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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Counterfactual History- Republicans are Experts

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If Republicans have a magic plan to fix our nation's economy, they're surely wasting a ton of money on messages that don't tell us how they'll do it. Journalists like Paul Krugman and others say Republican pundits are creating a "fantasy world of incorrect and tendentious facts"

A "couterfactual history" concept is catching on, whereby information is spewed, just for the sake of making headlines. Republican candidates, super-political action committees funded by rich moguls and wealthy individuals with a self interest in owning candidates, spend unlimited advertising monies to create tension withing the electorate, without providing factual information. 

For example, it's simply not true that President Obama caused a trillion dollar national deficit. It's a fact that Republicans began this fiscal spiral by creating two unfunded wars and a Medicare D drug benefit, thus, expanding entitlements. 

Short term memory Republicans completely wax over these deficit enhancing facts.

Republican campaign strategy seems to engage in fanciful thinking. Just changing presidential administrations won't accomplish anything except to change the course of our nation from a wealth sharing capitalist economy to a system whereby America's middle class will loose benefits, while the burden of balancing the budget  is put on their income taxes. I can't understand how the American electorate avoids knowing these facts about our role in deficit reduction? It's our taxes the Republicans want to use to balance the budget.  Democrats want the rich to pay more tazes, but Republicans don't buy into this at all.

It's frightening to realize how the electorate relies on negative attack ads to reinforce fears for the future. It means public relations specialists are earning their big salaries in creating counterfactual information, while the media is left grappling for crumbs in a 24/7 news cycle. Journalists have little time, or money, to create fact from counterfactual information.

Mega-millions are spent on researched attack ads claiming the nation would be better off with a new Republican president. Do not believe them! Just look at the candidate. Governor Mitt Romney is running for President as one of America's wealthiest people, but he won't tell Americans why his wealth is invested outside of our country. How did Romney become so rich? He took middle class jobs from floundering corporations and outsourced them to fatten the profit margins of these companies, while providing a return on investment for his friends and colleagues at Bain Capital.

Americans need to pay attention to Romney's business practices because, regardless of how he tries to air brush his magical thinking about creating jobs, the fact is, he'll be sure to see his rich friends get richer in the process.

Instead of information about what will change our lives for the better, we're led downward in a regressive discussion about social issues that have virtually nothing to do with politics. Like, where in the US Constitution are the issues of abortion, Medicare, Medicaid, women's health, rape, incest and pregnancy discussed? Rather, what's presented in the US Constitution are equality under the law protections for "We the People".

Where's the objective media in this quagmire of counterfactual information?

Unfortunately, many media personalities are maximizing the headlines for ratings, while investigative journalism is a relic. Journalists like Richard Engel or Bill Moyers are sidebar story tellers. Media personalities, like the morning and nightly news anchors, put stories like "making a difference" into their precious news time. Viewers usually learn absolutely nothing of substance after watching main stream news programs. (Thank you Morning Joe for adding "what have we learned today?" in their morning wrap up - but even this segment gets too close to entertainment news.)
 http://video.msnbc.msn.com/morning-joe/48415865#48415865
Democrats have been terrible at creating counterfactual history, preferring to stand tall on principle. Take the "swiftboating" of Senator John Kerry as an example. Who would believe Senator Kerry could create a story about receiving war decorations for his service in Vietnam? But counterfactual experts, like Carl Rove, made myth out of fact whereby many Americans, embarrassingly, believed the lies.

Democrats will probably never be as good as Republicans in creating deliberately devious messaging. Yet, we can demand to see facts to support magical thinking. We're also very capable of doing repeat reality checks on counterfactual history.

Regardless of the outcome of this 2012 presidential election, we must become experts on learning the facts about our leaders. Otherwise, we're doomed to allowing expensive counterfactual experts rule our elections.

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