Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Matter of Trust

I know that this blog will likely ruffle a few of my Republican friend's feathers.  It is not my intent to do so, but it is also not my intent to apologize for the way I feel about this topic.

Everyone lies.  They lie to protect others feelings, they tell white lies. They lie to themselves.  They shade the truth.  They lie by omission.  There is though something about telling a lie that's been called a lie over and over even after it's been called a lie simply because some one believes the adage that telling a lie over and over will make it the truth.  It is how myths are created.  Myths like Reagan fought and prevented taxes when in fact he raised taxes in six of the eight years he was in office.  He tripled the national debt at the time.  What he did do was give us the 50's myth of a gentler better time.  

I suppose this blog may seem political but telling lies bothers me in a politician.  I know saying that a politician tells lies is like announcing sheep have wool.   It's not shading the truth; it is lying.  My first gut response was when long-time Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstom (sometimes called Romney's backbone), went on CNN and said ,“Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.”

Now I know Romney has supposedly never seen position he doesn't like.  Every politician has a flip flop or two in his or her record, although probably less than Mitt, in his past.  It is common practice for Republicans to go to the right during the primaries and then move toward the middle during the campaign as it is common practice for Democrats to go to the left during the primaries and move back to center for their campaign as well.  I do not recall a candidate who has told more untruths to win an election than Mitt and company.  

One blogger has posted a blog entitled Mitt Romney tells 533 lies in 30 weeks.  I am not going to list them here but you can Google the article.  I am also not sure that all of the 533 lies aren't the same ones over and over and some are also shading the truth which all successful politicians do. Another says it is 616 lies in 33 weeks.

What finally broke for me is the interview with Meet the Press.  In the interview Romney is explaining why he wants to become president and prefaces his statement with “The Judeo-Christian ethics that I was brought up with..." This is a fine sentiment, but the issue is that doesn't Judeo-Christian ethics teach one to tell the truth?  It is a matter of ethics.  And these are not little lies.  

We continue to see the Romney approved ad on "Obama's gutting of Welfare" which has been clearly demonstrated as untrue.  Recently, he implied that Obama wants to remove "In God we trust" from coinage, also untrue.  "Day one" an ad says, "I will repeal Obama Care." Yet on Meet the Press he says we will keep parts of the health care reform.  Don't get me wrong, I believe health care reform was something that needed to be done, and I also believe that it needs work to be improved.  Even Obama has admitted as much, but if the Republicans weren't so busy being obstinate, then maybe it could be fixed.

His ads have stated that the money taken by Obama Care from Medicare will affect current Medicare recipients.  Not true.  He has an ad that says Obama Care will tax wheel chairs. Not true.  This is not shading the truth.  It is inaccurate.  

On PolitiFact they list at least 15 false statements that mention Obama or the president told by Mr. Romney ( I looked up the false statements registered as false by Obama in relation to Romney, and there are three involving Romney by name ( Admittedly there are more for "false" statements for Obama than Romney, but the Obama statements involve a lot of issues and two presidential campaigns and one primary but I must also admit though I find that a little troubling, too, although not as troubling as this year's political season.

I don't think I am being naive.  The fact is he doesn't tell the truth so he can be president and I think that truly matters.  As I stated in an earlier blog, Super PACs scare me about the control they wield through their money and Romney is the most controlled candidate by the smallest number of donors.  When this kind of tone is set, it is very difficult to move back to a positive one following the election

I'm friends with many people who are of the Mormon faith.  I know that they would not condone such mendacity.  I may not see eye to eye with some of them on politics, but I know they are as honest and ethical as much as anyone can be.  In fact I would think any person raised in any kind of ethical home would be asking these questions. It bothers me that so many of the untruths after being proved as inaccurate didn't get pulled but were actually increased.  

And yet...

Twenty-three million unemployed in statements and ads...the actual number is twelve and half according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. His long Afghanistan speech to the veterans the day before his convention speech, which he uses as an excuse for not mentioning this war and those who were fighting there in his acceptance speech, was in fact a two sentence mention which was a long ways from policy. Yet he says he gave a long speech that day explaining his policy on the war in his veteran’s speech on Meet the Press.

Romney doesn't believe the fringe birther claims that Obama wasn't born a citizen and yet does a birther joke and accepts endorsement from the leader of the birthers, Donald Trump, who was scheduled opening night the Republican convention.  There were in fact seven birthers who were supposed to speak at this convention.  It is pretty common knowledge that once there is a presumptive nominee, they and their staff can and do control the convention. It is clearly racial as is the welfare ad. I would hope that we would move beyond such ideas.  It is somewhat ironic that George Romney, who also ran for president, was born in Mexico. No one ever asked to see his birth certificate, either, Mitt.  

In the Philly Post, one writer put it that PolitiFact has given Romney so many "pants on fire ratings" that he is surprised "he can sit down." Joe Klein, who has covered Washington since Nixon, stated he “can’t remember a candidate so brazenly allergic to facts.” When Romney became the presumptive nominee he began to complain about the divisive and negative tone of Obama's ads.  Yet at the time of the ads running, 80 plus percent of Obama's ads were listed as negative.  Over 90 percent of Romney's ads were listed as negative by CBS news.  

And then there is Paul Ryan...the budget hawk...

He suddenly has memory loss.  He never actually followed Ayn Rand, but he required every member of his staff in Washington to read it.  He "implied" a GM factory closed during Obama's administration.  It didn't. Was Obama supposed to save the factory retro-actively like Romney's retro-active retirement from Bain? He didn't support the stimulus but asked for money from it.  He didn't vote for the military spending cut in Sequester, but he did in fact vote for it and even released a statement about it.  He presented Simpson-Bowles to Obama who ignored it, but he actually voted against it and even walked out of the negotiations sending in his final "no" vote.  He didn't propose cuts to Medicare, but in fact he did.   He supports strict spending limits yet voted for TARP, and both unfunded wars. In fact he voted for every spending increase Bush asked for.  Don't even get me started on his involvement with Todd Akin.  He ran a marathon in under three hours when in fact it was over four hours. Every marathoner can tell you down to the second their best time.  The man who would be "one heartbeat away" from the president has trouble telling fact from fiction.  

Does every president have to have stellar character?  No.  If that were the case, there would be no one left in office, but the deceit of this campaign indicates something more than indicates trust and I don't know if I can trust these two.  I know you supporters of Mitt will point to me that Obama has had told a lies while on the trail, but he has also admitted when he believes he was wrong and that was something that Mitt and Paul don't seem to do.  It is also the nature of the lies used, I think.  It really bothers me about his campaign.

Who do you trust?