1. Paul Ryan is adorable, but a liar.
2. Mitt Romney is still incredibly uninteresting. Also a liar.
3. Lying has now become an acceptable means of political communications. Not fudging, but outright lying.
Now I’ve had some problems with Romney and his crew from the get-go. When I worked as a journalist, we had cable news running non-stop in the office. I could often be heard screaming things at the TV like “Obamacare is the SAME THING AS ROMNEYCARE! Ugh!” “That’s not what you said yesterday, dude. Seriously?” “Just release your tax returns already!” and “What happened to the ‘moderate progressive’ Republican governor who allowed gay marriage? I might have voted for him!”
Needless to say, we stopped watching cable news all the time in the office after a while.
But Mitt got the vote by being less crazy and more handsome than Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich or Herman Cain. Fine. Like we didn’t all see that one coming. When he chose Paul Ryan as his running mate, I felt like maybe I should start hoarding birth control, but it was an overall solid choice. Ok, fine.
But then his campaign started going from ‘maybe people won’t notice I changed my mind’ to straight up ‘people will believe anything I say because they hate Obama.’
Now, after watching the RNC, my problem with Romney and his crew can be summed up in a single sentence spoken by campaign staffer Neil Newhouse: “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers.”
Uh, what? Now, there are some things people called lies, especially in Ryan’s speech, that you could fudge. The closing of the Janesville plant? Eh, maybe you could technically, sort of, possibly blame that on Obama if you tried really hard. The rest?
Let’s just say even Fox News called him out on it.
The man now running for President of these United States is no better. According to PolitiFact.com, 70% of the statements made by Romney surrounding issues ranging from Obama’s policies to job rates are somewhere between a half-truth and a complete flat-out “pants on fire” lie.
He mostly avoided lies in favor of out of context exaggerations during his acceptance speech, but still couldn’t manage to just stick to the truth.
As much as I’d like to be calm about this, here’s my reaction:
HOW IN THE HELL ARE WE SUPPOSED TO TRUST YOU TO RUN A COUNTRY WHEN YOU CAN’T STOP LYING ABOUT HOW OTHER PEOPLE RUN THE COUNTRY?
(Now, I’m not saying that Obama and Biden didn’t do some exaggerating of their own during their DNC speeches. Certainly they did. But quoting a disputed study is, in my eyes, different than completely fabricating your speech.)
But you say, what does the Republican ticket get out of lying so much? Why would you do that when you’re trying to win a country’s trust?
As I see it, there are a few options.
1. They know people will believe anything if you say it enough.
I could give numerous examples of this fact, but here’s a few. There were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Obamacare has made taxpayers pay for other people’s birth control. Things that are purple taste like grape. (The correct answers are: nope, isn’t happening and purple is a color, not a flavor. Duh.)
So maybe they’re hoping if they lie enough, people will vote for them based on false beliefs. An understandable but terrible way to run a campaign.
2. Republicans are determined to make Obama a one-term president, but since he organized the killing of Bin Laden, gave kids and broke college grads health care and helped fix the auto industry, they don’t have a good reason for people to vote Republican. Especially when their candidate won’t release his tax returns, insults foreign leaders across the globe and seems to be totally out of touch with the average American.
Really all I can say to this one is that when even your own party leaders can’t seem to get behind someone, maybe you should have floated some better candidates. Even all the RNC endorsements were fairly lukewarm. I mean, after sweeping the House and Senate in 2010, you’d think there would have been someone, anyone, better out there than those who showed up for the primary race.
However, since you are stuck with Romney you could, you know, maybe have Mittens introduce his own plans? Say how he’s going to do better in concrete terms? Explain what he would have done differently (other than not make Romneycare available to the entire country)?
Stop lying to win (see #1) and instead get your candidate under control. We only have 50-some days left until the election. Get your act together.
3. They’re trying to disenchant voters so much that independent and Democratic voters get fed up and stay home.
This one sounds silly, but I’m becoming more and more convinced as the weeks pass that this could have some truth to it. Look at it this way: In the age of the Internet, no politician can say a word that won’t be dissected by everyone with a computer. And as a young voter with a brain, I’m getting pretty sick of the way the political process works in this country. I may be a Policy Dork, but I’m not stupid. (Older voters seem to agree with me based on a series of loud lunchroom rants I’ve participated in over the last two months.)
There’s simply no trust left in the political process.
Will I vote on Nov. 6? Absolutely. Do I feel the voting booth urgently screaming my name as it did in 2008 and 2010? No, not really.
And if even a small percentage of the Independent and Democratic voters that are hard enough to get out the door feel that way too, well then, they might just stay home and let someone else take care of the problem.
Of course, they’re already taking care of this voting ‘problem’ with disenfranchising voter ID laws in various states, but I guess it can’t hurt to up their odds. Finally…
4. They actually believe what they’re telling people.
I don’t believe this one. Partially because it’s terrifying and partially because I believe a man smart enough to have off shore banking accounts is smart enough to know the difference between truth and fiction.
Ultimately, if I may issue a challenge to the Romney-Ryan ticket, one that I guarantee will go unanswered, here it is:
Please, prove me wrong on any of the reasons above.
Just once, I would like to see a completely honest speech. No skewed facts, no exaggerations and certainly no outright lies. Just once, let’s see a headline that says: “Everything in Romney/Ryan’s Speech Found to be Completely True.” Just once, show me you can actually be trusted to govern a country.
Because we’re too far along into the age of the Internet for you to do anything else.