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Archive for Friday, July 17, 1992

POLITICAL EXAGGERATION

July 17, 1992

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If a person were to believe everything coming out of New York's Madison Square Garden this week, all the wrongs in the country and a good share of those around the world can be easily solved by electing Bill Clinton in the upcoming November election.

Likewise, all the faults, troubles, sorrows and disappointments in the country today are the fault of George Bush and former President Ronald Reagan.

It is a clear-cut situation, according to speakers such as New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Jerry Brown, Barbara Jordan, two Kennedys and many others. All the problems can be solved and eliminated by Clinton, and Bush is responsible for all the troubles and failures.

None of the speakers, however, noted that Democrats have controlled Congress for years, and no action, no policy, no wish of any president can be put into law without the approval of Congress. The nation's debt, the nation's tax policies, its health care and education policies all are legislative actions that have to be approved by Congress. And if Congress does not like a veto of a particular bill by a president, the legislators can override the veto. This would seem to be a fairly simple matter with the Democrats in such control of Congress, and if Bush and Reagan have been doing such a miserable job in the White House.

Speaker after speaker in New York emphasized how bad conditions are in the U.S. today and they blamed Washington "politicians' and "our government." Apparently, the Democratic-controlled Congress is not a part of "our government," and only Bush and Reagan are responsible for today's troubles.

Democrats in New York have been vicious in their criticism of Bush relative to health care and education matters, but again, with a strong majority in Congress, why haven't Democrats enacted legislation? If such programs were vetoed by the president, why wouldn't they be able to override the veto?

Unfortunately, race and gender issues played a big role in the New York convention, and again, it was implied that Bush, Reagan and other GOP leaders are responsible for dividing the country, being unfair to minority groups and women, favoring policies that have fostered racial problems and the riots in Los Angeles and being insensitive to the needs of racial minorities.

Television is a marvelous medium, but it also has caused voters, as well as non-voters, to become lazy. Too many citizens make voting decisions based on rather superficial yardsticks. They are too quick to accept whatever a candidate may say as being the truth. They accept statements made by convention speakers at face value and don't bother to study the party platforms. They do little homework to compare how each candidate stacks up against his or her opponent.

Republican speakers at the GOP presidential nominating convention in Houston also are likely to be guilty of overstating various situations in the country during the last four years. Again, voters should try to separate fact from one-sided campaign oratory.

Television viewers this week have witnessed an ideal example of politicians and would-be power-brokers overstating many facts. It will be interesting to compare New York convention speakers with those who will be trying to rally voter support at the GOP gathering in Houston.

Certainly, the Democrats have provided the ultimate standard in exaggeration and one-sided analysis of the current domestic and world situation and who is to blame for such conditions. Will the Republicans be just as guilty?

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