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View Full Version : Should overt lying in campaign ads be illegal?



Sun Wukong
23rd January 10, 03:29 AM
This has been bothering me for a long time until I finally looked it up to find out whether there was any legal motivation whatsoever for political campaigns to tell the truth.

No, there isn't.

Political campaign ads can pretty much say any untruth about any political opponent or subject they want.

Not only do they not have to tell the truth by any reasonable law, campaigns hire armies to help them spread any number of misleading accusations anonamously to destroy their opponents image and make up obscene rumors whenever they want.

Voting is like buying a particular brand at the market. (even more after the supreme court ruling today.) We pick the brand we like because it did something we liked before, and we pretend that sugar coated pancreas poison really is a nutritious part of a televised breakfast; even if we don't believe it, we tolerate the falsehood because we expect to be lied to by people who stand to profit from it.

Well, I'm fucking sick of it. Call me a fascist but there aught to be a god damn law limiting what kind of lies a person can tell to get elected.

Political opponents often don't sue one another for libel, because that only ads to the power of the lie in the political arena.

So fuck it, I want to know what's so bad about wanting people to just tell the fucking truth from time to time.

Steve
23rd January 10, 03:37 AM
When has advertising ever been about telling the truth? It's about influencing people, that's it.

Politics are even more about spinning the truth than any other advertising ever. Perhaps if they started from the bottom saying Mountain Dew is a tooth rotting waste of calories, I might consider eventually getting to the top.

Sun Wukong
23rd January 10, 03:47 AM
When has advertising ever been about telling the truth? It's about influencing people, that's it.

Politics are even more about spinning the truth than any other advertising ever. Perhaps if they started from the bottom saying Mountain Dew is a tooth rotting waste of calories, I might consider eventually getting to the top.

Am I reading this correctly: are you saying that because nobody is doing anything to prevent to advertiser's from being able to lie about their products then stopping people from being able to lie in order to get access to our legislative and executive branch (and be trusted with our military, rights, laws and nuclear arsenal) is too much to ask?

Sun Wukong
23rd January 10, 03:48 AM
I mean, I totally understand the feeling of being overwhelmed with dishonesty in every form of media, but how far does the 1st Amendment go to allow people to just make shit up for personal gain?

Steve
23rd January 10, 03:55 AM
You should ask that same question to lobbyists.

Steve
23rd January 10, 03:57 AM
Don't get me wrong, I understand your point and in a perfect world politicians would be 100% honest, 100% of the time. But you have to be a realist sometimes.

Cullion
23rd January 10, 05:53 AM
Let's set up an imaginary court case. SWK, feed us an example of such a campaign lie, and we'll try to prosecute it.

Sun Wukong
23rd January 10, 06:14 AM
I'll be non-partisan here and give examples from two ads from the recent Mass. senate race from both parties. They highlight clearly what I'm talking about:

Taken from Factcheck.org:

Tax Attack:

The American Future Fund, a conservative 501(c)(4), led off with an ad produced, according to The Boston Globe, by Larry McCarthy, who also produced the infamous Willie Horton ad that attacked Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis in the 1988 presidential campaign.



AFF’s attack on Coakley is based on the allegation that she will raise taxes. Exhibit A in its case, however, doesn’t hold up. According to the ad, "Coakley says, quote, ‘We need to get taxes up.’ " Coakley, in a debate with other Democratic primary candidates at Suffolk University Law School on Nov. 30, did speak those words in a much lengthier response to a student’s question about the deficit. But Coakley says she was referring to getting tax revenues up through putting people back to work, not to raising tax rates or imposing new levies. Here’s what she said (about 23 minutes into the video):

Coakley, Nov. 30, 2009: It’s unfair that Wall Street went basically unself-regulating for too many years. Washington was asleep at the switch in many respects, if they knew where the switch was. … But we do need to get out of this recession, also. And that requires, I think, looking at a couple of things. There’s no magic bullet to this. We need to get people back to work, we need to get taxes up, and we’ll start to chip away at that deficit, because individuals and the country – my colleague in California, Jerry Brown, said, "We’ve all been spending too much money we didn’t have on stuff we didn’t need."





