Is It True If You Believe It?

Republicans are basing their plans for the US on things they believe are true. Unfortunately, believing something is true does not mean it is actually true. A large part of what a lot of Republicans profess to believe, and what the present candidates propose, does not pass the most elementary tests of truth. In fact, we are bombarded almost every day with new statements by Republicans that are obviously false, often astonishingly so. This doesn’t seem to bother many of them.

A large part of what Republicans believe
does not pass the most elementary tests of truth
.

Candidate Todd Akin has been roundly criticized both within and without the GOP for statements demonstrating his gross ignorance about—well, practically everything, it appears. Akin’s belief that rape cannot result in pregnancy isn’t even remotely true. But his opinion about rape, stupid as it is, is representative of a broad swath of conservative Republicans, who appear to be willing to kill a living woman with children if she wants to abort a rapist’s fetus. There are no extenuating circumstances, such as rape, preeclampsia, or other danger. A fertilized egg is fully human, by their belief, but a living mother with children to care for apparently is not. And that’s only the latest example of Republican disdain for  women.

Republicans believe that having the teeniest government possible with the fewest laws and regulations (except, of course, for a grossly bloated military) will somehow result in the best society. But they ignore the evidence of their own eyes, as if the decades-long crippling of laws and regulations that control wrongdoing in business and finance had nothing to do with the current economic crisis and burgeoning inequality. As if circumventing the intent of laws designed to prevent corporate abuse were a mere annoyance, something that irritatingly diminishes profit.

The candidates say they will save money,
but they are unable to say how.
Many say all the unemployed are moochers,
but can cite no evidence.

The Republican presidential and vice presidential candidates are running on a platform of unsupportable beliefs. They want to increase the wealth of the mega-wealthy, while at the same time increasing the tax burden of the poor and middle class, claiming that this will lead to true affluence for all people. But there is nothing in the historical record to suggest that this will happen. In fact, history suggests the opposite. In the past three or four decades, the wealth of the mega-rich has tripled while that of low income people has remained the same or actually fallen. It would fall further under their proposals.

They also claim that they will reduce government expenditures, but they refuse to say how. In fact, the reason they refuse is that they cannot say. What they believe is not possible. There is no magic formula, now matter how much they believe there is. There is no evidence that favoring the rich at the expense of everyone else will do anything other than increase inequality. It will not result in widespread affluence or more jobs.

They believe that large numbers of Americans are moochers, but can cite no evidence that this is true. It is a catch-22. They don’t want full-time workers in low-wage jobs to earn a living wage, which they believe because they are convinced that such people are poor because they are lazy, which is what many of them have said. This is especially true if the poor are African-American. They don’t even recognize the impossibility of their demand that all Americans pay for their own health care and retirement while earning a wage inadequate to do so.

In fact, a large percentage of Republicans believe that all unemployed workers are nothing more than lazy moochers who must be punished. Some made exactly that claim at the height to the economic crises, when there were at least five workers for every job available. (Unemployed Republicans in that position were strangely silent.) They said it of people who had worked responsibly for decades, whose fortunes and families were utterly destroyed by Wall Street criminality. They expressed hate for recent college grads who can’t find work to pay off the average $25,000 debt they graduated with. They expressed hatred for military persons who returned from overseas duty in their name. It never seems to occur to them that their hateful beliefs are devoid of any semblance of logic, reason, or truth, let alone the compassion that is central to the Christian faith they profess to follow.

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