Monday, February 29, 2016

Deception in Politics

Someone asked the other day if I thought candidate Trump was deceitful. When I thought about it I found him far less deceitful than, say … Mitch McConnell the Senate Majority Leader. When Trump says he’ll build a wall along the border and make Mexico pay for it he’s not being deceptive. He’s making an outrageous claim but it’s out there for everyone to hear and judge. He’s being forthright. Besides it’s a campaign speech that few believe. When McConnell says: “The American people will be heard before the next Supreme Court Justice is determined” … he is being deceptive. Without actually saying so, his statement falsely assumes that Justices are somehow elected to the Supreme Court by the American people. He makes it sound like it would be undemocratic to do otherwise. McConnell is appealing to a sentiment (representative government) where it doesn’t apply (the Supreme Court). Trump’s appeals to a sentiment where it does apply (immigration issues). What he says may be outrageous and undoable but his message is overt whereas McConnell’s message is delivered in a more covert manner. Makes Trump sound like the honest one here. Theatrical and extreme … but honest. McConnell on the other hand sounds duplicitous to me. He is speaking as an elected official about his duties as Senator (approving Supreme Court nominees).

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