Infographics / Obama vs. Romney / Unemployment

A new model for presidential debates

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
– George Orwell

The recent presidential and vice-presidential debates ended any remaining doubt that our current debate model is utterly obsolete, and counterproductive to Americans’ rational self-interests.  Most obscenely, as the inimitable Michael Ramirez graphically depicted, in the second debate Gov. Romney actually had two opponents: President Obama, and the “moderator,” CNN’s Candy Crowley, who used her power in a failed attempt to protect and defend him.

What we’ve observed is proof-positive that these debates are neither designed nor managed to “provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners,” as their sponsor, the Commission on President Debates, asserts on its website. Instead, these debates have been little more than showcases for how, as Andrew Breitbart so passionately explained, the “Democrat-Media Complex” constructs and propagates a narrative to advance and defend leftist ideology, and serve as the justification for leftists to employ their Alinksy-modeled tactics to denigrate and destroy anyone who challenges or exposes their corruption, lies and track record of destruction. (Even Democratic pollster and strategist Pat Caddell recently noted that the Complex is no longer just a theory; it is now a demonstrable, potentially catastrophic reality, that is effectively at war with the American people.)

Were the average American armed with basic civic knowledge and functional skills, he or she could readily discern truth from falsehood, and realize that Obama and his enablers constitute the most corrupt, subversive gang to ever occupy the executive branch of our government. He or she would know, for instance, that the second-in-command of Obama’s campaign, Stephanie Cutter, is either woefully illiterate concerning his terrible record, and our recent economic history – or, that she lies on his behalf (if not per his instruction) to the American people.  For example, on August 22, 2012 Cutter claimed to a national TV audience that Obama has a better post-recession job-creation record than did Reagan:


The reality, however – as documented here and below – is that nearly four times as many jobs were created during the time period she specified under Reagan, than under Obama:


How could a presidential campaign’s senior official think she’d get away with saying something that is so demonstrably untrue?

The reason is the vast majority of Americans are unaware of essential economic facts, because:

  • The host of the TV program on which Cutter propagated this falsehood (a) was unaware of the reality, or if he was aware of it, (b) refused to expose Cutter as uninformed – or a liar.
  • Obama’s allies in the teacher’s unions have worked for decades to render our children economically and historically illiterate at best, and egregiously misinformed at worst. Further, these unions have been systematically undermining our functional literacy to the point where the average American cannot read above the eight-grade level, and struggles with complex but common tasks (comparing prices-per-unit, etc.). Even most graduates of top-tier American colleges and universities are now unaware of the most elementary aspects of American history, civics and economics.  What possible chance do we have to discover the true intent and mechanics of, say, a 2,700-page health care bill – one that even the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee says he cannot decipher “without two lawyers standing over my shoulder, telling me what it means?”
  • The Democrat-Media Complex consistently ignores or whitewashes the teacher’s unions’ assault on the Americans’ ability to engage in the self-government that our Founders knew was required to preserve and defend our freedom. Instead, the Complex perpetually echoes the false narrative that if only the government would “invest” more money on our schools (never mind the fact that we spend more on education than almost all other nations), the situation could be reversed.

The presidential debate as a (supposed) means of hashing out these conflicts, and enlightening the American people

Most of us were born into a world in which every four years we have a series of presidential debates, that are supposed to provide us with key information on each candidate’s positions, beliefs, and interpretations of measurable data concerning our civic life.  And with the predictability of the sun rising in the east, the format of these debates is pretty much exactly the same: one soft-spoken “veteran journalist” from within the top tier of the Democrat-Media Complex is selected (by whom?) to “moderate” each debate; the debate rules are laid out and agreed to (by whom?), and the entire event is stage-crafted with sterile precision (by whom?).

Separated from the essential facts that a rational, self-respecting society would demand be discussed and debated, we’re left with two bickering candidates who we must judge largely on their personal mannerisms, statements and “zingers.”  Even when one candidate does espouse certain statistics, how are we to know whether his (or her) numbers are the outgrowth of careful study of the issues – or of political consultants who get paid a fortune to conjure up words and phrases that will impress/deceive us, just long enough for us to support their candidate on election day?


The two main problems with our presidential debate model

Given these tragic circumstances, two crucial things have been missing from our presidential and vice-presidential debates:

  1. An easy way to present data-driven information concerning our economy and other vital civic matters in a way that the average American can quickly grasp, and easily remember.
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  2. A means of questioning candidates that truly fulfills the mission set forth by the CPD. Specifically, a means that goes beyond being “fair and balanced,” but one that prevents even the possibility of a lone “moderator” getting away with the deplorable, biased shenanigans and double-standards regarding the debate rules, that we’ve witnessed thus far.

How MysteryPatriot can help solve the first problem

MysteryPatriot is a new website that has been created to showcase custom-designed “infographics” like the one above, that convert complex economic information into an easy-to-understand visual format.

Each major infographic focuses on examining one major issue (example), and is also embedded within a dedicated web page (example) that provides background data and sources.

Each infographic web page is then summarized on a one-page, embedded PDF at the bottom of the page (example), which can be printed out and distributed by hand (at right), or via mail (the back is formatted as a self-mailer; below):

You can help spread this information, starting right now, no matter who or where you are

Even if you’re a disabled grandmother on a fixed income in a remote part of a battleground state like Ohio, you can still have a vital impact on spreading the truth about Obama’s record of failure – and his campaign’s lies about it – right now, today, this instant. For example, you could email the PDF to your local Staples (or similar), have 1,000 digital copies run off, and arrange for young conservatives or Tea Party activists to distribute them through door-knocking campaigns, and at shopping malls, sporting events, etc. – or through the mail.


