Friday, May 11, 2012

Political Spin... Or Cyclone Of Untruth

We're all used to political spin and taking statements out of context. Even so, I found this particular incident amusing.

President Obama had a fundraising campaign stop in Seattle on Thursday. At it, he said the following, speaking about the state of the economy at the time when he became President:
" was a house of cards, and it collapsed in the most destructive, worst crisis that we've seen since the Great Depression. And sometimes people forget the magnitude of it, you know? And you saw some of that I think in the video that was shown. Sometimes I forget. In the last six months of 2008, while we were campaigning, nearly three million of our neighbors lost their jobs; 800,000 lost their jobs in the month that I took office."
Never one to miss an opportunity to stretch (or obliterate) the truth, the Republican National Committee quickly whipped up a video highlighting Obama's comments. It begins by asking: "How can a sitting president forget about the recession?" The video goes on to talk about how America hasn't forgotten about the recession, even though our president may have.

Obviously, the video and its message are ridiculous. No one with a working brain (that hasn't been brainwashed by Fox News) would take what President Obama said and honestly believe that he forgot that the country was in a recession. It should be clear that the point the President was making is that this country has indeed come quite a way since January 2009; that we're not in a perfect position right now, but things were so much worse just three years ago. And I think Obama is right; a lot of people do forget (whether it's on purpose or not is another story...) how bad the economy was when he took office. If you seriously stop to think about where we were then and compare it to today, any rational person would have to admit that the country is going in the right direction.

Unfortunately, Americans don't tend to be all that rational. Many Americans don't really have the ability to form their own opinion about something, so they'll take this video from the RNC and go around online telling people "lol can u believe obama forgot about the recesion". Republican voters tonight will sit around their dinner tables and discuss how the President is so rich that the recession didn't concern him, and how Mitt Romney is so much better positioned to know what it put the average American through. And they will do it over and over until they convince themselves that they aren't lying.

People complain about politics and career politicians; I say that the only reason that "career politician" is even a possibility is because of the gullibility of America as a whole. If we weren't so eager to believe all of this nonsense, most politicians would not be able to last in the spotlight. Maybe we need to look at ourselves before we complain about the state of politics.

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