Wanted: Politicians Who Tell the Truth

Is it possible to have presidential campaign debates based on facts instead of distortion, inaccuracies and downright mendacity? I’ve been listening to and reading statements of Republican candidates which don’t align with the facts. I’ll admit it might be old fashioned and a bit naive to ask for substantive debates based on facts rather than distortions and lies, designed to appeal to the mob, but I will anyway.

If the political narrative is based on a foundation of lies and distortions how is it then possible to develop sound policies to resolve societal ills? If one runs on a platform based on distortions and lies how does one then move, if elected, to governing based on the facts? If pandering to the far right-wing leads candidates to extreme positions which do not conform to the facts what does that say about one’s character and core center of beliefs?

Which political positions are characterized by distortions, inaccuracies and downright mendacity? (The links in parentheses provide a counter argument based on the evidence.)

  • Tax cuts produce jobs. (See here)
  • Trickle-down economics improve the lives of the middle and lower classes  (See  here)
  • Regulations kill economic growth. (See here here here here and here)
  • A corporate repatriation tax holiday produces jobs. (See here here here and here)
  • Freddie and Fannie are to blame for the mortgage crisis. (See here)
  • Wall Street is the victim, not the cause of the recession. (See here)
  • Federal taxes are at historical high rates. (See here)
  • Climate science is a myth or just wrong. (See here)
  • Inequality doesn’t matter. (See here here here here here here and here)
  • Obama is responsible for the majority of the federal debt. (See here)

It’s also the height of hypocrisy for politicians to run as deficit hawks when their party produced the greatest proportion of the $14.3 trillion sovereign debt; blaming Obama, then producing very regressive tax proposals which pay for the debt by taxing the middle class while giving tax breaks to the wealthy, which actually will increase the deficit. (See here here)

What evidence suggests it’s wise to obstruct and try to repeal consumer protection laws, designed to reduce the risk of another great recession by addressing key regulatory concerns that were absent or not previously enforced, leading to the last recession. (See here.) How can any responsible politician support “the discredited belief that free markets require no adult supervision.”  (See here)

It’s time the media and journalists call out politicians who pollute needed debates about the future of our country with inaccuracies, distortions or lies. Enough is enough. The American public deserves better. Debates should be followed by a panel of independent experts in the field grading candidates on the accuracy of their claims. It’s possible that future debates would then be grounded in the facts.

It’s time for Republican candidates get off their bended, obsequious knees to Grover Norquist, Rush Limbaugh and the far right wing of the GOP. It’s time the American public demand more honesty from their politicians running for the most powerful job in the world.

What company or business would hire a CEO candidate if that candidate filled the interview with distortions, inaccuracies or lies? It wouldn’t happen. Nor should it happen for the presidency of the United States.

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