Remember the Swift Boat Veterans For… Truth? Watching Donald Trump accept the Republican nomination for president America, America saw the full extent of that legacy played out. We all need to do a little more homework. It’s our democratic duty.
Ignorance has run rampant long enough.
A decade ago we bought it. We believed a bunch of old white guys who convinced us that George W. Bush, who dodged Vietnam in the “Champagne Unit,” was more courageous and qualified to be commander-in-chief than a decorated war hero who was wounded leading soldiers into battle.
Somehow that made sense. That was “truth.”
Little wonder that now we buy it when a reality TV star with less credibility than a Kardashian is somehow a law and order strongman who will be “our voice.” He alone knows how to fix the entire government. We can believe this because he said it was true.
Somewhere over the past twenty years or so we tossed logic out with all definition of the truth.
The American Presidency requires no more qualification that a high school prom queen. Millions will exercise an enviable right to vote with little more insight into facts than a Barbie and Ken doll.
We are told America is falling apart. We are in ruins. Our economy is destroyed. Of course, we are. Every outsider party talks about the need for change, which requires a bit of woebegone sentiment. Barack Obama made similar charges in 2008 but wrapped them in the inspiration of hope and change. Hope proved so powerful that we elected our first black president.
So I don’t bemoan the GOP gnashing of teeth. They too want change. The issue is not party spin because both do it and will continue to do so. The issue is the shit we buy, toss it around social media, and then suddenly believe that everyone else is saying it, so it must be true.
Citizens of a democracy have the responsibility to be informed.
I have at least a dozen examples, but let’s just take one:
For more than seven years the Republican agenda has been to thwart any move by President Obama. This is not in dispute. It was stated by party leadership even after he won re-election as their top goal. So now we are told America is in decline.
Are we? Let’s only use past Republican goals to check it out:
in 2012 Mitt Romney said he alone could bring unemployment back to 6 percent by the end of 2016. It was then 8.2 percent. It is now 4.9%.
President Obama was blamed in 2010 for the state of rising unemployment and the Great Recession. It had topped out at 12.1 percent, following the devastation of banking and mortgages and the Bush Administration’s emergency bailout of banks to the tune of $700 billion. So under President Obama we have seen the unemployment rate drop from a high of 12.4 percent to a low, today, of 4.9 percent. The economy has added more than 9 million jobs.
As CNN points out, back in 2012 GOP candidates Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann promised gas under $2.50. Few economists would you argue that the Presidency has much to do with gas prices, but that was the spin. So prices now? $2.20 a gallon.
The stock market? Since 2012 the Dow has risen more than 40 percent.
Donald Trump’s response to these GOP successes under this administration: Obama’s a “loser” on the economy.
The economy is a complex issue. Wages began their downturn under President Bush and have not grown again. “Blaming or crediting one president, doesn’t make sense,” CNN reported.
President Obama also passed (love it or hate it, but understand it please) a health care law crafted by then-governor Mitt Romney that refused to include key Democratic positions like a single-payer format in favor of GOP-backed principles of capitalism.
We need to do a little homework. By any measure, President Obama has been a stunning GOP success.
Swift Boat that.