As we (finally) approach the end of this crazy campaign season, you are going to see and hear people say things that simply aren’t true. May I present three of them.
1. “This is the most important election of our lifetime.”
No…it isn’t. There is neither an economic downturn nor a war going on. The only social unrest we are experiencing is a result of this dreadful election. And, even though the difference in tone between the two major party candidates is tremendous, both promise that, when they are elected, they will expand the Federal government to solve all the World’s problems. Neither seems particularly interested in making the hard choices required to stop the exponential growth of the National debt, the greatest threat to our security, and I’m not sure either has read the Constitution.
2. “Candidate X is a) unqualified, b) incompetent, c) a crook, d) Satan or e) all of the above.”
Well, maybe they are pretty sleazy but that’s the nature of the game. We know so much more these days about people’s failings and we get to hear every stupid and offensive thing they and their surrogates say. And maybe they will make awful Presidents. But our Republic has survived worse and will again. Besides, we will not long survive as a nation if we continue to demonize one another. In one sad sense, we get exactly the candidates and government we deserve. The change will not come from them until it comes from us.
3. “But the Supreme Court!”
Ahh…the last vestige of a scoundrel: the old Supreme Court scare. Ok, first the Supreme Court serves only as a check on both the State and Federal governments. It does not legislate but can only strike down legislation it believes violate the Constitution. Throughout its history, it has rarely struck down laws as it normally defers to the the democratic process. Furthermore, justices are not beholden to the President who appoints them and many have behaved much differently than expected. There is a strong tendency to defer to past precedent and the culture of the court.
So, whether you agree or not, I urge you to listen for these memes over the next four days and, at least, evaluate them critically.