Tag Archives: Romney

Politics… out of context!

      Democrat or republican, MSNBC or Fox News, O’Reilly or Schultz, they all seem to fall into rhetoric pits that intentionally mislead people. One of the most useful and effective ways of doing this is by focusing on a rather scandalous or inflammatory remark or action and using that in a context that was never really the intention of that person in the first place.

Political hyperbole is nothing new, but in an age of communication where social media dominates our daily news intake, this particular logical fallacy is a huge advantage to either side of the political spectrum. I’m sure you’ve seen the ads, usually involving a series of 2-3 second video clips of speeches given by the president or presidential hopefuls (or anyone wanting political power). These speeches are usually taken out of context to bolster fear or strong emotion against that particular person. Video of this person saying these things is factual proof that he or she is a horrible person!

Well, not exactly. Have you ever seen a video of one person where what they say in public is spliced and pasted together so that it seems to flow seamlessly together to say something else entirely? That’s essentially what opponents of one person or another do in not only political ads, but news blogs and political news networks. For example: remember when Rick Perry said this?

Granted, Rick Perry was probably bottom-of-the-barrel when using any kind of common sense in his political ads, but this had a lot of resonance with people of the same mindset. Yes, I just called some of you stupid in case you couldn’t follow that.

According to politifact:

“Obama said America had acted lazily in some regard. Exactly whom he considers lazy, we’re still not sure. But it’s clear that he was not wagging his finger at the American public at large. Perry’s presentation distorts the president’s remark by taking it out of context. We rate his claim Mostly False.”

This ruling was mainly because the president was talking about government and private policies on the global market involving exporting and selling what our country has to offer to others. While it is true Americans have gotten lazier and more ignorant over the decades, in this case the president was addressing government and businesses.

I’m sure it’s plain to see I’m no fan of Mitt Romney, but the poor man is taken out of context every time he opens his mouth. The newest strain of this comes in the form of his trip to the Daytona 500 last weekend. Yes, the guy is filthy rich, but so are most celebrities. The American people find their detachment from reality and the average person endearing, but you have to realize that these people are different from the rest of us in so many ways. When you have more money than you could ever spend in three or four or 500 lifetimes, there is a feeling of power that comes along with that.

When you’re rich, people treat you differently. You’re someone everyone wants to please, and this gives you power and an over-inflated sense of importance and arrogance. When you have this power, it does affect you. I don’t care if you are the most giving and generous person in the world, when you have this much money and influence, it will go to your head. It’s only a matter of time. I honestly do not believe Mitt fully intended his comments to be so condescending to the average American, but the way they were played out in the media was over-the-top contextomy.

There was also another statement by him a month or so ago in which he said:

“I like being able to fire people!”

Or at least, this is how everyone who didn’t see the speech saw it in the media the next day. If you only took that sentence and put it in a campaign ad, it would probably make an already disliked political figure even more disliked, because you are putting him in the context most people see him in. Let me make one thing clear here, the man is responsible for hundreds of thousands of layoffs over the decades he’d been in business as a management consultant, so it’s very easy to take this sentence in the context it was presented. However, here is what he really meant:

“I want people to be able to own insurance if they wish to, and to buy it for themselves and perhaps keep it for the rest of their life, and to choose among different policies offered from companies across the nation. I want individuals to have their own insurance. That means the insurance company will have an incentive to keep you healthy.

It also means if you don’t like what they do, you can fire them. I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. If someone doesn’t give me the good service I need, I’m going to go get somebody else to provide that service to me.”

While he probably should have said “I like being presented with the opportunity to fire people who provide services to me,” his meaning was quite clear to me, and understandably so. I also like being able to fire people who are not providing services to my satisfaction, including politicians. I’m sure all of you enjoy that same opportunity, and such is the joy of living in a capitalist society! If the mechanic down the street charged you hundreds of dollars to fix something the mechanic across down would have done for a hundred dollars less and in a shorter amount of time, you’d probably fire that mechanic and go with the guy across town.

I mentioned Bill Reilly and Ed Schultz at the beginning, because they are the two pros at this type of fallacy. Watch either one of their shows, and I promise you won’t be disappointed in this regard. I’m a liberal, but when I watch liberal news I cringe when I see this done. I expect it on Fox News; in fact, in order to be a Fox News host, it seems like the art of stretching the truth or contextomy is a requirement on any resume submitted to the producers. I guess I had higher expectations for the liberal news network, but let’s not forget the whole point of these networks. It’s not to get people informed, that’s just a byproduct (or an accident if it’s Fox). It’s all about the money.

