Most people expect politicians to be a little bit loose with the truth. They are encouraged to make claims that they cannot satisfy and we forgive them. Paul Krugman tells us that the lying game has changed in a big way. The GOP candidates showed how the game has changed in their last debate. Krugman provides several examples big lies in the last debate. The candidates get away with lying because the candidates tell their base what they want to hear. They have been misinformed by a well designed complex of media outlets which are nothing more than propaganda outlets. Talk radio shows, Murdoch owned news outlets, and integrated Internet channels have done the job well. When a candidate is challenged to defend a false claim they can simply change the subject and attack the mainstream media. Fox News, in particular, claims that it can be depended upon to counter the misinformation provided by the mainstream media which, according to Fox News, has a liberal bias.
Ben Carson was asked to explain his relationship with supplemental drug company that had to pay a large fine for making false claims about one of its products. Carson responded by saying that it was not true. The audience applauded and that was the end of the discussion.
Ben Carson has done well in the polls but he is not likely to end up with the GOP nomination. David Brooks has determined that Marco Rubio is the likely winner. He claims that Rubio is a 21st Century candidate and a member of a Conservative Reform movement that offers the right vision for our nation. Krugman and a host of other economists have taken a careful look at Rubio's fiscal policy recommendations. Rubio clams that he can cut taxes and reduce the federal budget deficit. The only problem with Rubio's claim is that he must be using an unknown version of arithmetic. His numbers don't add up. Rubio, with a lot of help from right wing think tanks, and from David Brooks, is selling the public a faulty product. Unfortunately, Rubio does not have to worry about selling snake oil. That is what his base wants to hear. Paul Ryan, who is another of David Brooks' 21st Century leaders, has been selling fiscal policy snake oil for several years. He has been hailed as a very serious person by proposing fiscal policies that do not accomplish what he claims. We live in a new era in which big lies have become common place. The Democratic Party is not immune from this disease, but it is a distant second to the Republican Party which has perfected the big lie.