By MARC McDONALD
"Because people hate the truth, you know; they need a pack of lies."
---From Viva Dead Ponies by The Fatima Mansions, 1990.
Mitt Romney is a brazen liar. But if Obama supporters think this is a barrier to Romney's White House prospects, they are sadly mistaken.
The fact is, Americans love a liar in the White House. Well, maybe not all Americans, but enough to count.
Americans would rather have a brazen liar like Ronald Reagan offering them "feel-good" platitudes about "America standing tall" than the bitter medicine of truth from the likes of a Jimmy Carter telling us that we needed to tighten our belts, live within our means, and become energy self-sufficient.
In the 1980s, America was in no mood to hear the painful truth. Rather, Americans wanted to feel warm and fuzzy about themselves. They preferred Reagan's carefully scripted feel-good platitudes.
Never mind that much of what Reagan told us was utter bullsh*t. He claimed his massive tax cuts would not only boost the economy, but they'd somehow balance the budget as well. Reagan was our first "Santa Claus" president, offering something for nothing for the child-like masses.
In reality, the Reagan economy was mediocre at best. During Reagan's two terms, some 18 million jobs were created in the U.S. That might sound good, until you consider than 10 million jobs were created in one term under President Carter.
So much for Reagan supposedly bringing a new era of prosperity to the nation. The fact is, only the very wealthy really ever prospered under Reagan. During the 1980s, the once Great America Middle Class came under siege and it has been gradually vanishing ever since.
Reagan urged America to not worry and be happy. The soaring deficit? Don't worry. The annihilation of America's once world-beating manufacturing base? Don't worry. The loss of good middle class jobs? Don't worry.
Romney, of course, has embraced the Reagan approach. He knows Reagan's platitudes about America's "greatness" always play well with much of the electorate. Americans don't want to be told to sacrifice. They don't want to be told that a hefty round of tax hikes on the rich is in order to stave off America's financial ruin and the coming collapse of the dollar. They don't want America to ever apologize for anything. (Actually, Obama has never "apologized" for America---but try telling that to the average low-information GOP voter).
Like Reagan, Romney can claim that he can cut tax rates sharply without increasing the deficit. Although that is demonstrably false, the average low-information GOP voter couldn't care less about that---any more than they care about any of Romney's other blatant lies.