According to a Coakley campaign spokesman, Corey Welford, “Martha was referencing the need to get people back to work and tax revenues that would come with increased employment.” The Boston Globe sided with Coakley on this, saying in a news story that her words were being taken out of context and that she actually "seemed to suggest that the economy needed to improve so that tax collections would rise."



Not being clairvoyant, we can’t say what Coakley was thinking when she spoke. But it’s a fact that she began her sentence with the subject of jobs – "We need to get people back to work" – and that her statement that "we need to get taxes up" followed immediately and was in that context.


When controversy about the ad’s use of the Coakley quote erupted, Brown said in a statement, "I wish this weren’t happening." But he didn’t call for the ad to be taken down. And his own campaign has exploited the very same quote in a web ad that remains on his site.




The Empathy Card

Coakley’s campaign, in an ad released this week, describes Brown as someone who would march in step with "Washington Republicans," portraying him as anti-government, pro-business and, well, downright heartless.


Brown has said that he’s not in favor of new regulation of the financial markets, preferring to let "private enterprise try to get us out of this mess." He has also said he supports a 15 percent across the board tax cut, which would certainly include "the wealthiest" but would flow to people at all income levels. As for prescription drug coverage, Brown has introduce a bill in the state Senate that would allow Massachusetts residents to purchase more limited insurance coverage than the state now requires; prescription drug coverage, for example, would not be mandated. The provision doesn’t apply to seniors more than any other group, though the ad implies otherwise.



Still, the ad is basically on track, factually, until we come to a claim that "Brown even favors letting hospitals deny emergency contraception to rape victims." It’s true that in 2005, when the Massachusetts state Legislature was considering a bill to require hospitals to provide emergency contraception to rape victims, Brown introduced an amendment that would have let doctors and opt out based on "a sincerely held religious belief" and refer patients elsewhere. It was similar to "conscience" provisions in state and federal legislation that would avoid forcing Catholic hospitals to provide abortion or contraception against the teachings of the church. Here’s the language:

Brown amendment, April 2005: Nothing in this section shall impose any requirements upon any employee, physician or nurse of any facility to the extent that administering the contraception conflicts with a sincerely held religious belief. In determining whether an employee, physician or nurse of any facility has a sincerely held religious belief administering the contraception, the conflict shall be known and disclosed to said facility and on record at said facility.



If it is deemed that said employee, physician or nurse of any facility has a sincerely held religious conflict administering the contraception, then said treating facility shall have in place a validated referral procedure policy for referring patients for administration of the emergency contraception that will administer the emergency contraception, which may include a contract with another facility. The referrals shall be made at no additional cost to the patient.



The amendment failed. But what the ad doesn’t mention is that Brown voted for the underlying bill anyway, even after the Republican governor vetoed it.
The most misleading part of the ad, though, is not what the narrator says, but what appears on screen. As the contraception amendment is mentioned, viewers see the words, "Deny rape victims care." Emergency contraception is certainly a type of care. But the language on screen implies that Brown would support denial of even, say, treatment of injuries sustained in a rape.

That’s far from the truth. The bill, which became part of the Massachusetts state code’s section on public health, required that rape victims be provided with accurate information about emergency contraception and that they be offered it. Brown voted for the bill after unsuccessfully trying to carve out a religion exception. And there is nothing in the record that we are aware of to suggest that Brown ever supported denying any other type of care to victims of sexual assault.

...

Source: http://www.factcheck.org/2010/01/bay-state-battle/

Cullion
23rd January 10, 06:20 AM
"We need to get people back to work, we need to get taxes up"

If this stupid cunt has such a weak grasp of English that she complains when somebody interprets this as 'I want to get people back to work, I want to raise taxes' then she doesn't deserve to get elected. There's no way somebody should be facing trial for interpreting this statement as supporting increase in taxation rates.

