Political ads are not a part of any fair or honest debate process. One of the primary reasons they are not, is that so many of them seem to be lies, half truths, and innuendos. There are no honest judges present to throw out invalid sources, and no rebuttal of questionable statements allowed unless the person wishing to give rebuttal can come up with the money to pay for it.
Then, it won’t be positioned in any timely manner that might offset the “perception management” strategies (propaganda), but placed according to the governance of the media it is purchased from. The media is happy to sell the space for these ads, as it is very profitable for them to do so. It comes down to which dominator-bully can collect the most donations (bribes?), and hire the cleverest political science writers to script their self-inflated lists of accomplishments, and fear-mongering, doesn’t it?
The rhetoric, all being parts of the speech to persuade, prey upon the phobic nature of the masses–most of whom are passive thinkers at best; scientifically illiterate, and not very familiar with their own history. While what is happening is disgusting, I remain disappointed, but not surprised. It’s all about money and power, and common decency and ethics have absolutely nothing to do with it.
And while the Supreme court has ruled that any person, groups of persons, or corporations can, in effect, buy the influence of public office without it being considered bribery, we are inundated with mail and phone calls, not just from the campaign offices of the lying politicians themselves, but from every crack-pot organization in the country, even when it is just a local election. Again, I say it’s all about money and power, and common decency and ethics have absolutely nothing to do with it.
In business, there are laws intending to prevent false advertising and overt actions that would deceive the public. People still break these rules on occasion, but from time to time those who do get held accountable. And this accountability is not considered by the public to be any infringement on “free speech”, but an intended safeguard against unethical greed and avarice taking unfair control over the lives of what would-be free and independent ordinary citizens.
Yet, we have no such rules in politics that prevent false advertising. We have no rules in place that have any teeth that would prevent politicians from deceiving the public. We have allowed politicians to be above the law, so to speak, in almost all measures that we would hold ourselves to in all of our other business affairs.
In the business world, people who dispense favors to venders and suppliers who have provided that officer with gifts or other consideration are often fired, and also viewed in their own business community as unethical, dishonorable, and therefore not trustworthy to handle the affairs or money of businesses, or that of the owners or stockholders of such businesses. But in governance, it is an acceptable practice?
As a boy, I heard my grandfather say:
“A half-truth is no truth at all. And the intent of it is to lie.”
The average citizen is warned in courtrooms not to lie. They are instructed to “…tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” And of course, you understand why we have such a rule as that, without having to have ever heard any opinion about it from my grandfather. Unless the judges and juries can operate on some belief that witnesses are compelled to be truthful, there would be no reason to depend or act upon testimony.
If people lie, or misdirect focus to things that never happened, or reported to have happened differently that what is factual, arguments about equity and consideration would make no sense, and guilt could never be presumed beyond reasonable doubt. In other words, the system would fail.
What you’d have left would be ruthless gangs struggling for power, and expect those gangs once they get such authority, to render each and every civil right of the individual now protected by the constitution null and void. Yet we have come to accept this pattern to exist and be “the way things are” in the Congress, the Senate, and in the legislative bodies of all fifty states.
How is it then, that we have come to expect, almost without exception, those who ask that they be allowed to hold the sacred trust of public office to be liars, when we’d send a common citizen to jail for committing perjury? Why is it that “freedom of speech” be construed to allow misinformation that equals slander, deception, and even the cover-up of criminal behavior when the intent of it is so harmful to the public, when it is not to be allowed in the private sector? So how is it that perjury, or the equivalent of it, is allowed in politics?
Why should politics enjoy such an immunity, when your local service station is not allowed to lie about the number of gallons their meter says you’re pumping? Folks, this all goes way beyond differences of opinion, or even differences of interpretation of statutes. It is by all rational, moral, and any ethical sense, criminal behavior based on bandit decisions.
Further, how is it that we have laws on the books that allow private citizens to put their phone number on a “No Call” list that exempts these political liars, and all of their favor-purchasing friends who wish to call on the politician’s behalf? Don’t they realize most intelligent people are offended by this practice? Is that the presumption? They should only have to worry about offending the smart people? What does that say about their opinions of the the people they are supposed to represent? Unfortunately, I suspect that indictment might stand up under rather superficial scrutiny.
We all are aware by now, the “No Call” list is a joke. The FCC is underfunded and understaffed, and state law enforcement agencies don’t have enough time or money as it is to even pursue all the violent crimes reported to them. So, nobody is going to stop the people who’ve been calling you multiple times a week for the past several years to tell you “this is your last chance to change to lower the interest rate on your credit card account” even though the caller has no idea what your interest rate is, or who your account is with. Further, the statement that it’s your “last chance” is a lie. They will not stop the callers who intend to defraud you by implying you’ve won some free service (that may only cost you a few thousand bucks to accept).
So, don’t expect phone companies, all of whom make huge profits just because the sky is blue on occasion, or government offices, where if any real work takes place at all, is done by a staff of clerks who are often not paid very well, and live in the fear of offending somebody who “donates” to some powerful authority figure. The system is corrupt, and broken possibly beyond reasonable repair.
Here are a few more thought you might care to note:
If you’ve voted in recent elections, I’d imagine you get junk mail often from the offices of people you have voted for. Oh, you also get mail from their opposition, but haven’t you recognized that the majority of it seems to indicate the way you voted in a “secret ballot” process somehow does not seem to have remained much of a secret? Imagine that!
There are few secrets. Medicare and Medicaid fraud is a huge problem, not because citizens are collecting benefits they don’t deserve, but because patient lists are illegally and unscrupulously sold to all kinds of “clinics” that submit fraudulent claims for services and products that have never been provided.
You can do your own research about the scandal of fraudulent medicare billings submitted by Columbia/HCA and implications about co-founder Rick Scott, if you wish. He was not found guilty of anything; got to keep his money, and is, at the time of this writing, now the governor of Florida. Additionally, he has a good chance of being re-elected, because the members of his own party are willing to believe all the charges against him are the willful intent of his opposition to discredit him.
People will vote for the Devil himself if the Devil gets their party’s nomination. Such memetics result in belief disorders, which is the predominant cause of the continuing problem. And it would be delusional to believe that those who represent not the people, but those who line their pockets, should be expected to care about who gets to call your house at all hours for whatever reason, even though they call you on your private number that you pay dearly to have.
You buy a piece of real estate? All of a sudden, you’re inundated with offers from people who want to lend you money, and sell you more real estate. Make a donation to a charity? You’re inundated “opportunities”, by junk mail and by telephone, to donate even more money to other charities, some legitimate, and some not so much.
And since it is evidently quite a successful method of fleecing well meaning citizens of good intent, and since the public is so gullible and easily swayed to act on information and misinformation just the same, the process will continue unabated until we have a population educated enough to think for themselves, and take action to do something about it.
I have absolutely no confidence in expecting such as that to happen. One of the reasons I don’t, is because we have politicians in office who have benefitted from the transfer of confidential and personally private data about you, and your neighbors. I’m not talking about invasions of your privacy by The National Security Agency, but by clerks that just might be employed by your personal physician or your local hospital. In the past, several of them have been “clever” enough to receive large sums of money in exchange for lists including names, addresses, social security numbers, insurance policy numbers, and specifics about your personal medical history.
Once again, it’s all about money and power. Common decency and ethics have absolutely nothing to do with it.