Politicians shouldn’t be allowed to lie with impunity

Published 8:46 am Thursday, January 25, 2018

Dear Editor,

When did lying in the public realm become so accepted? Growing up, I knew lying was wrong (and still do). I admit to lying at times but knew I was lying.

Recently, no political party has weaponized lying more than the Republicans. Liberals, at our core, believe in diversity and finding solutions that promote well-being across all groups. We believe in a social safety net and health care for all, as expressions of how community should benefit everyone. We do not have the same life experiences nor do we align perfectly on all solutions, but our goal is the best of all possible worlds with no one left behind.

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Currently, Republicans focus on a dwindling demographic of white, male-centric voters with a paternalistic view of the world. With Trump, a candidate that fed on the worst fears of that demographic, the GOP appears to have given up on appealing to anyone else. This has produced a GOP that lies with impunity. Their audience either isn’t interested in their hypocrisy or find their media (like Fox News) not interested in it.

This blatant lying has been demonstrated this week with the Republican crocodile tears over re-authorizing CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program), the very same insurance for low-income children that the Republicans declined to fund for over 110 days.  

The Republicans decided to squeeze Democrats on the shutdown vote by pitting poor children against immigrant children. The immigrant children, the DREAMERS, were brought here by their parents, sometimes legally, sometimes not, who have spent the majority of their lives in this country, their home.

Paul Ryan, who refused to put a CHIP bill on the floor, now declares it “unconscionable that Democrats would walk away from CHIP.” If the GOP really cared about CHIP, they would have funded it three and a half months ago. They even have a report that CHIP will SAVE money. Throwing CHIP in the face of Democrats is blatant hypocrisy.  

Democrats’ positions on CHIP and the DREAM Act are supported by the majority of the public.  In addition, most people want the government to function in a bipartisan manner. Republican positions are extreme and out of the mainstream, widening the divide. What happened to the center-right GOP?

Whether this shutdown last hours or days, it has pointed to divides that will take effort to heal. Do we accept blatant lying or will we hold elected officials accountable?  

Julie Pease