Sun Wukong
23rd January 10, 06:25 AM
"We need to get people back to work, we need to get taxes up"

If this stupid cunt has such a weak grasp of English that she complains when somebody interprets this as 'I want to get people back to work, I want to raise taxes' then she doesn't deserve to get elected. There's no way somebody should be facing trial for interpreting this statement as supporting increase in taxation rates.

Are you missing the point that it was taken entirely out of context and was purposefully misused to mislead voters?

Sun Wukong
23rd January 10, 06:30 AM
BTW, can we set aside for one thread that you are cookoo for cocoa puffs about lowering taxes?

Cullion
23rd January 10, 06:32 AM
I'm not trolling here, I'm pointing out that I think they made a perfectly fair interpretation of her use of English. You'd have just as much of an argument to say she was lying when she later claimed she just meant increasing revenue through economic growth.

You see how hard this stuff would be to prosecute in practice ?

We aren't talking about easily falsifiable claims like 'she is a child abuser' or 'she once expressed her admiration for Hitler'.

Sun Wukong
23rd January 10, 06:54 AM
Those are both clearly intended to mislead voters. But, since you don't believe half truths and misquotes are enough to warrant being called a lie, then how about out-right fabrications?

Also taken from Factcheck.org


GOP Stimulus Myths

There are several more supposedly frivolous, not-so-stimulative projects that Republican members of Congress have criticized for being part of the economic recovery act. None of them are actually mentioned in the legislation, either.

In a form letter to constituents (e-mailed to one of our readers on Feb. 20), Rep. Erik Paulsen of Minnesota claimed that the bill (now law) "contains a huge amount of spending on many things that are unrelated to saving or creating jobs." He said that it "will fund requests such as $2 million for neon signs in Las Vegas, $4.5 million for an eco park featuring butterfly gardens and gopher tortoises, $500,000 for a dog park, $3 million for a municipal golf course clubhouse, $886,000 for a 36-hole disc golf course, $1.8 million for replacement tennis courts, $6 million for three aquatic centers with water slides … the list goes on and on."



None of these projects are specified in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In fact, golf courses, and many other recreational projects, simply can’t get funding under the law, which stipulates:
ARRA: Sec. 1604: None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available in this Act may be used by any State or local government, or any private entity, for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, or swimming pool.



The items Paulsen cites instead are taken from a lengthy wish list of infrastructure projects that the U.S. Conference of Mayors says are “ready to go” and could be funded quickly with federal dollars. The mayors’ report (http://www.usmayors.org/mainstreeteconomicrecovery/documents/mser-report-200901.pdf), dated Jan. 17, was compiled to demonstrate to Congress that localities should get a good amount of whatever stimulus money was approved, according to the city of Austin, Texas. In other words, the mayors were lobbying for federal money to come to them. The seven projects Paulsen singles out for ridicule are among 18,750 that the Conference of Mayors compiled through four surveys of U.S. cities conducted over three months. In an e-mail, the Conference of Mayors tells us that "we didn’t make any editing to the information [cities] provided us," adding that these were just examples and that "the Government will decide what to fund, not us."

All of Paulsen’s picks are also in a Wall Street Journal article (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123369271403544637.html) highlighting these seemingly less-than-necessary requests. The Journal said "the bulk of proposals are roads, sewers and similar projects." But "some localities," it noted, "are using a kitchen-sink strategy."

That was indeed the strategy of Chula Vista, Calif., which listed more than 50 projects totaling half a billion dollars, including one historic property project that actually needed a kitchen sink. “We threw everything that was shovel ready onto a list and submitted it to the Conference of Mayors,” says Chula Vista Director of Communications Liz Pursell, adding that "we did throw on the kitchen sink."

