Amazingly, political ads have already begun to make an appearance on my television. Not to say that I’m surprised, but it seems as if they come earlier and earlier each election season. Everybody knows political ads have an uncanny ability to misinterpret, exaggerate, and conjure misleading statements. But surely intentional lies in ads HAVE to be illegal, right?
Yeah, I thought so, too.
Recently, I stumbled upon an article which blew that belief wide open. As it turns out, not only do (some) politicians deliberately lie in ads, but the Supreme Court actually has set a precedent making lying in campaign ads a right protected by the First Amendment. (If you’d like to read the article in full, you can find it here) I guess you know what they say, “Government is about serving; politics is about winning.”
But, honestly, is there even any legitimate purpose for politics anymore? Some argue that political affiliation represents the beliefs and priorities of the candidate. More often now, however, the candidate’s party becomes the system of beliefs.
Take Republicans, for instance. A base of the party is to keep taxes low. In itself, that’s not a bad stance to take. Low taxes to preserve individual liberties? That’s fine. Low taxes in the interest of capitalism? A perfectly respectable stance to take. Low taxes because everyone else in the party is doing it? Because the vast majority of Republicans sign an anti-tax pledge when taking office? At what point does the stance on an issue become an obligation towards those around you?
When our politicians stubbornly refuse any sort of negotiation with others, I begin to get concerned for the well-being of the country. Arguing ideology is the easy part; reasoning and negotiating are what take work. When we can get our elected officials to work with greater interest for their constituents than for preserving the party, then I’ll be able to vote with a little more ease.
In the meantime, I’ll sit here, watching how Obamacare creates “Death Panels” and how Republicans want your grandmother to suffer by ending Medicare.