#638 – Dick Bernard: Election 2012 #56. Political Lyin'

Tonight is the third “debate” (I really don’t consider them debates at all – they are more political theatre, like two gladiators in the Coliseum in ancient Rome.) Unlike the Coliseum, every frown, misspoken word, will be captured for posterity, to be sliced out and to be used ad infinitum forever…at least until the election, then stored away to be used whenever it is convenient.
This noon I was at the Minneapolis Club waiting with my host for his two other guests. He and another man, like him a long-time and older member of this very exclusive club of less than 1000 members, engaged briefly in conversation about tonights debate.
Neither was certain they’d take time to watch it. Lying came up. No candidate name was mentioned, though it would be a fair guess that it will be the other candidate – whichever one they don’t support – who will be judged to have crossed the line; and it will depend on what fact-checker is relied on to support the claim that the candidate lied.
Such is how it is in the American political conversation. Unfortunately, most of us who care are pretty hard-wired into our final position.
“They all lie”, one of my relatives likes to say, which is her rationalization for supporting her own personal choices for office. He or she lies too: she just likes them better: “he seems like a nice man”.
A few days ago I responded to the most recent lying “forward” from an arch-conservative friend in Colorado.
As is my custom, I respond to everyone on the open cc list, and one person, a long-time friend, wrote back: “Not as false as the outright lies of Obama”, with no specifics offered of course.
I responded back “Thanks for response. Probably we have very little to talk about, politically. I have followed politics pretty closely for a very long time, including hundreds of those ‘forwards’ from _________, almost all since 2010, virtually all of which are false, but seemingly accepted as truth by the one who forwards them. The only true ones are those where somebody who is said to have written some screed or other is the one who actually wrote it. I always reply to anyone and everyone who sends this stuff on. Gets tiring, but I never ask to be taken off of any list.”
I included a link to a previous blogpost on the topic. (This isn’t the only one I’ve written on the topic.)
So it goes.
I’m not sure I’ll watch the so-called debate tonight.
Both candidate will be on his guard against making inadvertent statements – rather fragments of statements – that can be used against them tomorrow.
Then the true barrage of political advertising – most of it so misleading as to be false, especially the independent expenditures against candidates – will take control of our lives.
Two weeks to go.
Thank goodness, it will soon be over.
But before it’s over, prepare to vote very well-informed on all your local races on November 6.
Minnesotans, here’s how you can find out who’s running in your local area.
UPDATE: October 23: I watched only fragments of the debate. Here’s a summary of analyses of the debate from a blogger who I respect.
Other related posts: enter Election 2012 in the search box.

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