Chula Vista also included a $500,000 dog park as a project worthy of possible federal funding, but Pursell says it “was never a priority” on the stimulus list and any of the proposed projects still would need to be vetted by the city council. So far Chula Vista hasn’t received a penny of stimulus funds.

The city of Austin said it could use $886,000 for a 36-hole “disc golf course” (that’s a Frisbee disc golf (http://www.pdga.com/)course), according to the Conference of Mayor’s report. But Austin government relations officer John Hrncir told us that he didn’t think the project would qualify for any funding under the ARRA. “And regardless,” he said, “I don’t think it will be on the list of city priorities.”

On its Web site, the city of Austin goes into greater detail (http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/stimulus/) of how this "disc golf course" seemed to be on a list of requests for stimulus money. It says that in October the Conference of Mayors asked cities for a list of "ready-to-go" projects. The city says that it didn’t have time to prioritize any of the projects, which "were not necessarily intended to be submitted to any federal agency for funding."

Austin has compiled another, more serious list of programs that it believes actually could receive stimulus funds. That one was submitted to Texas’ Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO), which, according to the city, has said the only projects likely to get federal funds through ARRA are transportation improvement projects.

A Paulsen aide admitted to us that no funds are specifically allocated for the
projects the congressman mentioned in his letter. "We didn’t say they were in the bill," said Legislative Assistant Desiree Westby. But "inappropriate requests such as these will be considered for funding." Maybe so, but Paulsen’s letter didn’t say they would be "considered," he said they "will" be funded.

Kiko
23rd January 10, 07:07 AM
*sigh* If they could only tell the truth, wouldn't that reduce most campaign ads to this - "vote for me, I want to win and I'm not the other guy"?

Caveat emptor!!!

Cullion
23rd January 10, 07:08 AM
Those are both clearly intended to mislead voters.

You could easily argue in court that the women claiming she didn't mean tax rate increases was lying. No sane society would try and settle this in court.

Sun Wukong
23rd January 10, 07:10 AM
"We need to get people back to work, we need to get taxes up"

If this stupid cunt has such a weak grasp of English that she complains when somebody interprets this as 'I want to get people back to work, I want to raise taxes' then she doesn't deserve to get elected. There's no way somebody should be facing trial for interpreting this statement as supporting increase in taxation rates.


I really don't want to get bogged down in minutia, but you are way off base by saying that it is justifiable to correlate "a need to create jobs to raise government tax income" with "we need to raise taxes".

That is clearly a mischaracterization. Just like her ad blatantly accused him of trying to prevent rape victims from getting medical care because he introduced an amendment giving doctors with a religious objection to abortion the ability to refuse to give them.

Look through factcheck.org sometime, the amount of dishonesty in the american political system is unconscionably high. We prosecute financial fraud of weaker grounds than these, why can't we legislate this as just another kind of voter fraud?

I don't give a shit if it makes me seem like I'm part of the nanny state, but you can't expect voters to make informed decisions when everybody is lying their asses off.

It's like giving physicians the ability to tell patients they need cosmetic surgery to treat depression.

Kiko
23rd January 10, 07:11 AM
You really love the fact that McDonald's has to put "HOT COFFEE IS HOT" on the cups, don'cha?

Cullion
23rd January 10, 07:14 AM
I really don't want to get bogged down in minutia, but you are way off base by saying that it is justifiable to correlate "a need to create jobs to raise government tax income"

You just rewrote what was actually said. That isn't what was actually said.

You're essentially saying that you want to make it illegal to interpret an ambigious phrase differently to you. That's absurd.

Sun Wukong
23rd January 10, 07:14 AM
You could easily argue in court that the women claiming she didn't mean tax rate increases was lying. No sane society would try and settle this in court.


You are still not addressing the other points of contention. if this is a mock trial, then please address the rest of the evidence.

Sun Wukong
23rd January 10, 07:20 AM
You just rewrote what was actually said. That isn't what was actually said.

I quoted the voices in my fucking head. Address the issue, not the minutia.

