Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Do We Admire Lies?

I think we can all agree that politicians tell outright lies. Sadly, the consequences for lying to us are minimal to none. Recently the Plain Dealer reported that corrections of misinformation frequently fail to change people's minds and sometimes makes things worse. There are many fact-checker organizations and the PD has one called Politifact.

The Ohio Republican state treasurer and aspiring US Senator, Josh Mandel, has received three of the Politifact Ohio's seven most recent "Pants on Fire"rulings. Of his 14 statements evaluated on the Truth-O-Meter since 2010, six have been deemed "mostly false", False, or "Pants-on-fire". But no one seems to care as he travels quickly up the political ladder.

Politicians of all parties have been lying since the beginning of the republic. My question is - Why do we believe them? The PD article said that "most people don't base their opinions on the accumulation of factual material...instead, people will weigh their own values and discussions with others when formulating opinions."

A commercial playing frequently in the area is of the perfect Pat Boone. He states that an in pendent payment advisory board created by the health care law "can ration care and deny certain Medicare treatments." It's a complete "Pants-on-Fire", a completely made-up lie - but still it plays daily to people who want a reason to be angry and fearful of their future.

The truth is that people believe what they want to believe and from the number of ridiculous emails that float around it's clear that very few people check their facts.

To me, it's like the person on the witness stand who says something, and even though the judge overrules the objection - the jury already heard it.

Too bad people who are supposed to represent us don't have the decency to tell the truth or stand on their own merits.

But yeah, I know - that's in my dream world, isn't it?

1 comment:

Jan said...

Pondering this, thanks to you.