8/23/2018--Busy day. The Kickstarter Campaign for the Bends Toward Justice Podcast Series went live today. Also today is the press conference underneath the billboard in Erie that I commissioned that says Tax Cuts Threaten Social Security.
I will have some prepared remarks.
Americans are tired of being lied to. But we think there is nothing we can do. This billboards shows that something can be done. It confronts one particular lie--that tax cuts pay for themselves. They don't. They add to the deficit under most circumstances and the 2017 tax cuts are adding to the deficit right now. The politicians who told this lie knew it was a lie and thought it was OK to lie to the American people. This billboard says it is not OK to lie.
I would like to see ordinary Americans get together to do things like this--create new ways to confront the lying we see in public life. It might mean billboards. It might mean something very ordinary, like asking every candidate for Congress the simple question, do tax cuts pay for themselves. If the candidate says yes, the candidate is a liar who should not be supported. We are citizens, not subjects. We live in the post-truth age only if we allow it.
Politics is complicated. Many matters involve judgment and honest disagreement. You could certainly support tax cuts or urge the privatization of social security in good faith. But democracy requires that debate be based on honest disagreements. Not on lies.
I know both parties lie. I have a list of Democratic Party lies also and I would be happy to see them confronted too. (Obamacare did not allow us to keep our medical plans. It is not illegal to accept dirt on a political opponent.) The lie about tax cuts has been a successful one for far too long and is dong real damage. Without that lie, the 2017 tax cuts would not have happened.
As to why there is so much more lying now in politics than there used to be, this is a deep problem of relativism and nihilism in our culture. I want to begin to confront that as well with a podcast series called Bends Toward Justice. The kickstarter campaign for that is going on right now.
The billboard and the Podcast Series are part of the Truth/Justice/Democracy Initiative that includes efforts to create a bipartisan pro-democracy caucus of law professors to call out both Parties. Against gerrymandering and partisan Presidential impeachment.
A best selling book, How Democracies Die, explains how it can happen in America. We must act in creative ways to save our democracy. More partisanship will not do save us. Only coming together.
Thursday, August 23, 2018
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