Saturday, February 11, 2012

Just Say Anything

Just say anything that pops into your head seems to be the standard operating procedure for the current Republican candidates. How else would you describe Romney’s claims that corporations are people, he’s unemployed, and worries at time about getting pink slips? Or when he asserts with some kind of confidence that if Obama is re-elected Iran will have a nuclear bomb, whereas if he, Romney is elected, they will not? Or how about when he announced at the recent meeting of conservatives, the CPAC, that he has always been a “severe” conservative? It is by now common knowledge that Romney will say anything at all if he thinks it might help him win the Presidency. Does anyone take any of this seriously?

Of course Romney’s ridiculous claims pale when compared with Santorum’s. Santorum, who seems to be the latest flavor of the month for Republicans, had said, for example, Obama is helping Iran obtain nuclear weapons. He has also announced that global warming is a hoax, and that the Crusades were not an example of our aggression towards Islam. Add to this his warning that Mormonism is not only a cult, but a “dangerous” cult. He has also asserted that everyone on the West Bank is an Israeli, there are no Palestinians. And don’t forget his claim that contraceptives provide, “a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” He has not, as far as I know, provided us with an account of “how things are supposed to be,” but I assume he does not have in mind homosexuality, beastiality, oral and anal sex, and other sexual activities usually considered “perversions,” that have nothing whatever to do with contraception. I think he is unaware this is the 21st century, 99% of American women have used birth control at one time or another, and there has been a sexual revolution.

Then there is Newt the Odious who has said that Obama will wage war against the Catholic Church if he is re-elected, that by the end of his second term as President (he has not yet even the nomination) we will have an American colony on the moon, or “I have enormous personal ambition. I want to shift the entire planet. And I’m doing it. I am now a famous person. I represent real power.” Or how about, “The idea that a congressman would be tainted by accepting money from private industry or private sources is essentially a socialist argument.” If those are not enough, try, “If the Soviet empire still existed, I'd be terrified. The fact is, we can afford a fairly ignorant presidency now.”

How about a few Ron Paul quotes: "I miss the closet. Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities. They could also not be as promiscuous. Is it any wonder the AIDS epidemic started after they 'came out of the closet,' and started hyper-promiscuous sodomy?" He has also claimed: The Founding Fathers envisioned a robustly Christian yet religiously tolerant America, with churches serving as vital institutions that would eclipse the state in importance. And again, "The freer the market is and the more respect you have for private property, the better the environment is protected.”

It seems that the license to say anything you want as a candidate, no matter how stupid or outrageous, is given by the fact that reporters and others seldom, if ever, challenge these statements. As most of these claims are either completely false, or just plain stupid, they are allowed to find their way into the public discourse. Many claims are even worse, such as Obama is a socialist or communist, he was not born in the U.S., he is going to take away your guns, he is a secret Muslim, and on and on, should never be allowed to go unchallenged, but they are, and no matter how far-fetched seem to find a receptive audience somewhere. With no checks and balances this irresponsible prevaricating will no doubt get worse between now and November.

Of course the above is merely political child’s play, taking our attention away from far more important matters and even bigger and far more important lies and exaggerations. I have in mind the absolutely idiotic licensing of two new nuclear reactors in Georgia. I guess here in the U.S. we simply are unable to learn from experience, common sense, or others. It is as if Chernobyl, Three Mile, and Fukushima never happened or were not massive disasters that will last for many years. The Japanese, Germans, Swiss, and others have already sworn off nuclear energy and will dismantle (however slowly) their existing nuclear plants. But here in the U.S., where we already know many of our existing plants are potential dangers, we are now going to build more. There is no accounting for absolute stupidity. But stupidity is not allowed to interfere with the profits of energy companies. These plants will cost far more than estimated (I am quite certain those who are promoting them actually know this), will take longer to construct while the billions of federal funds are slowly sucked away by the energy giants, the State of Georgia taxpayers will quite likely suffer greatly, and the billions of dollars involved that could have been used for clean and renewable energy will simply be wasted. I cannot believe that President Obama supports this travesty, but he does. I hope those with more intelligence will do everything possible to prevent these two reactors from ever being built. Indeed, the entire American public should rise up in arms against this terrible decision.

Either the United States will destroy ignorance or ignorance will destroy the United States.

W.E.B. Du Bois

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