In today’s society with a plethora of ways of instant communication, politicians from both the left and right have taken full advantage of their ways to accomplish their goals. Politics has always been an ever evolving art form that plays on the minds of the country’s citizens. Facts are not an important variable in the equation of politics and that became clear during the 2008 presidential election. Since the majority of American citizens get their information from TV, newspapers, magazines and the internet, all a politician or a political party needs are talking points. These are short non-descriptive messages that are usually a generalization with little to no factual evidence involved. Politics are not hard to understand, it is the means in which to promote policy. However, for as long as our country has existed, a politic has been a way to manipulate citizens in order for them to think a certain way in terms of government.
- The 2008 presidential election was the epitome of the political game. While our country was involved with two wars, facing the greatest economic downfall since the great depression and unemployment numbers rising on a monthly basis, the Republican candidate John McCain found it necessary to talk about democratic nominee Barack Obama’s personal associations and lie about his policies. McCain ran ads suggesting that Obama surrounded himself with terrorists and racists. This is politics as usual; distract the public from legitimate concerns by terrifying them that the other candidate is a threat to national security and do so by lying.
- American citizens who get their news from television are subjected to the worst part of politics. The conservative news channel Fox News has been caught twisting the truth and blatantly lying several times. It is generally known by the public that they are a conservative news channel but instead of being open about it, they choose to use the slogan “Fair and balanced”. The Democratic party has TV stations, newspapers and magazines that promote a liberal agenda as well. The politic game is made easier on the politicians when any of their supporters do not fact check what they see on TV or read in the newspaper by researching any of the given topics.
- Talking points are the most helpful tool in the politic tool box. These are brief messages used repeatedly by a political campaign and/or political party that are simple, easy to understand and promote an idea or policy. The negative side to using talking points is that they do not always include facts or use rational ideas to support the overall message. In January of 2010, President Barack Obama spoke at the House Republican Retreat in Baltimore, MD and took questions from several Republican representatives. Many of the questions would include manipulating and suggestive talking points in order to make the president look weak and unintelligent on national policy. For example one representitive claimed that he had a health care plan that would cover twice as many citizens as Obama’s proposed plan and would not cost the government a dime. That message sounds great and when Americans hear that they cannot help but support the representative and his plan. However, it simply is not true or possible. President Obama politely explained to the audience that this type of talk might help you win elections but it has no factual baring at all. He asked the representative how it would be possible to cover millions of Americans with health insurance for free and said that he would like to see his math. This is how the game of politics is played; Say whatever will help you win elections and/or accomplish your goals by telling the public what they want to hear, whether it is true or not. A politic chess game is difficult to win if you are on the other side because sometimes the truth is not interesting enough to be explained on TV or in the newspapers.