WILTSE: Candidates can be hazardous to your health

Jan 26, 2012

Even more dire are the warnings of their side effects. They must be required by law, since they are so dismal. They warn you of possible crippling effects; even death and increased thoughts of suicide.

I think similar warnings should be made by political candidates, in case their statements turn out to be wrong.

For example, Candidate A makes the statement that he thoroughly understands how our economy works and only he can pull us out of this recession. Warning: Candidate A doesn’t seem to realize that no one, not even God, has a thorough understanding of our economy. His theories may exacerbate the recession and may cause a depression. In case Candidate A is elected, keep a close watch on whatever your investments may be and watch your retirement accounts very carefully.

Candidate B claims that only he knows how to create thousands of jobs. Warning: Candidate B’s jobs will pay a less-than-minimum wage, and will cause thousands to go further into debt despite working two or more part-time jobs. The jobs are sure to increase the number of people on food stamps, which Candidate B wishes to eliminate, thereby creating new problems.

Candidate C claims that he has no problem with marriage between any two individuals. Candidate C believes that all homosexuals are doomed to suffer an eternity in hell anyway; and anything they might do doesn’t matter, so long as they are kept distant from children.

Candidate D claims to have the solution to the immigration problem. Warning: Candidate D has no problem with admitting people into the United States, so long as they are upstanding Christians with either a Ph.D. in engineering or a medical degree from a reputable European university. Candidate D believes that importing Mexicans to pick our crops at dirt cheap wages be allowed, but immediately booted out of the country once the crops are in.

I’m being facetious, of course; but with each claim from individual politicians should come a rebuttal from someone — perhaps an opponent.

However, politicians have an innate revulsion for regulations of any kind on any individual or corporation or organization, let alone for regulations on themselves. In that case, we will just have to continue to read between the lines and interpret the statements made by politicians with the utmost of skepticism.

Incidentally, one should not only be critical of political claims, but the claims of all advertisers. I think the general public all too often accepts the claims of advertisers too literally and should really interpret their claims with a critical attitude.

— By Ralph Wiltse, Tribune community columnist

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