Am I honestly about to claim that one party is more "moral"
than the other? (Never mind that pundits on the right have
been making precisely this claim for years.)
No, not even I would feel comfortable playing the liberal
Ann Coulter and proclaiming conservatives lie more than Democrats
because they're lesser people. That would be silly. The reason
Republicans lie so much more than Democrats is primarily out
Let me explain. There are two strategies for winning an
election: crafting policy that attracts more money, or crafting
policy that attracts more votes. Democrats tend to do the
latter by supporting the people's right to organize, to sue
a company that has wronged them or by funding programs that
go to middle- and low-income folks.
Republicans try to fill seats at $1,000 a plate fundraisers.
They do this by abolishing estate taxes for trust fund babies
and putting in place a pay-per-reg system that creates legal
loopholes for contributors - paid for with money that would
have gone to enforcing the few remaining laws not yet skewed
in their favor.
Democrats are betting people will vote in their best interests.
Republicans know that once they carpet bomb their opponent
with a last minute multi-million dollar marketing blitz, voters
won't know which way is up anymore and vote for the only person
left standing. No matter how disastrous Republican policies
may be for all but the richest few, they can afford the focus
groups to craft their message and the airtime to promote it.
You can see the result. We now live in a bizarro world where
fighting for the working class is elitist, cutting down trees
protects forests, and preventing industry from upgrading their
plants makes "clean skies." Didn't find the Weapons
of Mass Destruction? No problem. They'll just claim that was
never why we went to war in the first place - and who could
afford to argue with them?
The sad truth about truth in today's media-dominated politics
is that it can be bought, but only if you have the ability
to look someone in the eye and tell them red is blue without
blinking. And they do. God help us, they do.
That's the bad news. The good news is that the people still
want Democratic policies. Time and again they say voters say
they want tougher environment laws, an international effort
in Iraq and to debt reduction before tax cuts, even if they
did go to them. To keep them from voting for the politicians
who would give that to them, Republicans have to keep them
That won't work if we don't let them get away with it. That
means calling a lie a lie, something reporters aren't comfortable
doing. But letting Bush announce that he's "found the
Weapons of Mass Destruction" is not being objective,
it's being complicit. If the media is unwilling to take our
President to task, then we have to. We have to force the debate
to where it should be fought: over the issues. We can argue
about whether or not taxes stimulate the economy, but you
can't say 2 + 1 = 4.
That's not being partisan - that's being responsible. Once
that happens, people will be better informed and able to see
which policies are best for them - and that would be good
news for everybody.
Memekiller is founder and president of www.whoslying.org