09 Nov

When truth takes a walk

When truth takes a walk, nothing of value remains. In our current poisonous political environment it sometimes seems as if anything goes because after all it’s campaign season and candidates are positioning themselves to take on President Obama in the general election.

The trouble is that instead of actually framing alternative policies the Republican field is in attack mode all the time whether their positions make sense or have anything to do with how to right the course of the country. Some commentators point out that a man like Herman Cain is the real deal and voters identify with him because he’s a plain talker. Never mind that he is an empty vessel who knows very little about world events, the economy or how to run a campaign, even if his poll numbers are up and he has raised significant amounts of cash.

Factor in his defenders on the right who have some of the goofiest reasons at the ready for continuing to support Cain. Ann Coulter, for example, states that Liberals just can’t stand a conservative man of color and besides, as she puts it “our blacks are better than theirs” of all the absurd and insulting positions to take. Apparently it doesn’t alarm her and some of her colleagues that right-wing blacks constantly play the race card and are into the bargain remarkably under-informed about basic historical fact.

Cain is embarrassingly unable to make sense of the world in all its complexity. His comical take on “Uz Beki Beki Stan” may amuse listeners who are as untutored in the way of the world as he is, but one would hope a serious candidate would refrain from poking fun at countries about which he has no knowledge but which may, in fact, impact our country in significant ways. Never mind about that and never mind about his problems of possible sexual harassment. He may have bigger problems in terms of campaign finance that seem to be emerging. However, Bill Maher says, he doesn’t have as big a problem with Cain’s apparent misdeeds as he has with the fact that he’s just “dumb.” That is after all the defining problem with this man and the people who find excuses for supporting him.

We have come a long way from the days of Jim Crow and suppression of the minority vote. And yet maybe we haven’t progressed as far as we might have thought. Richard Nixon had his “southern strategy” which continues to be a part of the right-wing approach to elections. Some of the efforts in several states to ‘modify’ voting laws will if carried out keep minorities, young people and others from exercising their rights at the polls. Widespread, non-existent voter fraud has been used as an excuse to limit access to those voters conservatives want to restrain. Unfortunately, a candidate like Herman Cain represents a step backward by people who are willing to accept an inferior candidate and claim anyone who opposes him is playing the race card. The real voter fraud is that incredibly stupid, uninformed people still vote.

How much are the American people willing to put up with when it comes to believing the nonsensical premises of candidates who bask in the spotlight of their ignorance as if it were a badge of courage and enlightenment. How many of his supporters, one wonders, believe Cain’s claim that his security clearance is at a higher level than the president’s – – probably far too many. There are always dozens of reasons right-wing politicians have for their opinions. It doesn’t matter that logic is rarely a component of their position; they’ll continue to ‘wing it’ forever. Daryl Issue defends the second amendment because he says it was part of the Constitution to protect citizens from a tyrannical government. But if anyone thinks about this for even a second it will be clear that even a hundred A-K 47s would be no match for tanks, air power and nuclear weapons.

When Republicans hold up those glossy folders they say lay out a jobs plan it becomes apparent that they are all about rolling back regulatory mechanisms that are agenda items not job inducers. And when they insist they have bi-partisan support for their plans it should be noted that the entire Republican field and two or three Democrats don’t represent bi-partisanship. Maybe truth and logic will come to play a part once again in our world. If not we are doomed to make fools of ourselves on the world stage.

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