By many measures, the 2012 presidential race is a pit of falsehoods. Too many pronouncements are allowed to hang unsupported in the news-cycle. They are like orphans, instantly forgotten by their sires who insist they never knew them. Talk show pundits and anchormen fan each side’s flames in a self interested ratings bonanza. The truth takes a back seat on a very long bus of priorities. Voters who need information, when they need it the most are forced to settle for whatever bits of it creep out of the gigabytes worth of spam.
An atmosphere such as this demands an apology.
In the original Apology by Plato, Socrates makes enemies of those whose true nature he reveals. It is not merely Socrates who is condemned in “Apology”, but also the truth that he represents. The crowd buries it and its herald along with it.
Mr.Romney lies often and with no muzzle. He has lied about his own actions repeatedly. For instance his announcement that he left Bain years before official SEC documents show. He has lied about Barack’s supposed removal of work requirements from welfare. Mr. Obama lies specifically by use of stretched truths. A case of this was his estimation of how long the economic recovery was going to take after the late 2000s recession. The original “Apology” serves as a skeleton of all publicly driven mendacious epidemics. Ideology is so strong in these individuals that it suppresses all individual scruples. Each side sees the end as justifying the means.
Just as there seems to be a Mitt Romney and a Mitt Romney on campaign mode, there is an “everyman” and also a mob of ideologically bonded “all man.” The latter of whom truth is a relative concept and victory the absolute goal.
The mentality of this mob is one of self justification, rationalization and a perpetual state of outrage that is reinforced by their pseudo-morality. Whereas any one in the political mob can be singled out and individually shamed, the whole is immune to reproach.
This same architecture is repeated in their arguments. Every individual statement made may be simply wrong, but the whole rhetoric comes with an aura of indisputability. The mob needs it’s lie. The mob protects what it needs. The lie is one with them all. It ties them to each other.
Our culture is one which defeats reason. Our political parties no longer represent our causes, they replace them. And these politicians would sooner keep it that way. After all, a party is everything to everyone. So who can really say whether or not it has achieved it’s goals. It exists. Sadly, that is thought sufficient.
The presidential incumbent is really the only player with the history and character capable of elevating this stat of affairs. Mr. Obama is the kind of leader that inspires people and earns their trust. His opponents cannot replicate that effect and so they destroy it’s value by muddying the waters with untruth. His opponents do more harm to their fists than his face when they attempt to attack his character. What they should do instead, is listen to what Plato writes in Apology, “the easiest and the noblest way to avoid censure is not to be disabling others, but be improving yourselves.”