The first casualty in politics is the truth. Both sides and their surrogates are guilty of trying to spin half truths to their advantage and, of course, outright lie. No campaign ad on the television or radio can be trusted to give us accurate information. Of course, not everyone who has an interest in politics is interested in the truth. Some (not all) political partisans have already swallowed "the Kool-Aid" being served by their side and are not truly interested in examining any data that may undermine their point of view. Truth is sacrificed on the altar of power that their side might achieve it.
Having said that, there are those individuals who really want the truth and who get frustrated because they feel as if they have nowhere to go to get it, since neither campaign can be trusted to provide it, nor can the partisan cable news channels and talk radio. So where does one turn?
Well, the good news is there are places where one can go to get a more fair and balanced approach. There are non-partisan political fact checking groups who subject the claims of politicians and their surrogates to the antiseptic light of the truth. These groups are certainly not perfect, nor are their interpretations infallible. But they are more trustworthy than our politicians and their minions.
FactCheck.org is one such place. They will certainly evaluate and affirm when either campaign is telling the truth, but neither they will fail to hesitate to give both sides "Pinocchio Awards" for outright falsehoods. For example:
-Governor Romney shipped jobs overseas when he worked for Bain Capital. FactCheck says, "we found no evidence to support the claim that Romney — while he was still running Bain Capital — shipped American jobs overseas."
-The tax burden on American citizens is too high. FactCheck notes, "...the fact is that federal tax rates had fallen to the lowest in 30 years when President Barack Obama took office — and fell again in his first year in office."
-Republicans want to end Medicare. FactCheck says, "The newest Republican budget, proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, keeps traditional Medicare — unlike his plan from 2011 — and the increased cost claim is no longer applicable to it."
-The Obama Administration wants to end gun ownership among U.S. citizens through a United Nations treaty. FactCheck states, "No. The administration plans to negotiate a treaty to regulate the international export and import of weapons. It says that it won’t support any treaty that regulates the domestic transfer or ownership of weapons, or that infringes on the Second Amendment."
So, if you're interested in seeking the truth in all of its complexity in the political realm, FactCheck is one place that will assist. It is not the be-all-and-end-all to be sure, but it sure beats those revolting campaign ads we have to endure this time of the year. We would all be better off if we just hit the mute button when they appear. And while we are at it, it would be a good idea to ignore those snarky, satirical, exaggerated Facebook posts as well.
And contrary to what some on both sides tell you: no matter who wins the White House and controls Capitol Hill after November, the world as we know it will not end.
Just thought you might want to know. Comforting isn't it?