The Republicans have controlled the House since 2010 and they took back the Senate in 2014. They promised to repeal Obamacare. They promised to solve illegal immigration. They promised to cut spending drastically. They promised to end crony capitalism. They told you that winning the Senate would help Republicans stop the President’s agenda in Washington.
None of that has happened. It’s been seven months, and you don’t see anything different than how things were in 2014. Ted Cruz is on the floor of the Senate calling the Republican leadership liars, and you’re cheering him along. Donald Trump is attacking everybody left and right, claiming he’s going to fix immigration, he’s going to throw all the murdering and raping Mexicans out of America, and he can’t be bought because he’s a billionaire and you’re cheering him for telling it like it is.
You think you’re being lied to.
And you’re right.
You were lied to. All those campaign promises about ending Obamacare and the like – none of them were true. The candidates knew it. And you knew it. You’re not stupid. Deep down, you know that Cruz, Trump, and the rest are lying to you now. But when the lies are the kind of lies you want to hear, you eat them up. You cheer and want more. You reward the people who lie to you the most, so is it any wonder that you keep being lied to? You like being lied to.
That’s the only conclusion one can draw when you accept the fact that the people you like the most are the ones lying the most to you.
You read the Constitution. You watch C-Span. You know it takes 60 votes to stop debate in the Senate and not doing so will kill any legislation. So you know that just taking back the Senate doesn’t mean we can repeal Obamacare. You know the President will never sign a repeal, and Republicans don’t have the numbers to override a veto in either the House or Senate. But you want Obamacare repealed, and if someone says they’re going to do it, you’re going to cheer for them, even if you know deep down it’s impossible right now.
They can use the power of the purse to de-fund it, you remind people. But you know that Obamacare is policy and taxes – you can’t de-fund a tax, or de-fund things that aren’t programmatic. And the old “no appropriated funds shall be used” line doesn’t work when the President’s veto pen is hovering over ever spending bill Congress may try to sneak it into. You know this, but you don’t care. You want someone to stand up to the President. It doesn’t matter if the government shuts down, because you don’t think you’d even notice it.
But you know that’s a lie, too.
In the end, you look around and it seems like almost everybody is lying to you, and you’re right. They’re shading the truth, omitting important facts, or just flat out repeating things that aren’t accurate. They get facts wrong and don’t correct them, and lead people to believe things that aren’t happening. And they spin tall tales with themselves as the hero, and folks you don’t like as the villain. But you accept it. You never stop to question their motives. You continue to reward them for it with high poll numbers and campaign donations.
Is it any wonder they don’t stop?
Let’s look at Donald Trump. The man has flip flopped on every major issue important to Republicans. Every single one. He was pro-choice, now he isn’t. He supported amnesty, now he doesn’t. He donated money to all of the candidates you don’t like, from Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Charlie Rangel, Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid to Mitt Romney, John McCain and Lindsay Graham, and now he’s handing out their phone numbers and you’re applauding him. He’s telling it like it is, right? Actually, he’s not saying anything of substance and can’t answer basic questions on what he’d do in office. But you don’t care about that. As long as he’s being mean to those squishy establishment types, he’s great.
He’s lying to you, and you love it.
Let’s look at Ted Cruz. He flip-flops on issues, too. He said Syria represented a direct threat to the United States, and we “[n]eed to be developing a clear, practical plan to go in[.]” Three months later, he says Syria doesn’t represent a threat to the United States, and he would vote against authorizing force in Syria. He was for the President’s TPA fast-track trade authority, even co-wrote an op-ed with Paul Ryan supporting it. Then two months later, he’s against it, calling it more “corrupt backdoor deal-making.” Now he’s claiming he was lied to by those evil liars in the Senate Republican leadership, who he claims said there was no deal on Ex-Im other than allowing an amendment vote on the floor of the Senate. The leadership then allowed an amendment vote on the floor of the Senate on Ex-Im and he’s apoplectic. He knows you hate the Republican leadership, so calling them liars, even when he’s got no evidence of it and nobody is backing up his story, is fine. He’s now claiming he wasn’t attacking Senator McConnell personally. He even went so far as to say that he’d “never ‘throw rocks’ at a member of his own party.”
He’s lying to you, and you love it.
As long as it’s what you want to hear, you ignore the lies from folks you like. So they keep lying to you.
After all, what’s a few white political lies. They’re just like the white lies you tell at home, after all. The Redskins are going to make the Super Bowl this year. Sure, dear, we can go to the monster truck rally – sounds romantic. Have an extra piece of cake – you’ll run an extra mile on the treadmill tomorrow to work it off. Just little white lies. Until they aren’t any more. And that’s what makes you angry.
Yes, Virginia, you’re being lied to. Why? Because you keep rewarding the people who lie to you the most, and you punish the people who tell you the truth. So they stop doing that.
If you’re tired of the lies, stop rewarding the liars and stop buying the nonsense rhetoric you know isn’t true. You want the truth, stop making it so profitable to lie. Stop electing the worst liars and stop buying the nonsense you know doesn’t make any sense.
Yes, you’re being lied to. And you’ve got no one to blame for it but yourself.