The Internet and Politics

The political system and the way we do politics has changed. Since the dawn of time, politicians have been lying. All of them. They lie to boast about their achievements. They lie to slander their opponent and they lie about caring for the less fortunate. But with Youtube, we can shine a light on these liars.

Think about it this way. Occupy has been slandered and blacked out by the media and yet they are still around. It’s because of the Internet. Congress has a small approval rating,  from 9% down to 5% last I checked. It’s because of the Internet. The media panders to their corporate masters at the expense of real, unbiased journalism. The Internet allows us to find the truth. That is why the Democrats won in 2006 and 2008. It’s also why they lost in 2010 (And they rightfully deserved it).

Anytime a politician or the media lies to us, then someone out of the 350,000,000 Americans is going to call that person out and they will be seen as a liar or a hypocrite. Truthfully, it comes to no surprise that the Internet is under constant attack from politicians. The system was never accountable to the people, but that is changing. That is why we are seeing politics in a clearer light.  SOPA, PIPA, COPE, failed to pass because the web is too strong and we know who to blame if they did pass. So now we are seeing a miracle. The GOP is actually voting in the interest of the people because they can’t get away with abusing us anymore.

  1. #1 by Larry Bergan on January 23, 2012 - 5:52 pm

    When I was a very young boy, I found a listing in the telephone book called “information”. I was really excited because I had a question in my head involving history that I thought I could get an answer to. To my great disappointment, when I called the number, the lady on the other end told me her job only applied to phone numbers.

    Today. we take the internet for granted. It is unbelievable that we have this powerful learning resource. There are shills all over the place trying to dumb down the information, but the fact remains that by going to the right places, you can be informed better then at any time in history.

    Congress hates it for obvious reasons and the television stations can’t get over the fact that they’re not the only game in town anymore.

    So sad. :(

  2. #2 by Richard Warnick on January 24, 2012 - 9:19 am

    What Mark Twain once said is more true than ever: “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.”

    We can play catch-up by systematically debunking the lies using tools available on the Internet. However politicians have adapted, in part by upping what I call the “lie-to-word ratio.”

    Check out Willard (“Mitt”) Romney’s victory speech in New Hampshire. Especially note how he never mentions the name of the last Republican President:

    President Obama wants to “fundamentally transform” America. We want to restore America to the founding principles that made this country great.

    He wants to turn America into a European-style entitlement society. We want to ensure that we remain a free and prosperous land of opportunity.

    This President takes his inspiration from the capitals of Europe; we look to the cities and small towns of America.

    This President puts his faith in government. We put our faith in the American people.

    He is making the federal government bigger, burdensome, and bloated. I will make it simpler, smaller, and smarter.

    He raised the national debt. I will cut, cap, and balance the budget.

    He enacted job-killing regulations; I’ll eliminate them.

    He lost our AAA credit rating; I’ll restore it.

    He passed Obamacare; I’ll repeal it.

    When it comes to the economy, my highest priority as President will be worrying about your job, not saving my own.

    Internationally, President Obama has adopted an appeasement strategy. He believes America’s role as leader in the world is a thing of the past. I believe a strong America must – and will – lead the future.

    He doesn’t see the need for overwhelming American military superiority. I will insist on a military so powerful no one would think of challenging it.

    He chastises friends like Israel; I’ll stand with our friends.

    He apologizes for America; I will never apologize for the greatest nation in the history of the Earth.

    Our plans protect freedom and opportunity, and our blueprint is the Constitution of the United States.

    The path I lay out is not one paved with ever increasing government checks and cradle-to-grave assurances that government will always be the solution. If this election is a bidding war for who can promise more benefits, then I’m not your President. You have that President today.

    But if you want to make this election about restoring American greatness, then I hope you will join us.

    Deconstructing all the lies in that passage would take many more words than Romney’s speechwriters needed to put them in circulation. A would-be debunker would have to explain the nuances of Obama administration policy (e.g. reducing federal regulations, cutting taxes for the rich and corporations), the ways Romney’s own positions conflict with the Constitution (e.g. support for indefinite detention without charges, or $6.5 trillion in deficits that would be unconstitutional under the proposed Balanced Budget Amendment), and why leading economists reject austerity budgeting when economic recovery is needed. And so on.

    The truth is, the policy differences between Romney and Obama are negligible. Obama and the Democrats in Congress passed Romney’s own health care plan. The Obama administration, instead of apologizing for Bush’s aggressive foreign policy, stepped up deadly drone attacks in Pakistan and killed bin Laden. Obama kowtows to the Israeli right-wingers, and appears to be a silent partner in their “covert” war on Iran. And so on.

  3. #3 by cav on January 24, 2012 - 9:46 am

    All the pols have first string speech-writing pools. Doesn’t change the fact not a one of them really represents the many of us.