Cullion
23rd January 10, 07:23 AM
I'm addressing the minutia and the issue. Other people have different voices in their heads. You're asking for politics to be reduced to an endless series of lengthy, expensive court cases where people argue over the minutae of what was meant.

Sun Wukong
23rd January 10, 08:47 AM
I'm addressing the minutia and the issue. Other people have different voices in their heads. You're asking for politics to be reduced to an endless series of lengthy, expensive court cases where people argue over the minutae of what was meant.


You are not addressing the other points of contention, you are sticking to the argument originally constructed on only one point of contention.

Cullion
23rd January 10, 09:12 AM
I'm going through these examples one at a time to show why attempting to implement your suggestion against them would hopelessly bog down your public discourse in legal wrangling, and possibly lead to tyranny.

Ajamil
23rd January 10, 10:53 AM
Since you had to qualify each example with "technically this is true but..," I don't see how you can complain of them lying. They're not lying - they're being asshole douches with spin. Any outright lying is often caught and removed quickly - because the other side will latch onto a lie and drag you down with it.

Personally I'd like to see less politeness and formality in campaigns. I want "we have to get the taxes up," to be explained with, "they're jerks and they're misquoting me - go read the whole transcript." I want a candidate to be able to say, "Look, asshole, I was hanging out with friends and joking. Of course I don't want to invade Russia." But I guess a politician chooses to live in a world where you have to watch every word in every phrase in every sentence you say because it just might end up quoted on the front page headline.

I can just imagine Obama is exploding with the repressed desire to goof off and jump on a mic before the State of the Union address and go, "Yo wassup, my American bruthas? Dis is the O-bomb comin at ya from da Wizzle Hizzle!"

Wounded Ronin
23rd January 10, 01:24 PM
The problem is that if it were illegal to lie in these ads, then each campaign would just waste huge amounts of public money and sanity taking each other to court trying to construe things in the ads as having been lies.

HappyOldGuy
23rd January 10, 01:43 PM
Cullion has my proxy in this. Court is not the right venue to solve this problem.

Things like factcheck and an electorate who will punish the politicians of their own party is.

However expect factcheck type activity to get polluted in 2012 by advocacy sites masquerading as public interest accuracy checkers.

Hedley LaMarr
23rd January 10, 01:49 PM
"We need to get people back to work, we need to get taxes up"

If this stupid cunt has such a weak grasp of English that she complains when somebody interprets this as 'I want to get people back to work, I want to raise taxes' then she doesn't deserve to get elected. There's no way somebody should be facing trial for interpreting this statement as supporting increase in taxation rates.
This is exactly why she didn't get elected. Coakley ran a bad campaign. Brown was making all the headlines nationally during the campaign. I honestly didn't know her name until 3 days before the election. It's as if she was under the impression that the election was a foregone conclusion.

As for making it illegal to lie in a campaign ad, it would be too difficult to enforce for it to be a practical means of elevating the political discourse in America. It would be easier to just to severely limit the amount of money allowed in a campaign and/or to ban the use of television ads. This will drastically reduce the amount of negative ads, which will make the space available to lie in ads far smaller. It will also lead to a shortage of things to be covered by pundits, which will lead to FOX News and MSNBC either dying or switching their coverage to a more neutral stance.

Cullion
23rd January 10, 02:03 PM
The problem is that if it were illegal to lie in these ads, then each campaign would just waste huge amounts of public money and sanity taking each other to court trying to construe things in the ads as having been lies.

Worse still, people might not say things which could fairly be said to be an honest opinion, but they'd hold back because their lawyers advised them they could be sued for millions if it was misinterpreted by retards.

WarPhalange
23rd January 10, 02:06 PM
No, cuz then you run into the clusterfuck of "He was mostly telling the truth!" or subjective shit.

News outlets just need to catch people on their bullshit and rape them for it. Olbermann does that to the right-wingers and also to Clinton during the campaign, but we'd need to see this shit for both sides and local governments as well.

