You think I’m kidding. But the fact is, that’s what will decide it. Studies have shown that the majority of voters make election decisions based on emotional factors, not “factual” information. I enclose “facts” in quotation marks , because as I’ve said previously, facts are in the eye of the beholder, so you can’t separate out the emotional component. Even in mathematics, which you could once assume was the home of real, unemotional facts, where two plus two used to reliably be four–we can’t even count on that any more.
So the TV ads are out in force, and I hate to say this…but this is absolutely the worst season in my memory, at least since I started paying attention. But while I wasn’t paying attention, perhaps worse things happened. But who cares? I wasn’t there, so to speak. It’s all in perception, and memory. So this is the coldest winter/hottest summer we’ve ever had, and this generation of young people is going to hell in a handbasket worse than any generation ever, etc. You get my point.
But I’ve been paying attention for a good long while now, and this is truly the worst, absolutely chock full of lies.
Here in Florida, it’s a zoo. Actually, it’s more like a WWF wrestling match. Violent and fake. Florida gets a lot of attention nationally, because we are the fourth largest state, population-wise, in the country, but mostly because we invented hanging chads. Also there was that business of the 2000 election.
Last Thursday, the senior political writer for the Tallahassee Democrat (that’s just the name of the newspaper–it’s not to be confused with any political party or liberal agenda) wrote an article headlined “Watch political ads at your own peril”.
I’ll only cover one of the most egregious ones (others to follow). In the governor’s race, RINO Rick Scott spent $50-60 million of his own money in the primary to win the Republican nomination. Note: normally when you say RINO, you mean that he’s a closet Democrat. In this case, he’s closest to being a closet Tea Partier. But as far as I know, even they haven’t endorsed him. Scott is more like a Party of One…the Party of Rick Scott. Good that Scott had the money, because the Republican Party backed his opponent. Now that he won, the Party is trying to kiss and make up, but he doesn’t need them, and his opponent in the primary will not endorse him, and he doesn’t care. He still has a lot of money left. Which he’s now using on TV ads to bash the Democratic candidate, Alex Sink, who is the current state Chief Financial Officer and former President of Bank of America in Florida.
One of Scott’s current ads, which I haven’t seen in two days–since Sink got enough money to fight back on TV–says that during Sink’s tenure, the state’s pension fund lost $24 million dollars. This is actually a fact. Then the ad shows a bunch of seniors and says something like, “You worked hard for your money. Imagine losing it all because of Alex Sink’s mismanagement”. Here are a few more facts: the ad implies that it affects all seniors. In fact this pension fund only applies to state employees. But in Florida, there is a requirement that you pander to the fears of senior citizens. Another fact: that fund probably lost less than most. Does anyone remember the Wall Street crash? That was not the fault of Alex Sink, who in any case, is not solely responsible for the management of the fund.
In Sink’s response, she refers to the fact that Rick Scott was the CEO of Columbia/HCA when it was fined the largest fine in history for Medicare fraud–$1.7 billion. This is also a fact. How do I know? He admits it. He does emphasize that he was never personally charged with a crime. He was, however, fired. Hello?
At times like these, I tend to despair about democracy. The majority of the voting public (however small that percentage is) respond to a TV ad that strikes a nerve emotionally, and never does any research to see if the claims are factual. They…and I do mean they…do not take citizenship seriously.
There are those who say democracy works. That we end up with “the will of the people”. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it’s the best of all possible worlds. I don’t want to substitute democracy for dictatorship or oligarchy. But when ignorant people are voting and smart people are not, the Will Of The People often seems to me to get us more of what we deserve for not paying attention than what we need. That’s how we ended up with George W. Bush. For eight years. Although, it was almost only four….