This election season there's a billowing cloud of misinformation being sprayed into the American psyche like a burping tail pipe on a primered Vega.
And its smoke is thicker and blacker than ever before thanks to the Citizen's United Supreme Court decision.
Billions have been spent for one purpose and one purpose only: to obscure and distract from the fact that Mitt Romney is backing the identical agenda George W Bush did.
It's really and truly that simple.
Lower taxes for the rich, cutting regulations for Wall Street, hawkish foreign policy with in many cases the same neocon foreign policy advisers W. Bush used make Romney/Ryan "W Bush 2: The Sequel to the Greatest Disaster Movie in Recent U.S. History, Available in Imax."
So please, America, don't fall for this con all over again. Taxes for the rich are at record lows. The uber-wealthy and corps hide profits overseas and work the loopholes to avoid paying what they should. And because of the resulting tax shortfall, deficits soar and education and infrastructure are cut. Why in God's name would anyone in their right mind support cutting taxes for the wealthy more? Especially when it's been proven over and over again to do very little for the economy?
And the idea of cutting regulations for Wall Street after the '08 collapse is as crazy as a guy in a hospital gown by the side of a highway waving Barbie dolls at passing cars. With the derivitives market larger than ever we need way more regulation of Wall Street, not less. And worst of all, Romney's hawkish foreign policy is a beat for beat redux of the Bush doctrine of attack at the slightest hint of threat that led us into the disaster of the Iraq war. Call it "the edgy drifter with a knife" policy.
Voting for Romney after the train wreck of that was the eight years of W. Bush is like losing your pay check playing a rigged game of three-card monte and then playing the same game again a week later cause the cards are a different color.
But Obama is a socialist! He's made things worse! What about the deficit?! Stop your witchy liberal word spells!
These objections to Obama are nonsense and lies at best. They just are. This isn't a "liberal" POV. It's just the truth. Obama does have real failings as a president (illegal drone strikes, a baffling desire to make more trade deals, failure to prosecute past war crimes), but being a socialist big spender is not remotely one of them. The stock market and corporate profits have soared under the Obama administration. And the deficit is 60 percent from tax short falls from the '08 collapse and 20 percent from the Iraq war finally being properly counted. Only $1 trillion of the $5 trillion deficit is from spending that was for the stimulus package that stopped our nation from falling into a depression by any economic metric available. The fact is Obama has spent less than any president in 50 years.
Even Obamacare is a private mandate that will drive billions to the insurance industry, much like the auto insurance mandate. Hardly socialism. In fact, it was a Republican plan to begin with.
But Romney and his billionaire backers have twisted facts and outright lied like we've never seen before. And why? Because if they had to stand on the issues they wouldn't receive a vote. Because Romney and Ryan are exactly on the same page as W. Bush. And that page is stained with champagne and sturgeon eggs.
If Romney wins it will be because voters voted for the lies and the brand ID of the Republican party, not because of facts, context and reality. This is the essence of how a con works. The con man gets the mark to respond emotionally rather than logically. Please, don't fall for it. With climate change becoming the biggest challenge of the next hundred years we can't afford four years more of corruption, misinformation and inaction. We just can't.
We must give up on this blind brand allegiance nonsense -- "the Republican party is for self-reliance and America" -- and start looking at the reality of what they do. They ignored warnings on 9/11, making us far less safe, give billions in subsidies to oil companies, no-bid contracts to the former vice president's company, cut taxes for the rich during a war, stand against equal pay for women, froze the budget to drive our AAA rating down. They are corrupt, for the rich getting richer and for dismantling our government including FEMA, Medicare, and Social Security.
And worst of all, the Republicans do everything they can to make it hard for people to vote. This isn't just creepy and dirty. This is anti-American and an insult to all those that have given their lives for our right to vote.
At a certain point if you're voting for Romney you have to look around the room and see who you're with. W, Bush and Cheney will vote for Romney. Sarah Palin will vote for Romney. Glenn Beck will vote for Romney, as will Rush Limbaugh. Rupert Murdoch, Hannity and Donald Trump are voting for Romney. Have these people been right about anything in the past 20 years? For real. Think about it.
This election needs to be the end of the con. The end of "trickle-down economics." The end of the loopholes. The end of no rules for the rich and powerful. The end of veiled racism, sexism and homophobia as a way to distract those you're ripping off.
This era of "relative truth" can end. We can return to science, facts and fairness. But it means stopping this right vs. left, Dem. vs. Repub., North vs. South idiocy. A lot of money was spent to divide us like this and every day that we don't stop and question the messaging this country slips a notch.
We've been having the same argument for 30 years and the evidence is clear: Cutting taxes for the rich, deregulating all the rules set up after the Great Depression and needless wars don't even remotely work, whether it's George W. Bush or Romney who's at the wheel of the belching sputtering Vega.
Seriously, America. Take a beat, think and look hard at the numbers. You're better than this crap. And we've got real stuff to work on together.