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The inconvenient truth about truth

September 14, 2015

According to an April 2014 Reason-Rupe poll 70% of all Americans think politicians are liars.

There’s little reason to believe that number has improved in the ensuing 17 months, given that one of the supposedly invincible candidates has been trying to find a few things that she can prove she was truthful about when it comes to her job performance.

More concerning is the feeling that simmers just under the surface that the “misstatements” may reflect more than just general CYA politics as usual.

Realistically, there are things that politicians should lie about when speaking for general consumption and most of the so-called dumb voters know the difference.

For instance, telling our enemies exactly what we can and will do to contain them should probably not be front page news or talk show fodder.  Imagine that scenario on the eve of the Normandy invasion. “Oh and by the way Mr. Cronkite,  we are sending the largest naval force in history to the beaches of Normandy to kick Hitler’s sorry Nazi ass on June 6, 1944.”

Although you may not like the current polling on both Dem and GOP frontrunners, there is little doubt that a large percentage of Americans wouldn’t miss very many of the Washington crowd if they suddenly had to go out and get an 8-5 job, particularly if that job was only for 29 hours or less a week.

There is no guarantee that electing an independently wealthy or political outsider as President would fix anything.  As has been well illustrated recently, on-the-job-training doesn’t work that well, at least for the country and its citizens.

It is altogether conceivable that electing one of these political novices wouldn’t work out well either.

The thing driving this election season at present is the hope that it will take too long for the eventual winner to learn how to play the political game, and therefore he or she will just go ahead and do what they say they will do during the campaign.

So far the ideal mix of honesty and political savvy hasn’t presented itself well to the voters, although many think that governors like John Kasich, who probably has the best resume’ of all the “others”, may be the best alternative to celebrity. What hurts him, as well as Jeb Bush, is the “compassionate Conservative” label.

Americans are pretty sure that they can’t afford much more “compassion”.

While Governor Christie polls in the very low single digits now, he does at least have a public plan to present, such as his views on cutting taxes.  Whether he can overcome the “professional politician” label remains to be seen.

Carly Fiorina comes from big corporate America, and since most voters have no idea of what it takes to survive in that world, they just flat out don’t understand her. However, the fact that her culture rejected her brand of hard-headed business sense might play well as November 2016 crawls closer.

As the longest hunting season in history chugs along, polls will change and candidates’ fortunes will wax and wane accordingly.

It is an inconvenient truth that many people vote with their hearts instead of their heads.

This may be one of the rare times when that works. The one constant underlying all of this theater is the deep dissatisfaction with the state of our nation, and the feeling that we’ve been sold down the river by our elected officials.

Each voter will have their own personal truth gauge for judging the eventual front runners.

We can only hope that whoever Twitters their way into the White House will rate higher on that gauge than their predecessors have done so far.

From → op-ed

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