  4. #4 by Shane Smith on January 24, 2012 - 1:31 pm

    Richard, I am not sure we can say there is no real policy difference. Given that Mittens is happy to flip every flop he has ever had, if a poll came out tomorrow stating that 97% of Americans hated christianity, he would most likely order all known christian churches bombed.

    I am not happy with many of Obamas beliefs and principles, but at least he has some. Mittens has nothing but the belief he must be elected.

    Shudder if you think that is related to LDS prophacy…

  5. #5 by Nathan Erkkila on January 24, 2012 - 9:27 pm

    Richard. As of now, it is impossible for Romney to get away with a lie. Think about it. If all that lying did him good, then he wouldn’t be branded as a flip-flopper.

  6. #6 by Shane Smith on January 25, 2012 - 8:17 am

    I have to disagree Nathan. He has lied, and gotten away with it, although it may depend on your definitions of those terms.

    Yesterday I got forwarded a new version of the “Obama is not an American citizen” email. I have recieved over 50 of these emails in the last 3 years. It is easily debunked by anyone with an internet connection. But the people who send them keep reading it, keep falling for it, and keep forwarding it. Evidence, fact, proof, and argument all mean nothing to people who don’t care.

    Look at Richards quotes. Mittens said only two types of things in that quote, things that are demonstratably false, and things that he claims he will do. Yet the vast majority of people who supported him before that little speech will still support him after. The truth is not even a consideration. To me, that means he got away with it.

    I refuse to watch the SOTUS or replies. It sounds like a bunch of hollow meaningless applase lines, no matter who gives it. But I walked through the room while the reply was on and heard a comment about “America is not about the haves and have nots but the haves and soon to haves!” That ignores every measure of economic and class mobility we have at our disposal, and while you could argue that it is true in a certain sense, what it implies is pure unfiltered bullshit.

    And I am sure today there are dozens of sites that disect the speaches given that point that out. And I am just as sure that the next time I see “the family” (registered trademark of horror) at least one of the more rightwing among them will tell me that Obama is trying to make America about the haves and have nots but we should be about “the soon to haves!”

    …and i will repress the bile that rises in my throat.

    That is getting away with it.

  7. #7 by cav on January 25, 2012 - 8:49 am

    Much has been written about right-wing gullibility being based on that one specific notion: I too will someday rich. And for a very slim percentage that is a possibility. But for all too many it’s magical thinking that continues to prompt them to vote GOP. Yet, there are still odds.

    I do find it refreshing though, to hear the meme so blatantly conveyed – even though the small print precludes a great deal of hope,

  8. #8 by Larry Bergan on January 25, 2012 - 7:55 pm

    Newt Gingrich is amazing! He has been caught lying throughout his career, has a couple or three of the ugliest marriage problems ever discovered WHILE lambasting a sitting president at the same time for much less. He got reprimanded by his own congress for dubious book deals, had to leave congress in disgrace, ect, ect, ectt…

    If it wasn’t for the internet we wouldn’t know about most of these things, but he is in the race for the presidency and just won South Carolina.

    Just amazing!

  9. #9 by cav on January 25, 2012 - 8:00 pm

    Obviously the problem is: We, the poor people, have shitty lobbyists.

  10. #10 by Nathan Erkkila on January 25, 2012 - 9:17 pm

    Shane. That in no way sounds like getting away with it. If someone thinks that Obama is a secret Kenyan, then they already hated him before he took office. For people around my age, we don’t call those people birthers. We call them idiots. The GOP base is really nothing more than people who oppose the president for no other reason than the fact that he is a Democrat.

  11. #11 by Larry Bergan on January 25, 2012 - 9:55 pm

    The onion nailed this one! :)

  12. #12 by Richard Warnick on January 26, 2012 - 5:11 pm

    I love debunking lies using the Web as a resource. However, some already-debunked lies just become widely believed out of repetition and develop a life of their own, along the lines of the “big lie” principle. Repeating these lies doesn’t seem like lying. So Mitch Daniels can accuse President Obama of making the economy worse, despite the facts.

    However, other lies stick to the liar and carry a cost. The L.A. Times reported that Romney omitted a Swiss bank account from his financial disclosure form, along with funds in the Cayman Islands. I expect he’ll get called on that one again and again, because in political shorthand Swiss/Cayman accounts = “crooked.”

  13. #13 by Larry Bergan on January 26, 2012 - 5:21 pm

    Romney is a world citizen for sure.

  14. #14 by Richard Warnick on January 26, 2012 - 5:24 pm

    That was Ronald Reagan ;-)

  15. #15 by brewski on January 26, 2012 - 6:08 pm

    I love debunking lies using the Web as a resource

    I thought you loved spreading lies and using the Web as a resource.

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