Although I feel deeply about politics, I don’t write about it much. And I think I know why. It seems a dangerous proposition, since other people’s beliefs are sure to be different from mine. Like the nervous T-Rex in Toy Story, I don’t like confrontations.
I recall watching an old movie years ago, that took place in the early days of the United States. A young man has come a courtin’ and must first converse with the father while his daughter is getting ready. The old man asks, ‘What are your politics, young man?” The young man says something like, “Well, I support the repeal of the Meaningless and Unimportant 1847 Tariff on Chestnuts.” The old man frowns, his face darkens. “Well, I don’t like your politics, young man!”
Bringing up politics. Not a good way to build relationships. You see my point?
But now the presidential election season is upon us, and I’m noticing trends. Really yucky, evil trends, and it seems hardly anyone else is. It has to do with sentences that include “We know…”
It’s time to speak up.
There are certain things everybody knows. No need to list what they are, we just know. But when a political candidate makes an outlandish claim using “we know”, then let the debunking begin.
Michelle Bachmann, congresswoman from Minnesota, may be the Queen of We Know. Consider this whopper from last year: “Well I think we know that just within a day or so, the president of the United States will be taking a trip over to India that is expected to cost the taxpayers $200 million a day. He’s taking 2,000 people with him. He’ll be renting out over 870 rooms in India. And these are 5-star hotel rooms at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel. This is the kind of over-the-top spending.”
What the hell. It turns out that the trip cost far less than that, and hotel in question had only 660 rooms total, not 870. The Obama administration found these allegations comical, and would not respond with details. No other president has ever provided such details about official overseas trips. Not Bush, not Clinton, not Bush Senior, not Reagan. So why should our current president?
Another We Know from a recent debate: “This is one thing we know about Barack Obama: He has essentially handed over our interrogation of terrorists to the ACLU. He’s outsourced it to them. Our CIA has no ability to have any form of interrogation for terrorists.” Not true. The CIA does have the ability.
There have been other We Knows from Bachmann, and they turn my stomach. She tries to give the impression that these are universally acknowledged. Well, it’s baloney.
Herman Cain, the former CEO of Godfathers Pizza, pulled a We Know just the other day, during a debate. “Number one, we know that terrorists have come into this country by way of Mexico.” I don’t know why he thinks we know this, since there’s no evidence of it.
I’m sure we’ll hear lots of pronouncements over the coming year, many of them preceded by “we know.” But the more we actually know about these jokers and their questionable twisting of the truth, the better.