Political Ignorance Has a New Name

The press has been using a term to describe McCain supporters.   It’s not conservatives, it’s not right wing, and it’s not even Republican.   The fact is that none of those groups are all that excited about  John McCain.   The term is  low-information voters.

What is a low information voter?   Well, it’s someone who choses their presidents like they chose their beer or movies.   The rely mostly on television campaigns or semi-witty t-shirts, preferably ones that rhyme.  

And why are low-information voters going with McCain?   Well, most low-information voters are not that bright, and ignorance goes hand and hand with racism.   Also, low-information voters like to identify with the macho image, as opposed to the moral image of the United States.   They like to think America “kicks ass”, or “these colors don’t run”.   Many of these low-information voters have never actually served in the armed forces, but have watched enough  Chuck Norris  films to feel they can lay claim to the same soapbox as those who have.  

Low-information voters like McCain because McCain is going “finnish the war”.   Although they can’t tell you what that exactly means.   In their defense, neither can John McCain or George Bush.   We invaded Iraq because we were told they had weapons of mass destruction.   Well….not so much.   But that’s okay because we also invaded Iraq because they helped plan and/or carry out the 9/11 attacks.   Well…it looks like they hated al qaeda even more than we did, and actually had  nothing to do with it.   So what are we doing in Iraq?  

A few years ago I read Colin Powell’s great book,  My American Journey.   In the book he describes a situation he was put in as a young officer in Vietnam.   There was a base at the base of a hill.   It was in a poor location to defend, but near the airbase.   He suggested moving the base a few miles out, but that was rejected because it was near the airbase.   So he suggested moving the airbase.   That too was rejected because it was near the base that he first wanted to move.   He said that this was the perfect analogy for Vietnam.   Why are we in Vietnam?   Because we are already here.   When did we win Vietnam?   Most don’t think we didn’t, although at the time we claimed victory because we left and it was not a communist country.   This is Iraq in a nutshell.   We went there for false reasons, and now we’re stuck without any real objective other than to stop the fighting that we started.   Seriously, we are staying until the stop fighting!  

What about low-information voters and the economy?   This is the funniest part of the low-information voter issue.   They are screwed financially.   And because they are not that bright, they are even more screwed than they know.    Unemployment  is over 6%,  foreclosures  are sitting somewhere between 10% – 15%!!!   We just had to  bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which is sitting on billions of bad loans.   The stock market, where even the low-information voters’  401k  are at, are in a massive slump.   Gas hovered around  $4 per gallon  all summer, and the  prices of food  are moving ever upward.   John McCain thinks all is well economically, which since he can’t even keep track of  how many houses  he has, and flies around in hisprivate jet  in  $550 shoes, is easy to see why he feels good about things.   But most American’s are genuinely hurting.  Simply ask yourself, “how am I doing  financially  right now?” and you should have an idea of wether or not you want to continue with the current parties economic policies.  

So why do the low-information voters still cling to McCain?   He was a war hero.   That’s about how far the low-information voters mind can go.   They don’t understand the economy.   It’s like the story of chickens looking up in the rain and drowning.   The concept is too far out for them, so they just cling to what they can.   John McCain is a war hero, therefor a person of better character.  

Here is a simple fact that even low-information voters can handle.   The man who wrote John McCain’s economic policy is former Texas Senator,  Phil Gramm.   Phil Gramm is a lobbyist for the mortgage industry.   He is a vice chairman of UBS (a company under serious  investigation for aiding in off-shore money laundering).   Phil Gramm helped push out the very issues in the mortgage industry that is causing all the foreclosures, and he is the one writing  McCain’s economic policy.  

So is McCain listening to him?   Since McCain spoke out against  bailing out    the tens of thousands of people in this country facing foreclosure, you be the judge.  

And how about oil?   Low-information voters love the idea of off-shore drilling, although most don’t really even understand what that means.   Here is another easy to digest fact for you low-information voters.

If we started drilling today, putting aside all the tree-hugger concerns over losing some wildlife forever andcontaminating our waters, we would  not see any additional gas for 7 years.   And then it would have an impact of about .05 per gallon at the pump.   So who would benefit from off-shore drilling?   Think about this now…who would benefit from drilling for oil in our country, only to put that oil on the world market.   I’ll give you a hint, the same people donating millions of dollars to McCain’s campaign.  

See, John McCain used to think that off-shore drilling was a bad idea, but then  he changed his mind.   Just days after he did, some interesting things happened.   Like  collecting $285,000 from 10 senior member of the Hess Corporation.   Take a wild guess what they do for a living.

