Berry: A Preference for DeceitWritten by Thomas Berry | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The day after Election Day, a caller told WSPD’s Fred LeFebvre that the members of his temple could not vote in good conscience for Rich Iott because of the photograph of him wearing a World War II German soldier’s uniform. Never mind that he was involved in a historic reenactment; he was linked with Nazism in these people’s minds.
These good people certainly weren’t alone; to judge by the final results of the election, a majority of District 9 voters also could not bring themselves to vote for Mr. Iott, for whatever reason. But while I can certainly understand the revulsion that Nazism arouses, the implication of making this decision on the basis of the photograph as a matter of conscience, as this gentleman expressed it, is disturbing.
If you chose not to vote for Mr. Iott because of your political beliefs, that’s one thing. But it’s entirely another to make such a decision because of a blatant smear, because doing so implies a tolerance, if not an outright preference, for deceit.
The photograph was released in a cynical exploitation of fear, gullibility and ignorance. Voters were expected to react by dismissing Mr. Iott as a candidate, based not on what his character or platform, but rather on how a malicious third party chose to falsely represent him. Moreover, they were expected to not bother acquainting themselves with the facts about either him or his opponent. The ploy was entirely successful, and it is to the District’s shame and embarrassment that so many voters bought into the deceit hook, line and sinker.
Besides the smear itself, the controversy that the Democrats manufactured about it was also a deceit, in that it took the voters’ attention away from the real issues at hand. What really mattered in the election was not Mr. Iott’s hobbies from years ago – especially when that smear comes from the same party that voted a former Ku Klux Klan recruiter into the Senate eight times! What mattered was Ms. Kaptur’s unwavering support for the Obama agenda with its higher taxes, higher energy costs, higher health care costs, punishment of private enterprise success, and unconstitutional expansions of federal power, and Mr. Iott’s opposition to same. But a sizable majority of District 9 voters were perfectly fine with sending her back to Washington, because they evidently preferred to believe a lie about her opponent rather than the hard truth about her record of casting votes that ultimately harm them.
Even the Toledo Free Press bought into the deceit when it decided, in essence, that Mr. Iott was unworthy as a candidate because he was making Toledo a laughingstock. But guess what? We are anyway. What else to make of a city that prefers deceit over facts in an election? Especially when deceit is chosen in the name of good conscience, God help us all?
There was also the deceit about Food Town, in which Ms. Kaptur “absolutely” stood by another smear even after it had been proven false – by the pro-Kaptur Toledo Blade, no less! But this too was acceptable to a majority of Toledoans. Vote her back in, we don’t care; even though voters all across the country are handing other progressive Democrats their pink slips, we’d rather have a proven liar representing us than the person she and her party lied about.
How much longer will we meekly nod our heads at whatever we are told to think by those who lie to protect their power? How many more good, successful people will be smeared and slandered for daring to come between a politician and his or her power while we side with the slanderers? How much longer will we tolerate, let alone fulfill, the presumption that we are merely ignorant rubes who will fall for anything that plays to our fears?
How much longer will we allow deceivers to use loud, flashy and false scandals to divert our attention from the quiet but critical issues of freedom, prosperity and honor? How long before we finally rip down the veil of deceit and search out the truth? How much further must our liberty be eroded before we take a stand by voting out those who threaten it?
Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies, goes the old Fleetwood Mac song. How many more lies will we believe?
Thomas Berry, for the Children of Liberty, www.meetup.com/The-children-of-liberty