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Liar, Liar, McCain on Fire

September 17, 2008

For some odd reason, many people find lying admirable, that is, as long as the lying results in a net gain of some kind. In politics, it’s generally accepted that politicians lie as a rite of passage. It’s what they DO, so the sentiment is no harm done when they do it.

This attitude reminds me of the way my friends and I played Monopoly as kids. We had a simple rule: ‘cheating is game, as long as you don’t get caught’. This might seem silly at first, but the principle is simple; if you get caught, no harm no foul. Winning Monopoly by cheating was an integral part of the game for us, and part of the rules’ design was to hold everyone’s acute attention throughout the long, drawn out game. It was effective.

One of my childhood friends must have ended up as a strategist for the McCain campaign, because they clearly have adopted the same ‘get caught, no foul’ principle. They have gone far beyond the gratuitous level of stretching and twisting the truth, to flat-out brazen lying. No harm, no foul. That’s the game of politics.

In such fragile times like these, it’s hard to understand why this ‘cheat to win’ approach is working at all. I recently saw a blog post where a reader said,”This election is a reformation on America’s IQ.” I’m beginning to think we are still quite stupid. The economy is tanking, energy costs are going through the roof. Environmental calamaties are increasing, people are losing their jobs and homes. Women’s rights are at the brink of reversing. Our military is weakening due to overstretched and repeated tours of duty. Russia, and other nations we once were mending relationships with, are increasingly at odds with us. People are losing health benefits and pensions… The list goes on and on. And people are still considering more of the same? I honestly don’t understand it – in the same way that I can’t comprehend how Hillary supporters are willing to throw all their principles away just because their candidate lost to someone with nearly the exact same platform!

I don’t see much of a gamble with Obama. Trying to put my objective hat on, I can’t see anything threatening about him. He seems intelligent enough. He’s a thinker. His responses to questions are thoughtful and coherent. Sure, a certain lack of experience comes into play, but does anyone really think he wouldn’t put together an experienced cabinet?

The alternative is someone that is willing to lie to win. Does everyone think this behavior would stop once elected? Is the end game at any cost really what is best for this country?

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