You know what should be illegal, though? Ads that have creepy music with someone saying how horrible the other person is. Fucking retarded.

Vieux Normand
23rd January 10, 02:24 PM
What degree of untruth is being addressed here?

From a lie to a smear is a short ride on a swift boat...

Ajamil
23rd January 10, 02:52 PM
The populace is often looking for confirmation rather information about about a candidate. For some reason an irrational first impression forms, and anything that strengthens that impression will be accepted. I can't imagine why else people would still think Obama is Muslim.

Cullion
23rd January 10, 02:58 PM
http://static.guim.co.uk/Guardian/world/gallery/2008/feb/26/2/[email protected](FILE)-A--3508.jpg

Ajamil
23rd January 10, 03:12 PM
He looks much more like a Sikh than a Muslim.

Wounded Ronin
23rd January 10, 03:13 PM
No, cuz then you run into the clusterfuck of "He was mostly telling the truth!" or subjective shit.

News outlets just need to catch people on their bullshit and rape them for it. Olbermann does that to the right-wingers and also to Clinton during the campaign, but we'd need to see this shit for both sides and local governments as well.

You know what should be illegal, though? Ads that have creepy music with someone saying how horrible the other person is. Fucking retarded.

Funnily, though, lots of people really seem to have Olbermann. I guess with the general population if you ridicule someone that they like they take it personally or something.

Cullion
23rd January 10, 03:19 PM
He looks much more like a Sikh than a Muslim.

http://techbuddha.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/barack_obama_muslim1.jpg

Now?

WarPhalange
23rd January 10, 03:21 PM
Funnily, though, lots of people really seem to have Olbermann. I guess with the general population if you ridicule someone that they like they take it personally or something.

http://www.olbermannwatch.com/

I haven't really read the site much. Seems like there is a lot of "MAN HE ARE T3H SUX!!" going on, though. Comparing it to something like factcheck.org, it's pretty obvious this is really opinionated. To point out a lie, you don't need more than an explanation of what the lie is and a link to the contradiction (say, claiming you are for the troops, then having a link to your voting record where you voted against helping the troops). Too many adjectives being thrown around there.

billy sol hurok
23rd January 10, 06:27 PM
I quoted the voices in my fucking head. Address the issue, not the minutia.

This was worth the price of slogging through the thread.

Cullion
23rd January 10, 06:34 PM
Cullion has my proxy in this. Court is not the right venue to solve this problem.

Things like factcheck and an electorate who will punish the politicians of their own party is.

However expect factcheck type activity to get polluted in 2012 by advocacy sites masquerading as public interest accuracy checkers.

Our only hope, in whichever country we live, is to try and become active participants in Democracy rather than passive consumers of opinion. The Internet's a massive help here.

JohnnyCache
23rd January 10, 07:23 PM
Overt lying IS actually illegal.

The shit they do isn't actually "overt lying" and that's the problem.

JohnnyCache
23rd January 10, 07:29 PM
The problem is that the entire informational infostructure is corrupt right now.

There are no facts in 2010.

We can't agree on the number of the uninsured, the realities of global warming or evolution, etc.

Until we, as a populace, develop a greater comfort level with choosing our beliefs based on facts instead of the reverse, we are up fucked creek.

Cullion
23rd January 10, 07:37 PM
There never were 'facts' of the sort you describe, the Internet just means that proles like us are now aware of it.

JohnnyCache
23rd January 10, 08:06 PM
There never were 'facts' of the sort you describe, the Internet just means that proles like us are now aware of it.

While it may be true that misinformation has always been a factor, we live in a time when - maybe because of its very abundance - we don't agree on much information.

It used to be that you had to sometimes evaluate facts for the taint of propaganda, but there was consensus.

The misinformation was regarded as accurate enough that people could argue over what course to take and not spend the entire debate parsing each premise.

Now there ARE no courses of action because there are only increasingly vitriolic and dogmatic arguments about what is true. In a way, a tide of propaganda would be a welcome stabilizing force.

