That many Americans don’t pay attention when they decide how to vote is being borne out by the post Nov. 2 polling and interviews with voters.
For instance, a Bloomberg poll found that two-thirds of voters believe that their taxes had gone up under Obama and the Democrats, that the economy has shrunk and all that TARP money to bail out the banks is lost, never to be recovered. Further, most believe that the new health care law will increase the deficit and that illegal immigration is multiplying.
The truth, of course, is that 95 percent of Americans have had their taxes cut by about $400 a year under Obama’s stimulus program. The economy has been growing for five straight quarters and the banks have repaid most of the TARP funds they received. The government will actually wind up with a small profit. Even the beleaguered auto industry is paying its money back. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says the health care law will actually lower the deficit within a few years and, if anyone bothered to check, the number of illegal immigrants this year is about a million fewer than in previous years.
A majority of senior citizens voted for Republicans even though it’s the party with the agenda to privatize Social Security and drastically alter Medicare.
What’s obvious is that the Republicans, led by talk radio bashers like Rush Limbaugh and “fair and balanced” Fox News, along with an expensive and relentless television ad campaign, did a fantastic job of convincing Americans that up was down and down was up. Meanwhile, the Democrats did a miserable job of telling the real story.
That master of propaganda, Nazi Joseph Goebbels, would have been proud. The GOP and its allies succeeded in creating a throw-the-bums-out angry electorate, most of which didn’t care to look deeper. As one wag put it, “We’re so angry that we’re going to throw the bums in.”
It will be interesting to see just how that works out.
Dave Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times. firstname.lastname@example.org