Buying an election through lies is in vogue
If you donít know who the Koch brothers are ó and the latest survey says half of you probably donít ó get ready to hear their names a lot this election season.
David and Charles Koch are the billionaire owners of Koch Industries, the Wichita, Kan.-based parent company of several manufacturers and energy companies, like paper maker Georgia-Pacific and refinery Flint Hill Resources.
They also like politics: Their financial backing helped found Americans for Prosperity, a group that has spent millions on ads this election cycle in battleground races like Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina to help Republicans win the Senate.
The problem, according to those who check such things, is that the ads the group runs have very little to do with the truth.
While that may not surprise some of us, it should. Attack ads should have more than a faint allusion to truth. They should be based on truth and then let the viewer, listener or reader decide.
Thatís not how it works. The idea in political advertising is to put out the most outrageous information, likely very false, until someone stops you. That way, apparently, the liar wins. Hereís how it works:
You take a small half-truth and embellish on it until it becomes a bald face lie. Then you sit back and let those youíre attacking try to defend themselves from the lie. The idea, I guess, is to keep the opposition on the defense and the political thought, these days, is that such tactics work.
It should be categorized, however, as just another scamĖan assault on American values.
The American public should be smarter than that. Donít believe everything you see in an attack ad. Sure, now days we canít see who is actually running the ads, since the disclaimers can use some obscure and patriotic-sounding name like ďAmericans for Prosperity.Ē But as voters, we need to be wary.
There are numerous places to check the validity and accuracy of political ads. Once you do and you find out that the ads are false, let friends or neighbors know.
Political lies, backed by big money should not be able to influence any election, especially in America. So, as we head into another election year, beware of information coming at you in 30-second sound bytes and on the internet.
Take the time to vet such advertising, or, better yet, ignore it and do your own research.
Billionaires may have some constitutional rights to try and buy an election, but that doesnít mean the American public will let them. Or does it?