Who Pays for the Lies?

The recent spate of attacks ads targeting representatives who voted for health care reform and the larger number of ads attacking the idea of healthcare reform does nothing to improve the quality of life but it makes me wonder whether the time has come for some element of facts and truth to be injected into the equation, like – who pays for this ad?

In campaign season, candidates are required to identify themselves and tell us that they approve of whatever scurrilous attack on their opponent we have just heard and seen. It doesn’t seem to do much for truth and honesty, but at least we know who to blame.

Why isn’t there a requirement that all political advertising on any issue be identified in the same way? Wouldn’t it be helpful to hear, “this dishonest twisting of the facts was paid for by George T. Smith.” Maybe we should also be provided with George’s e-mail address and telephone number.

While I’m dreaming, how about a requirement that every assertion come with a footnote providing the source of the alleged information and maybe a requirement that every “anti” ad must be followed immediately by a “pro” ad – and vice versa?

It’s just that in a democracy, the “demos” need to be accurately informed in order to provide the best “cracy.” Right now the stuff the demos get is not conducive to accurate and informed judgment. Why should we expect the Iraqis and Afghans to adopt a system that we do so badly after over two hundred years? Can’t we find a way to do it better?

Here’s an example of what’s possible under the present system.

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