My blog contains a large number of posts. A few are included in various other publications, or as attached stories and chronicles in my emails; many more are found on loose leaves, while some are written carelessly in margins and blank spaces of my notebooks. Of the last sort most are nonsense, now often unintelligible even when legible, or half-remembered fragments. Enjoy responsibly.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Welcome to Michigan, Please Lie to Us

Several weeks ago Mitt Romney won our Republican primary by blatantly misleading the people of Michigan. I can’t see how anyone living within our state borders believed him. It was put best by last weekend’s Wait, Wait... Don’t Tell Me on NPR:

Governor Mitt Romney won Michigan, a state where his father was governor and where he promised the people he'd bring twenty billion dollars in subsidies, that he would bring back all the auto manufacturing jobs lost during the last few decades, and that he would spend his fortune to build a dome over the greater Detroit area so that they could grow palm trees. That's good and it worked but the big question is with three major primaries in three winners who are going to be the nominee. Given that every leading candidate is hated by a larger constituency than the one that supports him, we anticipate a brokered convention this summer with a nomination finally going to a signed eight by ten photo of Ronald Reagan hanging on a coat rack.

During election time people get stupid and believe a) wildly unbelievable crap and b) that the president actually has the power to change most things.

The president is head of only one branch of the government. Sure, the Bush Administration has worked very hard to dissolve the other two branches, but they still exist and will remain. Moderation and balance will always be restored, but that is a different argument. So this leaves the President with the ability to make or stop wars, appoint individuals to political posts, and make appeals directly to the public for either support or condemnation of certain policies. Any serious changes must be approved in the Senate and pass through the Justice system. This check and balance assures, for the most part, that the president does not have nearly enough power to make and serious changes alone.

So during any election you are going to hear a bunch of election promises that are destine to be broken. These broken campaign promises lead to an overall apathy with voters, a stereotype of lying politicians, and, eventually, a lower voter turnout. Election promises in this country have been around since we have had elections and will always continue, but it is the seeing these promises as the BS that they are that quells their tide and ultimately defeats their pushers.

Mitt Romney promised the impossible to Michigan because he was under incredibly strong pressure to win this state. There is no way that the jobs that we have lost are coming back. The new plants have been built elsewhere, new employees have been trained, and profits have increased for the companies. There is no reason why these companies would ever move back. He knows this and we know this. So why, why did he do it?

Was it that our local inhabitants are so desperate to believe that there will be jobs coming back to Michigan that they are willing to set aside reality and believe these empty promises?

Have we lost so much hope in ourselves that fantasy presents itself as a viable alternative?

Or is it that he knew that we would rather be openly lied to then to have to deal with the reality of our current situation?

I am afraid that it is all three. So here, let me welcome all future political candidates to Michigan and remind them to please lie to us, because it’s obviously what we want to hear.

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