Which is good, since the supreme court has just enabled one.

JohnnyCache
23rd January 10, 08:09 PM
I read a very interesting thing recently about how first world people are increasingly at the mercy of opinion leaders because they are essentially too busy for politics - they don't have the time for all the filtering required and NEED analysis to be able to participate.

But I can't find the thing now.

Cullion
23rd January 10, 08:11 PM
It's important not to confuse cause and effect. The fact that facts once seemed more certain because people weren't exposed to counterarguments doesn't mean that they were more certain.

Comfortable agreement on false premises is not a worthy goal, although it is a temporarily reassuring one.

If we don't let anybody take this tool away from us we could have a rebirth of real democracy.

I wouldn't worry too much about the delaying effects of debate.

JohnnyCache
23rd January 10, 08:54 PM
It's important not to confuse cause and effect. The fact that facts once seemed more certain because people weren't exposed to counterarguments doesn't mean that they were more certain.

Comfortable agreement on false premises is not a worthy goal, although it is a temporarily reassuring one.

If we don't let anybody take this tool away from us we could have a rebirth of real democracy.

I wouldn't worry too much about the delaying effects of debate.

I think that's a hypothesis, but I also think the new media engine is being used to dilute "truth" where it would contravene interest.

I'm talking more here, be it understood, about the top-down media conglomerates, not the notion of reading on politics online.

I'm talking about the immense trust placed in certain nodules of propaganda - your glenn becks, john stewarts, etc. Combine that with the ineptitude of TV journalism, and you've got a recipe for regurgitation. A memetic breeding ground with very few controls.

Cullion
23rd January 10, 08:57 PM
Do you believe that people were manipulated less in the past ?

I wouldn't agree. I think people were almost brainwashed in previous generations, and in this new arena the same amount of effort will be made by the forces of authoritarian bullshit, but they're fighting on our turf now. We don't live in a media era where the blonde, well-groomed nuclear family just clusters around the radiation box each evening to receive the approved transmission any more.

This is healthy. We're going to win. This is the rebirth of the Athenian polis, right before our eyes.

JohnnyCache
23rd January 10, 09:39 PM
Do you believe that people were manipulated less in the past ?

I wouldn't agree. I think people were almost brainwashed in previous generations, and in this new arena the same amount of effort will be made by the forces of authoritarian bullshit, but they're fighting on our turf now. We don't live in a media era where the blonde, well-groomed nuclear family just clusters around the radiation box each evening to receive the approved transmission any more.

This is healthy. We're going to win. This is the rebirth of the Athenian polis, right before our eyes.

I think we were manipulated more in the past.

I think right now we are manipulating ourselves more than we ever have.

Right now unfettered democracy in the US would be massively destructive.

That's a sobering thought but I believing it. It's a damn good thing we have the layered, representative structure we do because our voting body is a mix of those unfit to vote and those heavily invested in non-neutral stances on issues, and we can't seem to fix it because we won't educate our populace.

kracker
24th January 10, 03:29 PM
If you're dumb enough to believe and be influenced in any way by a campaign ad, you shouldn't be allowed to vote, or for that matter walk around without a helmet and water wings.

Zendetta
24th January 10, 04:12 PM
Since Politicians are products to be bought and sold (especially after the recent Supreme Court decision), then lying in campaign ads clearly constitutes False Advertising.

Of course, I remember when you didn't have to pay extra for the warranty on the crap you buy.

Ajamil
24th January 10, 04:22 PM
Can we sue them for predictive lying? If an ad says the politician will fix the economy, and they dont? Maybe it'll stop all the idiotic promises.

Zendetta
24th January 10, 04:29 PM
My favorite statement in politics is on the old TV show The Prisoner where Number 6 makes a bid for the office of Number 2 to govern the Village.

In his speech he says "When I am elected, I promise there will be less work... AND MORE PLAY!!!"

And the crowd goes nuts.

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