I’m not asking low-information voters to take my word for things.   I’m not even asking them to become more informed.   But it would be great to actually look at the real issues of the country, and research things like the  Keating 5  to see where McCain really stands.   Don’t just repeat talking points from  Bill O’Reillycommercials.   Check for yourself and try to make an informed decision.   Or, just sit back and watch some NASCAR while people who do research have these arguments.   If you want to remain ignorant, there is no reason to worry your pretty little head about things like foreign policy and economic reform.   Just relax and stay at home on voting day.
Other Related keating+five posts


    During the 2000 Republican Presidential Primaries, Slate.com writer Chris Suellentrop wrote an excellent in-depth feature article about John McCain and his role in the Keating Five. This is a must read article for every American, especially for anyone who thinks John McCainis a hero.

    Two Important things to know before you read the article:

    1. John McCain admitted to intentionally filing false income tax returns to defraud the IRS by not claiming thousands of dollars in gifts McCain and his family received from Charles Keating and Keating’s company. Years later, when the IRS noticed Keating’s company had written off the gifts to McCain as business expenses, McCain fessed up and admitted filing false returns and made a “donation” to the U.S. Treasury to cover the amount he defrauded American tax payers. (Committing tax fraud is one of the least offensive things John McCain has done over his career, but this article just focuses on his role in the Keating Five, and the Lincoln Savings and Loan scandal of the late 1980’s-early 1990’s). McCain also leaked information about the Keating Five to the press multiple times in an effort to appear above the other Senators in the scandal. A 1989 Phoenix New Times article summed it up best with their title – McCain: The Most Reprehensible of the Keating Five.

    2. John McCain’s wife, Cindy McCain, along with her father, made a $359,000 investment in retail property owned by Charles Keating in 1986, a year before John McCain first met with federal regulators on behalf of Keating. Keating was later convicted on 73 counts of fraud, conspiracy, and other crimes. Years later, Cindy McCain sold her investment for $15,000,000.

    For anyone not aware of the Keating Five, here’s a very simple summary:

    Charles Keating owned a savings and loan in California. He was illegally using the money of his bank’s customers to give loans to himself and friends that they didn’t have to repay, and to speculate on risky real estate investments, which was strictly forbidden by U.S. law (and was one cause of the Great Depression).

    When the feds found out what was going on and launched an investigation into Keating and his company, Keating called five U.S. Senators whom he had wined, dined, and lavished with hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations and personal gifts.

    Keating asked the five Senators to tell the feds to bug off, and the five Senators, later known as the Keating Five, obliged, meeting with federal investigators twice and pressuring them to stop investigating Keating’s crimes. They bought Keating some time, but the feds didn’t give up and eventually Keating was nailed. The reason the feds were so persistent was because Keating wasn’t playing with mere chump change. Keating blew $3.4 billion through illegal personal loans and bad investments, and the FDIC had to reimburse Keating’s customers who had been ripped off.

    (Background Info – Keating wasn’t the only Savings and Loan owner who was committing fraud, 20% of the S&L’s that failed during that three year period were found to have been caused by fraud and/or insider trading. The failure of the Lincoln Savings and Loan and other S&L’s pushed the country into a recession, costing the U.S. government $126 billion dollars in FDIC insurance payouts to investors. All of this came to a crescendo during the first year of the presidency of George H.W. Bush, who pushed through the S&L bailout plan to keep the economy afloat.)

    When the involvement of the Keating Five was made public, a scandal erupted and the Senate Ethics Committee launched their own investigation into whether the Keating Five had violated Senate ethics rules. The other four Senators left office either immediately or within one term. John McCain was formally rebuked by the Senate Ethics Committee for exercising “poor judgment” for intervening with the federal regulators on behalf of Keating, but because McCain accepted Keating’s gifts of travel and vacations to Bahama while McCain was a member of the House of Representatives (he served one term there before moving to the Senate), the Senate claimed they had no jurisdiction to censure McCain. (However the meetings to pressure federal regulators occurred during the first few months of McCain serving in the Senate in 1987, so that excuse doesn’t hold up)

    John McCain then went back to the drawing board and re-invented himself as “the Straight-Talk Express” and the media gobbled it up. “Tax-Evading-Criminal” doesn’t sound as catchy as “Straight-Shooting-War-Hero”.

    Ever since the scandal, when McCain lies today, it’s never questioned, because he’s a “straight talker”. The man has more skeletons in his closet than any politician in history. The Keating Five is just one bone.

    After reading the Slate article, ask yourself: if Obama or any other candidate had a scandal such as the Keating Five in their past, would the mainstream media never question it? Could any other candidate even have a political career after the Keating Five? For the other four Senators, the answer is no. And while Charles Keating went to prison for his role in the scandal, John McCain swept it under the rug and could soon be President of the United States of America.

    Read the full Slate.com article here.

    The FDIC also has a list of recommendations for further reading on Charles Keating and the Lincoln Savings and Loan.

  2. JM – Good add. The Keating Five scandal is hardly ever mentioned, when in fact I can’t think of a more relevant topic in a time were we are being financially ripped apart by the greed of corupt bankers and their henchmen in Washington. Every time a banking scandal hits, we always seem to find McCain in the middle of it.

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