John McCain's Big Lies


Published on Reuters, Chicago Sun-Times, The Huffington Post, Palm Beach Post

The disregard for the truth by the McCain campaign has produced lies so big that even those that support Senator McCain are hard-pressed to deny that they're lies.

So why the recent flood of such big lies?

While they may be meant to reach undecided voters (they'd be happy to pick them up), it seems rather a tactic to engender an angry response from Senator Obama that they can then point to and say -- see, he's angry, ergo, ipso facto, he's dangerous, different, not like you and me.

Senator Obama seems unlikely to fall into that trap. He knows how to be angry and cool at the same time and both are needed now (along with more passion, please). Not that he doesn't have a right to be angry and hot, and not just for himself, but for all of us. Because, make no mistake, it is the American people upon which this tactical fraud is being perpetrated.

And not just tactical fraud. Orwellian fraud. A hallmark of the Bush years (see: Clear Skies Act). Strong is good, weak is bad (four legs bad, two legs good...); pull up your bootstraps (unless, as Senator Obama correctly points out, you don't have boots).

An example of where Obama has condensed his message, those missing boots, because the simple and direct thought is something the American people in this world of television, Internet(s) and immediate gratification seem to require. It is a message he will have to reinforce along with finding a way to relay the passion he feels for our country to those who yearn to support him.

But that's a different and far more honorable path than McCain's choice to plow the lowest road of big lies. Which makes me question what kind of country this would be with John McCain in charge, considering those running his campaign, should he win, would likely be the same people running the government.

And yet, we are told, John McCain is a maverick.

The distortions coming from the campaign make it impossible to determine who John McCain is beyond the noise, the distractions, the decision of his campaign to present him as the alpha male in the hope that fear and uncertainty will lead a majority to identify with the aggressor rather than one they try to make out as a victim or, if he fights back, as the outsider who cannot be trusted.

Psychology. Not truth.

History can be helpful in understanding the dangers of propaganda in a time of uncertainty, war, bank failures, foreclosures, stagflation, propaganda... What would be equally helpful is the moment of reflection that every American should allow themselves, in lieu of propaganda, to ask this question:

What will my life be like four years from now?

Chris Matthews addressed that question in a recent comment:
"Suppose the energy crunch has grown to cripple the economy, we're moving products, twenty years from now, on old railroads and gas guzzling trucks. The air becomes clogged with pollution again from fossil fuels because they're all we have. India, China, Russia and Brazil are, by then, grabbing and outbidding us for resources. Our failed education system has cost us our innovative edge. We can't compete. We might even have fallen back to a second rate power, we Americans. And the young people twenty years from now and the older folks who can remember it, will look back on the fall election of 2008 that set the course for this century and see videotapes of us arguing about lipstick...lipstick.

This game that's being played is not an insult to a candidate, it's an insult to the intelligence of our democracy, which is really all we have, each of us, to decide and build a future. Our only escape from all this is to force ourselves, against all the distractions, to think through the hearts and minds of those young people who will have to live in the world we are now deciding who's to build, who's to lead us to." Continued...