In case you haven’t noticed, I am a very political person. Many have said that I have a lot of opinions on everything. I prefer to say that I’m always right. Neither is entirely correct, but I think one is more correct. This is because I don’t believe that politics are about opinions, at least, not the way people think they are.
If I believe in anything, it’s objectivity. Objectivity is important. That’s an opinion. Trickle down economics doesn’t work in shareholder capitalism. That is not an opinion. It is a statement that can either be true or false. In this case it is true, and we know this because it can be proven mathematically. Here is a study that does that. Here is an article explaining the study because no one wants to read all that.
“What if I don’t care that it doesn’t work because I don’t value an economic system that reduces income inequality?” asks Hypothetical Politician.
Well that actually is kind of a matter of opinion. I think you’re a jerk, but that’s not relevant. Go ahead and believe that. But don’t lie and say that people who don’t believe that should support you anyway.
The GOP has a history of exploiting and manipulating the working class into supporting policies that don’t benefit them. As of late, this has been through misinformation, such as implying that Obamacare and the ACA are different things (they are the exact same thing it just has two names). More insidiously, it is done by claiming that it is wrong to accept help. Many working class Americans believe this so much they support the destruction of systems that provide them with their basic medical needs. The idea that you shouldn’t accept hand outs that you haven’t worked for is deeply harmful to those in poverty, and wealthy Republicans take advantage of the uneducated poor by convincing them that the rich don’t owe society anything, but the poor owe society their lives.
What I am trying to articulate is that there is a distinction between a difference in values and a misrepresentation of facts. There are a lot of politicians out there that would very much like it if the general public couldn’t tell the difference. Donald Trump certainly would.
Actually, let’s talk about Trump’s dissemination of information. That which is not blatantly a lie is mostly word salad. Let me give you a direct quote: “You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They’re having problems like they never thought possible.”
The problem with this is that it’s difficult to call it a lie, because he didn’t say what happened. He didn’t say anything, really. He even “clarified” later that it was about something he’d heard on Fox News, so technically he wasn’t lying (although that’s one hell of a technicality). That doesn’t mean he wasn’t manipulating his supporters through misinformation.
When Hypothetical Trump Supporter hears this quote, they don’t think about the lack of facts. Their mind fills in the blanks as they go. They hear that something bad happened in Sweden as a result of the large number of refugees. Trump didn’t say that. If he had, he’d be lying. But he didn’t say it, he just implied it.
To be clear, the reason I’m talking about this lack of objectivity specifically as it applies to Republicans isn’t because of any liberal agenda. My agenda is for truth. I’m not saying Democrats don’t lie or manipulate. They do. One example of this might be DNC officials plotting to turn people against Bernie Sanders by drawing attention to his Jewishness or possible atheism. However, it is important to note that, firstly, they didn’t actually go through with it, and second, it’s not even remotely comparable to anything else I talked about.
That’s the point I’m trying to make: not every stance or action is comparable. There is objectivity. Some things are just false. If you want to have a debate based in fact, fine. If you want to have a debate based in philosophy, that’s also fine. But you can’t argue that facts are the same as opinions and then complain that no one is taking you seriously as an intellectual.
I’ll see you next week.