Social Question

Dr_C's avatar

Is there any way we could hold politicians accountable for blatant lies and/or inciting violence?

Asked by Dr_C (14339points) March 28th, 2010
14 responses
“Great Question” (9points)

Can we hold the likes of Sarah Palin and her cohorts responsible for spreading fear and lies without any regard as to what it’s doing to the country and the people she’s quite literally putting in harm’s way?

This woman refuses to take responsibility for stirring up violence on the right with her incendiary rhetoric.

Palin has done this before. Most notably when she accused Obama of “paling around with terrorists” or claimed that the president had inserted “death panels” in the health care bill, precisely so they could kill her Down syndrome infant and her aging parents. Palin was lying, of course, but being the devout Christian that she is, she didn’t let that interfere with her quest for prosperity and fame. Or the anger and ignorance she was encouraging with her repeated attacks on our first African-American president.

After the health care vote, Palin promptly posted a map of the U.S. targeting vulnerable Democratic members of Congress. To highlight their districts, she marked them with rifle cross-hairs. And she exhorted her gun-loving followers with this: “Don’t Retreat—Reload.”

Republican leaders have yet to firmly denounce these threats. It’s no wonder Palin feels emboldened to demean Obama and attack Democrats with no regard for the consequences. It’s clear she doesn’t care, that she’s willing to say anything. Let’s not forget:this is the college dropout who couldn’t even tell Kate Couric what newspapers she reads. So it’s not like she has a regard for language or facts.

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wundayatta's avatar

Really, the only way is by voting, or in Palin’s case, not voting for her. You could also do political work to campaign for people who stand for the values you have. Or who stand for the policies you support.

Or, I suppose you could ask questions like this and get people to trash her. I don’t mind. I’ll provide a trash can, even.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

I live with an old know-it-all and I’ve had a discussion like this with him. I made a comment that the people shouldn’t feel like we’re at the mercy of some great power and adapt to it.
That we should do more in the sense that the government is by the people, for the people, and of the people. The rebuttal was the same as wundayatta’s. We take in information, choose the best/most qualified person and send them to represent us.
Unfortunately, they have to respond to their best interests first. Sometimes meaning the people who contributed money for the campaign.
I voted for Obama based on the values that I thought he represented. I would’ve voted republican had Hillary gotten democratic nomination based on her value system and preformance. It does suck the chioces that we’ve got. Everyond has a problem with everyone else and it is a hard thing to want results when they do a craptastic job. People get fired when they do a crap job and that’s what should happen.

Bluefreedom's avatar

George W. Bush is culpable for acts similar to this during his presidency. Could we please get him indicted or held accountable for his treacherous behavior also? GW and Sarah can be cell mates as long as they promise not to breed.

thriftymaid's avatar

Elections and impeachments are how we hold politicians accountable.

phillis's avatar

This question gets my vote for the most manipulative, inflammatory remarks crammed into one space, ever. Or lately, anyway. I am about as anti-political as one can get, and even I can’t follow this in good conscience. I can’t stand Palin or much of anything she stands for, but to say that the mud she flings at Obama is due to his being African American? Absurd. Once in the political ring, you accept this as part of the job. I’ve heard a LOT worse from political figures than the things she has said.

galileogirl's avatar

From what I understand Alaskans had her number and that’s why she quit being gov. With her state political career over she went for the $$$. Right now the thing that will prevent her from being the next Ann Coulter or Michelle Malkin is she doesn’t have a very good political sense.

She will go the way of Alan Keyes and Ralph Nadar, the always runnung politician.. Whether we like it or not, to get elected in this country, you have to win over the majority. That means saying or doing things sometimes that you would rather not say or do.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

As much mudslinging at the politicians do, it’s still not at bad as it used to be. In the 1844 election James Polk and Henry Clay went at it. Polk supporters said Clay had sex with hookers and broke all 10 commandments. Clay supporters called Polk a slave trader.
Federalists in 1800 said Jefferson was dead.
However, the 1828 election was pretty ugly. Adams supporters called Jackson’s dead mother a hooker who fathered 7 children with a man of mixed race, called his wife an adulteress. Jackson’s supporters called Adams a pimp. Yes, I did look these up. I knew about them, but I forgot what they were. :)

galileogirl's avatar

Of course politicians don’t have children with mistresses or get mixed up with hookers! See how far we’ve come?

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

@galileogirl Exactly!

I wish there was a better way to hold these people accountable. The way I see government now, froma citizen’s point of view, is like if you gave someone $20 and told them to go get a pizza to share and they went and bought porn, never showed up, and won’t answer their phone. You ain’t never gonna see that pizza or that 20 bucks ever again.

ragingloli's avatar

I think there is a good chance that her speeches would be considered “Volksverhetzung” in Germany, and thus, a crime.

Dr_C's avatar

@ragingloli I wish i could give you eleventy bajillion lurve for that answer…

rottenit's avatar

I think the only option we have to get rid of the idiots on either side of the fence is, informing people that vote and to vote ourselves.

Maybe, we target them, call them out pubicly, oh wait.. No one will listen, the TV says what we should think. The morons with the loudest megaphones fill our brains with idiodic ideas.

We cant hold others accountable as a nation until we make oursevles accountable.

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Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

No. But you are ultimately held responsible and pay the price when you get a pack of lying theives instead of elected representatives. It’s your responsiblilty as a member of a democracy to get thye facts. The way to do this is to not use sources which interpret the news for you. You need facts, not “expert” opinions. You must become the expert. Use primary information.

For example, if you want to understand Citizens United v FEC go to the US Supreme Court’s site and read the argument and then each justice’s opinions. You will be surprised at how much more astute, how much smarter you are than the people who are paid millions per year to interpret the case for you, to tell you what to think. Always start with primary sources. If you want expert opinions, in this case, go to accademic sites such as Harvard Law, Yale, Sanford—where there are discussions among highly accomplished constitutional lawyers of differing opinions.

You don’t need a news commentator or political tout to tell you what to think. You have a mind of your own. Use it. Or lose your democracy to idiots, liars and thieves.

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