“‘Good Germans’—that’s what we are. We eat up all the lies.”
I’m German and Irish, and that’s what I thought when I heard Romney’s pollster, Neil Newhouse, give his thoughts on Republicans who lie:
“We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers,” Mr. Newhouse said. His point was that, well, like ‘Good Germans,’ Americans will eat up anything they are told. Newhouse’s response came in reaction to being questioned about Mitt Romney’s ever-present lying about the Welfare-to-Work program. All the major media outlets agreed that Obama did not take the work requirement out of welfare.
But according a half-dozen Romney-approved ads, and V.P. pick Paul Ryan’s convention speech, Obama really did. And that Ryan speech--all the major media harped on that one. Sally Kohn of Fox News said: “Ryan’s speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech.”
Why are Romney and Ryan lying like this?
The Republicans know that lying works. It was Dick Cheney who unabashedly said we don’t even bother to follow the news; we make it up as we go. Five trillion dollars and two wars later, 38% of the ‘Good Germans’ still buy the Republican lie that the Saddam Hussein of Iraq—a sworn blood enemy of Osama bin Laden—had something to do with the 9/11 attacks.
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When repeated, lies stick. That’s why 20% of the Republicans think President Obama is a Muslim. You might say, “It’s just politics.” But for me it’s personal.
Take the lie that circulated around Frankfort, Germany, in 1938, that one of my relatives, a jeweler, was a spy for the Americans. The ‘Good Germans’ who worked with him, a veteran, turned a blind eye as he was dragged outside and was left for dead in the gutter.
Today, it’s different. The evil-doers do not have to use guns to intimidate. They simply give a $10-million check to a Super PAC, and anonymously they change election discussion—turning it to blattant lies. For example:
• The billion dollar Super PACs ad campaign has us believing that Obama took money from Medicare and destroyed that program. Yet the Chief Actuary of the program reports that Obama saved Medicare. And wants more bills like Obamacare.
• We’re also told that Obama was not responsible for saving the auto industry when, in fact, he saved it and 200,000 American jobs.
• It’s said that Obama’s stimulus bill did not create any jobs when it saved millions.
• Now the Republicans are harping that the down grade of the U.S. credit rating was caused by Obama, when actually it was Republican V.P. candidate Paul Ryan’s House Budget Committee that did it.
The major media noted that Paul Ryan had five key lies in his speech at the Republican Convention. With Romney, they mostly agreed that is was four gross lies. Whatever the count, all these lies will be repeated over and over until they are the new truth.
And the Good Republicans—those Americans who simply believe what they’re told—they’ll think about their favorite lie when they vote in November 2012.
And the Good Democrats—who should know better … that guaranteed healthcare and schooling, good roads and bridges, reliable transportation, honesty in business, patriotism arising out of a belief in American brilliance and hard work—those Democrats can’t even bother to donate a mere ten bucks to save democracy as we know it. Gluttony and selfishness seems to have put them asleep.
What does it all mean?
As we all sit by, learning to hate each other, and accept Orwellian lies as truths, we are becoming the Congregation of the Stupid—dumbed down, like bullets on a phishing webpage. We’ve got our talking points—those idiotic lies—and, like ‘Good Germans’, that’s all we need to prop up our identities and our egos, as our money goes down the drain, and America withers away.
Dr. Billy Kidd, a psychologist, is Director of Research at the Romantic Relationship Institute,