Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My Tip to the Democrats...

So tonight is the first night of the quadrennial multi-day event known as the Laff-A-Lympics Democratic National Convention.  In typical fashion, the mistakes began well before the convention ever started---by scheduling the convention of the party of labor in a "right to work" state, with the lowest labor union membership in the nation.  Anyway, in the spirit of generosity for which I am known, I would like to offer some suggestions to the Democrats for how they can best carry out a successful convention.

Please understand that this is offered in a spirit of non-partisanship.  I am not a member of, nor do I affiliate with, either the Democratic or the Republican parties (isn't it interesting that the Democratic web domain is .org, and the Republican is .com?) But out of concern for the common weal, I have a simple suggestion.

To have the best possible result from this week's convention, the Democrats should tell the truth.  All the time.  And nothing but the truth.  Now obviously, "truth" is a somewhat subjective thing.  Sometimes, people can have reasonable disagreements about what is true.  But other things are objectively true such as the declining number of business bankruptcies over the last two years, despite the claim by Rep. Ryan that there were over 1 million.  Similarly, it is commonplace to accept the idea that politicians lie all the time. And whether the lie is actively spoken, such as  "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky", or merely a result of giving a speech in front of a misleading "Mission Accomplished" sign, it is still a lie.

And I suspect that the widespread belief that politicians lie is a major reason for the low turnout at elections.  If that is true, it stands to reason that it might help some politicians separate themselves from the herd if they simply told the truth.

And after last week's Republican Convention, that would be even more dramatic.  Talk is widespread that several speakers, particularly Rep. Ryan lied brazenly and shamelessly without any concern for the truth. And certainly several of Gov. Romney's standard stump speech claims (such as the totally false charge that President Obama "apologized for America") would fit into that category.

A way for the Democrats to differentiate themselves would be to tell the truth this week.  Now that might be difficult, and it will probably require people to re-write their speeches.  But it should be done.  Sometimes the truth may not be flattering, such as the Administration's patently illegal and unconstitutional position that the President can authorize the murder of American citizens, or the unemployment numbers.

But it is important that they hew to the truth unconditionally.  Because all it will take is one over-exuberant , not quite factual speech from Vice-President Biden to bring the media back into the false equivalency fallacy that one lie by one party is equal to many lies by another, so it is not important to focus on lies.   While it will take superhuman continence, if the Democrats can just tell the truth for 3 days, they may be able to earn the right to lie to us for the next four years.  Are they up to the challenge?  Time will tell...