority from Inauguration Day. So much for public service.
Whether President Obama continues for four more years or there’s a President Romney – one thing is clear: neither will have a legislative majority. The country will be gridlocked again. That might not actually be the worst thing. Since the country is largely divided it makes sense that Congress too would be divided. The question is whether there’s an interest in bridging the differences. Both major parties have evolved to the evangelists passions of take-no-prisoners and to win-at-all-costs. Without a majority, though, it’s an exercise in frustration because history shows us that Americans have been and will be divided. Wouldn’t it be nice to have leaders (from both the executive and legislative branches) who found a way to keep their principles while still getting something done? That’s the real cartoon.