(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

As we all know, the common answer to this question is, “His or her lips are moving.” But does that really tell the whole story?

What if they are doing what 90 percent of Facebook users do — repeat something they heard somewhere as gospel.

I spend a lot of time on fact checking sites reading the validity of campaign promises and political quotes.

Quite a lot of them are invalid by both parties. I’m not sure it’s intentional in every case but never the less it is commonplace.

How Do You Know What’s True?

Let’s look at an example of political spin. Consider a two camel race between ISIS and the US. The US finishes first, and ISIS is in second place. What will be the reported result of the race by each camp?

The US will report that the US won the camel race. So what will ISIS report?

The ISIS camel finished second and the US camel finished next to last.

Are both reports accurate? Yes they are.

Do they give two different perspectives favorable to each camp — yes they do. Do they both give an accurate and clearly understandable depiction of the race — no they don’t.

Political Double Speak

When we listen to political speeches by candidates we like they can do or say no wrong. We take every statistic and promise as undisputed fact.

If the information is wrong we don’t want to know it.

Yet the opposition is always lying and/or distorting the facts and figures. Twisting the meaning but in most cases saying exactly the same thing our favorite is saying.

To be elected you don’t have to be different, you just have to sound different.

Some Final Thoughts

We lead busy lives. For many of us political fact checking is at the end of a very long list of other priorities that seem much more important.

So elections have become popularity contests for the most part. Whoever tests well with focus groups, or attracts the most Twitter followers can go straight to the Oval Office.

It’s sad that more people know “Snooki” than their own senators and representatives.

But that’s the world we live in. Parties transcend people. If you are the wrong party you are just kicked to the curb and your views fall on deaf ears.

We find the views we like and stick with them. No other viewpoints need apply. No wonder Congress has an 11 percent un-approval rate yet 96.4 percent of incumbents were re-elected.

Maybe we just fear change too much. Or we like what we hear regardless of it’s accuracy.

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