It all boils down to ratings, and obviously the more sensational, the higher the ratings. If informative news takes a back seat to profits, this type of fallacy is perfectly okay. Networks devoted to news, especially news networks that host “debates” on different political views are always biased in favor of that network’s general audience. I put debate in quotations, because nothing is ever properly debated between 3 or more people in 5 minute blocks on these networks. Time is money, my friend! And the host NEVER admits defeat when he was clearly bested by the person he cuts off early during a “debate.” Bill O’Reilly has this down to an art. Ed Schultz just likes to talk over people, always trying to keep his guests focused on the most sensational section of the topic, completely ignoring any other valid points made.

I’d imagine if these two guys ever duked it out on neutral ground, every head in America would simultaneously explode, and no one would be any more or less informed than they were before.

Rachael Maddow happens to be my most beloved news talk host on air today, but even she falls victim to the dreaded context fallacy, sometimes making topics more sensational than they really are. I forgive her though, because this is the nature of the business. Whether she goes off on a 10 minute spiel on how terrible politifact is, or when she brings positive news to the table in her “Best Thing in the World,” I can accept a little out-of-context sometimes. It’s only because I know what to look for, and if something seems iffy to me, I’ll do my own research. There are always ways to find the hidden facts from both sides, you just have to use your own judgement, and dare I say… be objective.

Don’t fall prey to these tactics, even in THIS blog. I’m pretty opinionated, and sometimes if I feel someone is absurd, I’ll find things they’ve said to back that claim up. However, just because I portray someone in a negative light doesn’t mean that person is that way all the time. Do your own fact checking, and take these blogs and news feeds as what they are… entertainment.

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The New Face of Republican Politics

Faith, Family, and Fucked Up!      We’ve seen some rather interesting things happen in the field of politics in just these last couple months alone. We saw Bachmann back out, and the start of a new holy war waged from the right. Say goodbye to news on the 99%, because now women are the ones under fire. This is actually very good news indeed! Well, not for the women mind you, but overall. It means the economy is improving, and the right finally has much more opportunity to present America with a clear picture of their social agenda. I must say, from what I’ve seen and read, it is nothing short of spectacular!

A little time-travel if I may:

When John McCain was the nominee for president in 2007, the American people decided they had had enough of republican garbage. After all, look at what they did to this country. That’s not to say democrats didn’t double dip into policies that made this country worse off as well during this period, but the aftermath of hurricane Dubyah left a very bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths, and it also, for the first time, scared the crap out of everyone that could vote. It would explain the historical turnout to the polls that fateful November.

Obama, who I voted for, used this awesome time in politics to harness that fear and change it to “hope” and, well, change. Obviously I and a lot of other independents out there didn’t really believe everything he promised, but when I look at a potential leader for our nation, sadly… I have to go with the “lesser of two evils” strategy. I weighed the pro’s and con’s of each candidate, and made my decision soundly. I had two options: a young, black civil rights attorney from Illinois, or an older-than-dirt white ex-naval officer from Arizona with a vice-presidential running-mate who’s head popped off every time she spoke.

What I was really deciding was “black lawyer, or bat-shit insane mid-western mom who very well could become president if McCain bites it.” The choice was obvious… I had to go with the lawyer, and the lawyer won. This didn’t sit well with the republicans, especially those that would eventually break off and form the tea party. And so started a new kind of republican party! These people were appalled that their party was so disliked that they lost the presidency to a black man! Their solution? Push the party so far right that their potential nominees for president are so unelectable that their party once again loses not only the possibility of the white house, but another senate and house majority along with it.

The Grand Old Party received it’s first real face lift, and it looks something like this:

They should have stopped after Palin, but after a while, sensationalism becomes addictive. Who can we put in front of cameras that has the most shock value? Apparently what makes for good ratings hurts the seriousness of the campaign. We said our tearful farewells to Perry, Bachmann and Cain, who took the nation by storm last year. They played a good game and got a lot of attention, but after all was said and done, their torches were extinguished and they were expelled from the island.

Now we have four actual candidates garnering attention from the media: Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich. That’s it. Those are the people we are left with, and while they are better than the aforementioned group of crazy (excluding Santorum), they still suck. I made a promise that Newt would never again darken a doorway in Washington, and I’d like to once again reassure you that Mr. Gingrich will not be a presidential hopeful. I honestly can’t believe he’s still hanging on. Being a living contradiction to everything he stands for, he’s still amusingly latched on to this campaign like a pit bull on a leg.

Ron Paul has a few good things going for him that may make him actually electable… to libertarians, but some of the things he stands for politically are just too far left for the GOP. Also, no one really knows for sure what skeletons he’s hiding in those catacombs of his, because aside from those early racist newsletters, being liberal about certain things, and ridiculous commercials, no one really pays that much attention to him. By the way, those commercials should say a lot about how this man views the average American. It may not be a far cry from the truth that a good majority are complete morons, but it’s kind of insulting to me at least. Since the economy is doing better, let’s take a look at a bit of what he wants this country to focus on (keep in mind, not all of them are bad stances, but they are nails in his coffin as a republican candidate):

– Let’s abolish income tax!

