You know…when it comes to “trusting” politicians, my first inclination is to say don’t trust any of the bastards.
I mean, their entire job depends on convincing you that they’ve got your best interests at heart.
YOUR best interests. In a nation of more than three hundred million people.
The reality is that these guys probably don’t give a flying fuck about you, or what goes on in your day to day life.
They’re big picture guys looking at big picture ideas.
Sure, sure, they may have empathy for you and whatever you’re suffering (and that empathy may be real or carefully scripted), but at the end of the day, what they care about are the big picture policies that are the embodiment of the larger political machinery they serve, and are in turn, served by.
That’s true of Mitt Romney, and it’s true of Barack Obama. (I would argue that it’s relatively less true of Obama, because from what I know of him, he genuinely does give a shit about the little guy, but folks on the right could argue with at least some justification that maybe he’s just a really good con-man, and I’ve bought into his act).
The point is…don’t trust the man (any of them) trust the policy positions, or if you DO trust the man, don’t trust him to the exclusion of the policy positions at the very least.
To do that, we’ve got to look at the core sets of boilerplate policy positions that the parties themselves coalesce around, and try to figure out which ones are better for us, as individuals, and us, collectively, as a nation (and bearing in mind that those aren’t always the same thing–for my geek readers, as Spock might say, sometimes the needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few or the one, and sometimes, it’s the other way around).
Anyway, in looking at core sets of policy positions and their effects, that will naturally lead us to looking at results and consequences, right?
I mean, we enact policy to change stuff, so, policies have outcomes, and we can look back historically and find out what those outcomes were, and use that as a basis for deciding stuff. This seems to me a much better approach than pulling out the Ouija Board or Magic 8-ball. We have actual data to peek at, and that’s a good thing.
Now, if you’ve been reading here, you already know my mind on this issue. I believe that the right has a greater tendency toward, and a greater demographic NEED to lie and fabricate.
Over the past decades, they have built up an increasingly more effective, more efficient system of propagating those lies, and now have their very own, 24×7 lie machine in operation (remembering that in 2003, Fox “News” became the first and only news organization IN HISTORY to actually go to court to defend its right to lie and make shit up, and still call the end product “news”).
I’ve also proved in other articles on this site that many of the claims fronted by the republican party (which are in turn, cornerstones of their beliefs and central to their policy positions) are outright lies in some cases, or rely on the existence of vast, globe spanning conspiracies in others. These run the gamut of ideas from the silly notion that “tax cuts increase revenues“, to “republicans are better for the economy,” to “global warming is a hoax,” to “lowering the marginal tax rate for the ‘job creators’ actually helps to create jobs,” and a whole bunch of others.
I do not point these things out because I believe that rank and file Conservatives and Republicans (not always the same thing) are bad people, merely that they have been sold a bill of goods. Duped into believing things about economics, the economy in general, math, science, and data that just aren’t true. It happens. Everybody wants to believe that the Captain of the Football Team/Cheerleading squad secretly has the hots for them, but most of the time, for most people, that turns out to be fantasy too.
In any case, what we know about republican boilerplate policies, and what we know about former Republican administrations, are the following:
* We had a Republican administration in place, pursuing boilerplate Republican policies when the Great Depression crippled our economy (AND a Republican dominated House of Reps, AND a Republican dominated Senate–in other words, it was exactly the configuration we had in 2002 when the bubble began its expansion)
* We had a Republican administration in place, pursuing boilerplate Republican policies when the Great Recession hit (Great recession was actually worse than the great depression if you look at the velocity of money…also note what happened to the Velocity of Money during the 80′s recession, which also happened on the watch of a Republican Administration btw, and which Republicans try to pretend is the nearest cousin to the Great Recession). –NOTE: Republicans will try to tell you that the Recession came about because the Dems took control of congress in 2006…the reality is that the bubble began its expansion in 2002, after which time, its popping was inevitable, and the R’s controlled both the Presidency and both houses of Congress at that point, thankyouverymuch, so no, it wasn’t Clinton in a time machine, and it wasn’t Barney Frank, it was a government controlled lock, stock and barrel by the Republicans, pursuing all their favorite policy positions, essentially unchanged since 1929, and guess what? They had just about the same impact in 2007 as they had in 1929, too!)
* We had a Republican Administration in place, pursuing boilerplate Republican policies when the worst terror attack in US History occurred, killing more than three thousand Americans.
In fact, the last time we saw these boilerplate Republican Administration policies in action, they were giving us a staggering 818k job LOSS (Bush’s last month in office).
Mitt Romney, Republican candidate president has a “bold new plan” for America.
What is it?
To return us to boilerplate Republican policies.
In my mind, that’s a rather hard sell, and not JUST for the reasons listed above, although those items certainly don’t help.
Think carefully who you vote for on November sixth.