Lie to Me, GOP. I promise, I’ll Believe
In spite of years of battering and abuse, when I picked up the GOP’s Pledge to America, all thoughts of the past were gone. Oh, the promises! Do I want a smaller deficit? Yes! Do I want a safe country? Yes! Do I believe we are great? Yes!
Like a battered spouse, I want to believe the promises. Maybe I need to believe them because they told me I had nothing without them. Sure, it was their actions that brought us here to this precipice, but surely, if we believe them now, if we put our faith in them, if we let them run things, if we don’t get in their way, if we give them total control, things will be different this time.
Yes, things will be different this time. This time they won’t abuse their power. This time they won’t enrich their friends at our expense. This time they won’t lie to us. This time they will be faithful to their office and pledge. This time they won’t quit on us when the going gets tough. This time they won’t renege on their values. This time we won’t find them in bed with their campaign aides, or wearing a diaper with a prostitute or hiking the Appalachian Trail on our dime. This time they won’t appoint men who batter their wives to be the head of the battered women’s council. This time they won’t vote against veterans’ benefits or healthcare or small business owners or tax cuts for the middle class only. This time they’ll balance that budget. This time they won’t start preemptive wars that they never put on the budget. This time they won’t just care about their rich buddies. This time they won’t let Americans die a third-world death like they did during Katrina.
This time they won’t be full of happy, but empty jingles and promises. This time they will be competent, faithful, and have integrity. This time it will be different. He said so. And after all, look at the picture! There they are standing in front of a small business as they make their pledge to us, so they must care. Even though they voted against helping small businesses, they say they care. We should just believe.
“In a September 25 editorial, the New York Times criticized the GOP’s “Pledge to America,” noting that “Extravagant promises and bluster are the stuff of campaign rhetoric, but the House Republicans’ ‘Pledge to America’ goes far beyond the norm,” and that “Its breathless mimicry of the Declaration of Independence … would be ludicrous, if these were not destructively polarized times.”
The editorial described the “pledge” as “a bid to co-opt the Tea Party by a Republican leadership that wants to sound insurrectionist but is the same old Washington elite.”
The Times also pointed out that the GOP plan did not address entitlement programs or replacing “revenue that would be lost from permanently extending all of the Bush tax cuts,” noting that “[t]heir record at all of these things is dismal.”
Records? Facts? What does that have to do with love? Didn’t they say they would be good this time? Didn’t they wave some pretty flags and show us that if we only take them back, this time they won’t beat the kids, this time they won’t steal from us, this time they won’t start illegal wars, this time they will honor their vows to us. Don’t you want to be happy? Don’t you remember how much we had, together? Wasn’t it great when our house was worth so much more than we paid for it? Weren’t those the days?
Who are we to question them about how they plan to take us back to the good old days. We should just believe, because they said so.
Still, there’s that nagging doubt in the back of our minds. What evidence do we have that they mean it this time? What steps have they taken to prove that they are serious about winning our trust back? What steps have they take to show us that they now understand budgets? In what ways have they proven to us that they are now serious about governing? How do we know what they stand for when they keep voting against their own ideas just to score political points? Are we just supposed to believe that once they get back into power, once we let them back into the house, they will suddenly change?
How do we know they aren’t lying to us now, in their pledge, as they have lied to us every day for years?
We don’t have any proof of that. Don’t look now, but they are amping up the lies and refusing any sort of accountability for not only their own actions, but even refusing to tell us their plans now. We don’t know how they’re going to accomplish these things they’ve promised us, but then, they don’t need to tell us that. When they whisper in our ear about how much they love us, it’s easy to forget about the last 40 years. Who are we to question great men?
None of these bad things would have happened at all if we had only had more faith in them. If we had only done our part and trusted them. If we had only not rejected them, they would never have had to act so badly. This is all our fault, for questioning them.
How dare any of us think we have the right to question the great lords of the Republican Party. Just because they keep lying to us is no reason not to trust them now. Our place is to wave flags and promise to believe. Be good cheerleaders. Cheerleaders don’t look under the hood or question the big men and that’s why they are winners. Don’t you want to be a winner? Believe.
Just close your eyes and picture an all white country, with flags waving gently in the breeze as downy blond children with golden tans bike down a safe, slow street past tidy homes with flowers spilling over the front porches, dad is cutting the grass and mom is in the kitchen baking apple pie and there are no worries. There is no war, there is no ailing bank account, there is no feudal corporate lord stealing from your kids. You want it, you know you do.
Don’t open you eyes, don’t ask any questions.
It’s all a matter of faith. Any failure to live the American dream is our own fault, a clear indication of our own lack, our own weaknesses. After all, look at those boys and the mama Grizzlies backin’ them up. They have it all. Jesus loves them. Jesus might love you, too, if you just tried a little harder to get along.
Close your eyes. Just close your eyes and believe. Let them lie to you again. Everything will be better in the morning.
After all, it didn’t hurt that bad, did it?