John Scalzi posts eloquently on a topic that has been consuming my thoughts lately: what does it mean with the most effective tactic in a nation’s politics is to shamelessly lie, even after your lies have been exposed?
Definitely read the whole thing, but the part I wanted to quote is his explanation of why Obama should not adopt McCain’s tactics:
To go back to Obama and whether he should embrace the philosophy of flat-out lying, perhaps it makes sense for him to do so, but I certainly hope he doesn’t. Not because I think it’s better to have honor than power (although I don’t think it’s a bad thing to have honor rather than power) but because I believe that someone should be making the argument that one can win an election by something other than a willful determination to lie in people’s faces, and to encourage them to cheer those lies.
The fact of the matter is that at this point in the election, it’s not just about what positions the candidates hold on various political subjects. It’s also about how the candidates, and the parties behind, choose to see the people they intend to lead. The GOP and the McCain campaign, irrespective of its political positions, sees the American voter as deserving lies, lots of lies, repeated as often as necessary to win. And maybe they’re right about it. We’ll know soon enough.
Obama has famously said that the election is not about him, it’s about us. People accuse him of false modesty, but I think he nails it completely. This election presents us with two choices, and who the majority of Americans choose says a lot more about us than it does about the candidates.
Here’s Tom Toles on the same topic.