Article by Damien Lee Thorr
Politics are carried out using dirty tactics all over the world. There may be some politicians with genuine good intentions to make the community better but for the most part, the vast majority play dirty, using deception to gain votes and control the vote by inflicting fear upon the people. Many politicians go into office with self-serving agendas: race issues, monetary gain introduced by business and/or religious influences. It has been very clear that they do not care about serving and looking out for the people, which explains the desperate state of things.
As an example of what I define as “dirty politics” I present Amendment 3 from Florida’s last elections in 2018:
The measure was designed to provide voters with the "exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling in the State of Florida." Amendment 3 made the citizen initiative process "the exclusive method of authorizing casino gambling," meaning the Florida State Legislature would not be permitted to authorize casino gambling through statute or through referring a constitutional amendment to the ballot. In Florida, the number of signatures required for an initiative is equal to 8 percent of the votes cast in the preceding presidential election. Florida also has a signature distribution requirement, which requires that signatures equal to 8 percent of the district-wide vote in at least half (14) of the state's 27 congressional districts must be collected.
Under the measure, card games, casino games, and slot machines are considered casino gambling. Under the measure, pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing, dog racing, or jai alai exhibitions is not considered to be casino gambling. The measure does not affect casino gambling on Native American tribal lands established through state-tribe compacts.
However, an unknown organization was mass mailing flyers across the state and spammed social media with the falsehood that voting YES on amendment 3 would affect our public schools, claiming that casino gambling funds the school system and that it would hurt the seriously falling standards of the school system if people vote YES.
This is a clear falsehood. It is also a blatant and deliberate lie, designed to mislead and manipulate the vote in their favor. The fact is that NOT one public school anywhere is funded by casino gambling. Casino gambling is a highly profitable, multi-billion dollar per year industry and has never been mandated to fund the school system, which is in fact, funded by our tax dollars.
Why use deception to manipulate the vote? Because they realize (and it is no secret) that most US citizens are under educated and ignorant and almost NEVER check the facts on anything they are told. They do not even understand the amendment, or any amendment, the way it was written on the ballot as amendments are always written using legal language that is beyond the comprehension of the voter without an advanced education.
Understandably, any caring person would not want our school system to be harmed by losing funding and thus, they would be compelled to vote NO on the amendment. Voting without investigating the issues (or doing anything without doing any research), may be a great hindrance to their own interests.
Another blatant and dirty tactic that racist politicians use is when they appeal to the bigotry and xenophobia inherent among the ignorant. Racism has always been a part of politics in the US. For some reason I will never be able to fathom, bigots simply don’t want blacks and immigrants to have equality and somehow feel threatened and have always been social bullies against non-whites. Politicians know this and use it to their advantage to manipulate the vote. Politicians say things such as: “Immigrants will come here to take your jobs!” and “They come here to get free stuff and welfare on your tax dollars!”. To say that those statements are falsehoods is an understatement. Again, these types of voters don’t know any better and never check the facts on those statements.
The fact is that South and Central American immigrants that come here do not qualify for welfare or government assistance. In fact, it isn’t even that simple even for a US citizen... especially if you are not disabled. Politicians mislead their supporters regarding this fact because they know it will further fuel their anger and hatred of Hispanics.
Central and South Americans that come to the US are often farm workers or work in the domestic maintenance field, housekeeping, which are jobs most bigots never apply for. Many that come here will overcome their difficult situations by exploiting their skills in plumbing, electrical, mechanics, etc... and start their own companies.
I find it appalling when bigots say that immigrants come here to “take over and take their stuff”. When someone sacrifices everything to enter the US and works hard, saves money, pays taxes and buys his own home with their own money, how is that taking over and taking “their stuff”?
Clearly, this animosity is germinated by the falsehoods of racist politicians and have caused much of the tension, strife and division among the people in the US.
Many of the bigots say that immigrants must come to the US legally, and I agree. I know that there is a number of people that sneak across the border illegally, without registering and without seeking asylum and those should not be thrown into the same mix as the multitude in the recent caravans seeking asylum, which is, in fact, perfectly legal to enter all US borders and seek asylum.
I have heard many bigots express that Puerto Ricans come to the US in mass quantities just to get on welfare and that they come illegally. These bigots are ignorant to the fact that Puerto Rico is a US territory and that Puerto Ricans have been considered legal US citizens since 1917, and can enter the US without a passport the same way any American citizen can visit Puerto Rico without a passport.
Politicians KNOW the facts about seeking asylum at the borders being legal and that Puerto Ricans are citizens but they still inflict falsehoods to manipulate the vote and divide people.
President Hoover once said that the greatest threat to the US was the “unification of negros”. I wonder why he felt that equality for blacks was a “threat”.
So clearly, racism and xenophobia are weapons politicians wield. Why are these politicians and organizations not punished for their falsehoods and fraudulent activities?
Another dirty tactic politicians use is when they say that “democrats will take your guns!” when the issue of control becomes the topic of conversation at the government level. Naturally, this worries and intimidates uneducated gun owners and rallies them to wage a war against anyone who talks about gun control. No politician has ever said that they will disarm citizens. They only present ideas to minimize the danger of gun violence and mass shootings. But all these dummies hear is “they’ll take your guns” as politicians cash in their NRA “donations”.
Another dirty tactic politicians use is when they assert that if they vote against a specific subject or politician, that they are supporting the devil which directly appeals to the false sense of security they adhere to in religious beliefs. The fact is that they have been chipping away at the separation of church and state and slowly turning the nation into a fascist theocracy. There are currently 11 states where it is illegal to run for public office if you are atheist. Again, this is playing VERY dirty politics.
Regarding politics at the top, even the current president has used deceptive tactics, misrepresenting the facts, exaggerating and manipulating the people with fear for self-serving purposes. He has amplified racism, further dividing the nation and has crippled the economy while he states, deceptively, that things are fine and that he has been transparent and the best. Once again, his ignorant supporters do not fact check his statements so they do not realize that what he says is not true.
The president has appealed with falsehoods to their bigotry and their false sense of victimhood, making them think he actually cares about them when he clearly does not. Never in the history of the USA has a president ever been sworn into office with a multitude of pending lawsuits for fraud, discrimination, unpaid services to contractors and sexual harassment. Without fact checking anything about the president, his supporters will never overcome their emotional armor that blinds them. Who else remembers how he rallied up his supporters with his grandest lie of building the border wall and that Mexico will be paying for it? How could so many people believe such a statement could be realistic?
According to the Washington Post, The current president has been confirmed to have lied more than 9,000 times since he took office. However, his supporters reject the fact that he lies or make excuses for him and make absurd statements such as: “but Obama lied, too!”, as if it were true, that it would justify the current liar in chief.
In closing, the days of men like Abraham Lincoln in politics are long gone. We are on our own.
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