We can start of with those who have made false statements about Barack Obama. Their inane comments would all have been disposed of easily had only they listened:
False: Obama was not a natural-born citizen and is not eligible under the Constitution to serve as the President of the United States.
True: Obama is a natural-born citizen because he was born in Hawaii, as his birth certificate and newspaper clippings prove. He is also a natural-born citizen because his mother was a citizen of the United States. Even if he had been born in Kenya, as "birthers" contend, he would be natural born and could serve as the President.
False: Obama is a Muslim.
True: Obama is a Christian. It does not matter if he were a Muslim, anyway.
We can then move on to the insidious comments made by "Tea Party" members and others in the health care reform debate:
False: The federal government takeover of the health insurance industry is unconstitutional as a violation of states' rights.
True: Even if we choose to see it that way, it is no more a violation than the federal government's control over policies enacted by states about medical marijuana and physician-assisted suicide.
False: We can't have health care reform that is socialist.
True: We already have socialism in our nation in the form of the use of individual taxes to pay for libraries, the police and air quality, as well as many other things that individuals cannot do by themselves. It is also worth pointing out that the military and federal officials participate in health care plans that could be described as socialist.
False: We cannot trust our government to handle health care.
True: That may be so, but can we trust private corporations who continue to raise premiums sky high?
We could continue with any one of a number of obviously false statements that many people in our nation fell for. But the point is that fewer and fewer people seem to think or want to think about what they are being told.
Discussion of the national debt serves to bring this idea home. While we know the national debt to be well over $12 million, few understand how it got to be this way, what its significance is and what we can do about it. Too many keep parroting the line that Obama has put us in serious debt.
The fact is, his predecessors going back to Reagan (and excluding Clinton) have brought us there. Under Reagan and Bush I, the debt as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product rose from 40 percent to 70 percent. After Clinton lowered it, Bush II took to it 80 percent. (Source: http://zfacts.com)
But none of this mattes as much as the historical context. The United States had huge debts after World War II. It was worth getting these debts through high spending (namely, World War II) because the spending brought on a dynamic economy, which lasted from the late 1940s until the early 1970s.
With critical thinking, we could see the whole picture that the United States needs a healthy economy to pay off its debts and may have to engage in spending that will help the economy to be able to make the payments. Without critical thinking, we are left with bumper sticker messages with which to engage a war of words.
Read about Dean T. Hartwell's books here!