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Why We Need to Speak Up
Hey Bogsworld readers. I am back and drawing more than I have in years. I think its the responsibility of every creative person- particularly those of us who peddle our wares with a sense of humor- to step up our game. Michael Moore said it best on a recent television appearance. Humor… satire, in particular… is the far right Republican’s Achilles Heel. They are bad at being funny themselves (watch a morning’s worth of FOX and Friends and you’ll see what I mean) and they do not know how to counter it when its aimed squarely at their foreheads.
Case in point: Saturday Night Live. SNL has been skewering politicians since the show started back in the 70s. Back then politicians knew how to take a joke. Heck many of them would appear on the show even after being made fun of for weeks. These days the current administration has probably seriously looked into calling a missile strike on 30 Rockefeller Center to stop them from making fun of them on a weekly basis. It must infuriate them to no end that the Weekend Update comic news segment is actually coming back from it summer break early to start the barrage again.
Comedians and Comedy shows and Cartoonists (oh my), have been the best venues to counter the bullshit bombardment coming from this current White House and parroted by FOX News and AM Conservative Talk Radio. If all you ever listened to were these outlets you truly would be a victim of fake news. Here are some of the bald faced lies being echoed throughout the conservative community so much that their audiences believe them to be facts…
• Barack Obama faked his birth certificate. (False)
• Barack Obama was a Muslim. (False)
• Hillary Clinton slept through the Benghazi attack. (False)
• Hillary Clinton sold Russia 20 percent of the United States’ uranium. (False)
• “Millions and millions” of people voted illegally during last year’s election. (False)
• Donald Trump’s inauguration crowd was the largest in history. (False)
• The economy has drastically improved under Trump. (False)
• The Obama economy was a disaster. (False)
• The Russia stories are all nothing but “fake news.” (False)
• The United States is more respected since Trump’s “election.” (False)
• He’s accomplished more than any president in history did at this point in his presidency. (False)
• “Millions of Muslims” celebrated in the streets of New Jersey on 9/11. (False)
• Barack Obama was always on vacation. (False)
• Foreign nations had a lower regard for the United States under Obama than under Bush. (False)
• Donald Trump has the overwhelming support of most Americans. (False)
• Donald Trump has a definitive plan to defeat ISIS. (False)
• Trumpcare will provide better, cheaper health care for more Americans. (False)
• Donald Trump has drastically reduced illegal immigration and increased deportations. (False)
• John Podesta refused to give the DNC server to the FBI. (False)
• The Clinton Foundation is a corrupt, international criminal empire. (False)
• Barack Obama said and did nothing about Russians interfering in our election prior to Election Day. (False)
• CNN’s ratings are down. (False)
• Illegal immigration was rampant during the Obama administration. (False)
• Obamacare is failing. (False)
Literally every one of these points can easily be dismissed if you search an unbiased source on the internet. But if you do not seek the truth, you are bound to be the continuous gullible victim of lies. And that pretty much sums up many Conservatives today. There is literally no other excuse I can think of that would make them consistently vote against their own interests so frequently.
Now keep in mind this is a very well practice tactic used for decades by dictators and invading nations. Control the media. The Republicans have enjoyed the non-sense spewing benefits of FOX News and AM radio for a long time and though they claim to be fair and balanced, recent studies have shown regular FOX News viewers to be woefully misinformed or just plain wrong about the world they live in.
I know. I know. If you are a consumer of Conservative broadcasting you are going to tell me that its MY news media that’s doing all the lies. Or that MSNBC is just as bad at skewing the truth as FOX (as if any skewing of the truth would be ok). But the facts… Independent studies… show this is not the case. The News Reporting on MSNBC is pretty rock solid and unbiased when compared to the News reporting happening on FOX. Note: I am not talking about the political spin shows. Of course those shows have an agenda and a point of view. I am talking about news reporting. How much real news do you really get with your hours of letting Conservative broadcasting wash over you?
Oh I know the “liberal media” is not perfect. But a free and protected press is important for a healthy democracy. Hell, our founding fathers had this figured out hundreds of years ago. So much so they worked it into the Constitution. The press is supposed to dig up the dirt on our political officials. Its quite literally their job.
So the President might want to call the whole Russian thing a pointless witch hunt. But can we all admit its pretty bizarre how willing he is to lie or forget all the connections he has had with the Russians? And thanks to history we all know the Russians love to blackmail western business men. And why is it Trump refuses to show his taxes? If he’s clean that would clear him of so many of the questions we all have. Its not a “witch hunt” if the hunt keeps revealing more and more witches and documents tying Trump to those witches… And by saying “witches” I really mean “Russians” in case you were not following the clever juxtaposition of the statement.
If I have one more Republican show me a mostly red US map and use it to show me how they won the election I am going to scream. If we count the far less populated voting districts in middle America and give all that space a block of color of course the map is going to look like this is a wildly Republican country. But were not counting open spaces and sheep here. We are counting people. And the dense majority of the people actually voted blue. By 3 million votes. Which is not even very close. The electoral college system is the one and only reason Trump is sitting in the White House… scratch that, its more likely that he is sitting in a golf cart somewhere… The majority of Americans who live in our major cities and major metropolitan areas voted Democrat. Hey, I live in middle America myself. I know life has been tough on some of us. But is that because of Obama or because of the blockade the Republicans formed to try to keep him from being a fully effective President.
One of the biggest myths being pedaled by the Conservatives is that Obamacare- The Affordable Healthcare Act- was a disaster. The truth is, in states that actually implemented the plan as it was meant to be set forth, it was a success. The system collapsed because of the added burden of Republican states that refused to support it. It was the Republicans who demanded change after change and rule after rule to make what was a proven system (it was, after all, modeled after Republican Mitt Romney’s healthcare solution for his home state where it was successfully implemented for years). To understand the Affordable Care Act, you have to understand the basics of the insurance business…
Insurance companies love partnering with large businesses because they are at no financial risk. They basically hold the money from that giant business in a pool and distribute it as needed to patients under that company’s health plan. They make their money off of dues but pay for the bulk of the care from that company’s pool.
The challenge for Obamacare was to create a pool for folks who were not employed by a big corporation with a big chunk of money already in the game. When the pool is small or non-existent, its the insurance company that must actually pay your doctor bills and they don’t like that. Obama’s mandatory buy-in was a way to create the pool of money so the insurance company’s burden might be lifted and they might be more apt to give good health coverage. The pool had to come from somewhere and it sure was not going to come from the profit margins of the insurance companies. So there was nothing malicious about Obamacare’s mandatory buy-ins. It was meant to be the fuel that could start the engine of offering affordable care for those who might otherwise go without.
But thanks to the Republicans messaging that this was somehow a bad thing, the pools never got funded and the burden of higher costs got passed onto many customers. Thus Obamacare was not a win for everyone. But it did put millions of people on health insurance who did not have it previously which in itself was a very good thing.
But you would not know any of that if you only got your information from FOX News.
This is why a free press is so important. You might not like what they have to say. But would you rather be lied to than deal with the truth?
Meanwhile, cartoonists and comedians will keep tilting our lance at the dragon. We’ll keep punching humorous holes in the thinly veiled lies some of you are being fed. Its our job.
- Joseph Pillsbury- Bogsworld.com