– The US was better off before the civil rights movement. Wait, was the camera on?

– Let’s let the states decide what rights their citizens can have. Why make a federal case about it?

– War on drugs? Waste of money. Leave that to the states.

– I’m pro-life, but… we should let the states decide.

– I don’t like war! War is bad.

– Life begins at conception, well, because I feel that’s what they want me to say.

– What is this paper money we carry around? I demand golden American deblumes!

– Marriage is kind of stupid in any circumstance. Shouldn’t be a federal case.

– Job creators forced to provide non-discriminatory equal pay? Over my dead and rotting corpse!

Mitt Romney is a guy that just won’t go away, no matter how much his own party and the rest of the American people make it clear they hate him. This is what happens when bored multimillionaires play politics. They can keep going for years, like underground coal fires. He’s someone that will say just about anything to get that presidential nomination, but it seems that no amount of money can erase his checkered past, or get people to look away from how he made his money in the first place. Oh hell no, not in this economy!

Did I also mention he’s Mormon? It’s probably worth noting, but it’s not the big deal Fox News would have everyone believe. I mean, have you seen the evangelical and Catholic candidates lately? For the first time in my life, I’m starting to actually not hate Mormons.

I said “starting to,” let’s not go crazy here.

When you put a Mormon next to someone like, say, Santorum, you begin to notice that perhaps the Mormons aren’t the really crazy ones after all. Did you know that Mormons can use birth control? Did you also know that once upon a time, Mitt Romney supported Planned Parenthood? That really shouldn’t surprise you, because remember, Republican and Democrat should be complete polar opposites in 2012! Anything that is defined as liberal in the slightest is terrible, and Romney had to flip that flop to make it fly!

Let’s take a look at what Mitt Romney stands for:

– Well, the winds are blowing out of the northeast, the temperature is around 60 degrees… it’s a Sunday and it is February. Perhaps it’s best not to say anything until next month when the weather is a bit warmer and his stances shift to accommodate that.

I had to save the best for last, Rick Santorum. Michelle Bachmann had NOTHING on this guy when it comes to being completely insane, and possibly becoming a candidate! Everyone who watches the news lately knows where this guy stands on social issues. Like a tree that’s standing by the water, he shall not be moved! Being a gay liberally-leaning guy, you can bet I’ll be biased when it comes to GOP candidates, but this is my guy right here. I’m counting on Santorum to get that nomination, because when that happens, all bets are off… if you were betting on a republican white house in 2013 that is. Even republican voters that haven’t fled the party will look at this guy and then look at Obama and weep as they cast their ballots. Let’s look at where Santorum stands on the “issues:”

– Contraception is not only evil, it’s dangerous!

– Abortions make me cry, but child poverty not so much.

– A child would be better off having parents in prison, possibly being sodomized themselves, rather than having gay parents.

– Do I even have to announce my stance on gay marriage?

– It’s okay to bully and torment gay people! I mean, legally it may not be, but I’ll look the other way.

– It’s okay to discriminate against gay employees.

– It’s okay for corporations to ship jobs overseas with no penalty

– I’m pro-life… just not for people on death row.

– We should take all the money we use to regulate business and use them to fight wars on drugs and contraception!

– If you want your children to have a good education, home school them, like I did! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to cut your school’s funding and put it where it really counts! Abstinence education!

– If your school allows prayer, you can have that federal funding for actual classrooms instead of trailers. That whole separation of church and state thing doesn’t really mean anything.

– Environment? HA! My seven children don’t need to see forests or have non-toxic drinking water!

– I love lobbyists!

– I’m for ID when registering to vote, but not so much for gun purchase.

– Take your medicare and shove it!

– I, like many other Christians, am very pro-war!

– No raises in minimum wage! You’ll just buy birth control with it!

– I agree with Bush 98% of the time, but I say when I don’t.

– Wall Street will own your retirement! Down with Social Security!

And you know what’s sad? I’m not over-exaggerating this. This is what the GOP has put before the Obama administration, which means Obama really doesn’t even have to try to campaign. When you look at the sorry state of disarray the GOP is in, it’s hard not to feel pity. There is no sane alternative to Obama, just this. When did this party get so extreme and totally lose touch with not only America but modern civilization? I really do hope that one day the party will turn around and both sides can keep things in check (and actually get things accomplished) with compromises. It’s OKAY for either side to drift left or right if the policies make sense and are good for the growth and well-being of our nation. What we have right now is a total disaster, and it’s all on the right.

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