Spin And Politics

One of the common questions when it comes to politics is, why do Politicians lie? The most straightforward answer, of course, is money and votes. Every elected official within the United States has to walk a fine line between their constituents and the entities which fund their campaigns. From a monetary stand point, it has grown increasingly more expensive to run a successful campaign. That is to say, the cost of creating an image for each candidate, while at the same time fudging certain facts about their position on key issues, has risen considerably.

Take the 2008 presidential race for example. The funding between Barack Obama and John McCain neared $1billion dollars, the most expensive political endeavor of its kind in history. A distant second would be the 2004 elections where the entire presidential fundraising totals only reached $880.5 million. At this rate, the 2012 race could easily cost in the range of 2 billion dollars.

While appealing to their top funders, candidates from both sides of the aisle must also pacify their loyal base, or the "inconvenient mob" as some circles call them. Lobbyists are a third group which both the Democrats and Republicans know that they must pander to. To pull off this feat of political spin, language becomes increasingly important.

For the Republicans, the dialogue of less Government becomes paramount when speaking to their base. One only needs to listen to past speeches given by John McCain or the Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal, to be under the impression that we were dealing with populist party of Abraham Lincoln, but that party is long dead. The 19th century industrialists set the framework for what has become land owners representatives. Here is a quote from Jindal, in a response to Barack Obama's address to Congress, "The strength of America is not found in our government. It is found in the compassionate hearts and enterprising spirit of our citizens." Unfortunately the language of pandering often doesn't reflect the actions of the party.

For the Democrats, their message must consistently appeal to Unions, women's rights groups and community organizing groups, along with African Americans organizations which by and large have been the most loyal supporters of the party. Like Republicans, Democrats seek to deliver a populist message but some of them actually mean it. They will break with party lines and support policies that are popular among the American people but unpopular on the Hill. One prime example is the issue of single payer healthcare. According to one report, 60% of the polled public supports such system but less than half of those in Congress are willing to back it at the moment – and Obama has come out against it, despite supporting it as a State Senator.

Because both sides of aisle receive such heavy campaign funding from the insurance industry, Democrats and Republicans are quick to decry the idea as "socialism", which shows the fear of a dying free market system and not a moment too soon. This brings up the issue of special interest groups. Both parties have to appeal to many of these large lobby groups even if they oppose the base of either political divide. This breaks with the notion that each presidential election is a ideological tug-of-war; a battle of Right versus Left.

Let's take the so-called pro-Israel faction as an example of a lobby group that has helped develop American policy. Every fours year the Republicans like to paint the false picture that the Democratic presidential candidate has plans to overturn the US policy of lending the Israeli government unconditional support. The reason is simple, the Jewish community, despite being less than 10% of the total US population consistently prove to be one of the most organized and potent voting forces under the flag. The truth of the matter is that, since 1948 our unconditional policy towards Israel has been the policy of both parties and this seems very unlikely to change under president Obama.

But in the end, every politician knows that it costs money to run a successful campaign and this is where the best interests of 90% of the American publican are kicked to the curb by both parties. This is where the lies really are given birth. Below is a list of the top contributors in the latest presidential race cycle A complete list of business contributors to Washington can be found on the Open Secrets website. What seems increasingly clear is that, for many businesses, the election cycle is really about hedging one's bets and in the end, they will win no matter who gets into office. As a result of receiving the funding from corporate interests, both the candidates running for Congress and for the White House find themselves in the position of selling policies to their bases, frequently in a storm of protest. So the electeds must become in essence used car sales people, selling the American people a bill of goods that only Wall Street wants.


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Until next time…


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http://thinkprogress.org/2009/02/27/hillary-attacked-for-mideast/


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http://www.fpif.org/fpiftxt/5610


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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_population


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http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2008/02/cost-of-08-presidential-race-a.html


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http://www.newkerala.com/topstory-fullnews-100438.html


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http://www.democracynow.org/


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http://www.alternet.org/columnists/story/106196/why_iraqis,_afghans,_palestinians,_and_others_might_be_nervous_about_president_obama/


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