A suggestion for solving the second problem

Regarding the second problem, one basic principle should be an acceptance of what Andrew Breitbart stressed: that there are no “objective” journalists, because being one is impossible.  Every journalist has a unique ideology, and a unique way of interpreting raw data. To deny this is to deny reality; so is denying that America’s dominant “news” entities are severely stacked to the left – and that en masse, they push and defend a leftist agenda and interpretation of data, issues and history.

It is time for a completely new way of framing political debates at the federal level

One solution is for journalists from across the political spectrum to:

  • Present questions to each candidate, and…
  • Insist that they refer back to thoroughly-vetted infographics that depict a key economic measure or other data-driven content, accurately and in the correct context.

Another solution would be to include the nominee of the third-largest political party in America, the Libertarian Party.  (Have the two dominant parties not done enough damage to America?  Little wonder why the Commission on Presidential Debates is secretively run by the two parties, and works diligently to keep third-parties out of the debates.)


What could the 2012 presidential debates have looked like, had we forced the sponsors and candidates to adopt these basic principles?

Here’s a snapshot:

MODERATOR: Welcome to the first of our series of presidential debates, between President Barack Obama of the Democratic Party, Gov. Mitt Romney  of the Republican Party, and Gov. Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party. I’m (name), and was chosen by all three candidates to moderate the first  part of tonight’s debate, which will focus on our jobs situation.

I’ll begin by explaining the new format we’re employing for these debates. Rather than having a single moderator asking questions and enforcing the rules that each candidate has agreed to, all questions will be posed by journalists and scholars from the two traditional perspectives – conservatism, and leftism – and one among each who shares significant libertarian perspectives. Our panelists were chosen by you, through the voting website (URL).

During the first part of our debate, each panelist will be allowed to ask one question and up to two follow-ups. My only function is to ensure that the agreed-to rules are followed, so we can have an orderly debate. And with that, let’s begin by introducing our panelists:

Seated to my left, from the leftist perspective, we have:

  • Katrina Van Den Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation magazine.
  • Behind the Hanniabal Lechter-type mask and in restraints is Ed Schultz, host of MSNBC’s “The Ed Show.” (Sound: “Grumble, gnaw, grrr…”) What’s that, Ed? Oh, no. As we discussed, you’ll be freed of your restraints once you stop yelling at the Republican candidate, and your blood pressure drops below 250.
  • Lastly, from the left-libertarian perspective, we have Bill Maher, host of HBO’s “Real Time” program. Now remember, Bill, one vulgarity and you will be ejected from the stage.

Seated to my right, from the conservative perspective, we have:

  • Mark Levin, constitutional lawyer, host of “The Mark Levin Show,” and author of numerous books, including “Liberty and Tyranny.”
  • Michelle Malkin, journalist, blogger and author of several books, including “Invasion” and “Culture of Corruption.”
  • Lastly, from the conservative-libertarian perspective, we have Dr. Walter Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University, and  author of numerous books, including “Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.”

Each panelist has access to our big-screen display, to show graphics and videos that have been pre-vetted by our bipartisan panel of economists, to ensure that they are accurate and contextual.

With that, let us begin with the winner of the coin-toss, Dr. Williams.

DR. WILLIAMS: Mr. Obama, prior to being elected president, you claimed that the black unemployment rate of 10.3 percent under President Bush was “an economic disaster that is occurring in our (black) communities,” and indicative of his “attack on working families.”  Yes, you inherited a recession, in which black unemployment rose from 9% at the start to 12.7% on the day you took office, and finally, to 14.8% on the day the recession officially ended six months into your term, in June 2009.  You claimed your policies of higher taxes, more regulations, and more stimulus bailouts would be the most effective way to combat black unemployment.  Yet as the chart now on the monitor shows, black unemployment continued to grow dramatically even after the recession ended, all the way up to 16.7% nearly a year later, and it has averaged more than 14% ever since.  Can you explain this?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well now, you see, this has happened plenty of times before, always during Republican administrations.

DR. WILLIAMS: No, that’s not true.  If you look at the chart now on the monitor, it shows black unemployment from 1979 to 1988.  President Reagan inherited a recession in which black unemployment rose from 12.5% at the start of the recession to 17% on the day he took office, and rose to 21% less than two years later.  Yet once the recession ended in November 1982, black unemployment dropped dramatically under Reagan, to 15% at the end of his first term, and was cut almost in half, to 11%, by the end of his second term.  Do you disagree that Reagan’s free-market principles, and the reductions in taxes and regulations that he championed, were the keys to this success?  And if you agree, why did you not emulate his policies, in order to achieve similar results?


PRESIDENT OBAMA:
Well, you see, uh, hm.  Look, if you put up my record next to Reagan’s, my first term starts to look pretty good in comparison.   You’re taking things out of context.

DR. WILLIAMS: Okay, here you go: a side-by-side chart of your performance versus that of Reagan: 


DR. WILLIAMS:
My final question is, do you have an explanation for how his policies led to stunning decreases in black unemployment, while yours produced the opposite result?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Uh, well, you see… it’s all Bush’s fault?

DR. WILLIAMS: Thanks, President Obama. That concludes my questioning. I think we now have a pretty good grasp of the problem.


Imagine how different and more productive our civil discourse could be right now, if Americans were exposed to these kinds of consolidated facts, presented by panelists who neither pretended nor falsely advertised that they do not have political biases, and that candidates for the highest offices in our nation were subjected to this kind of scrutiny.  You can start helping to make this happen, today, right now, this minute.

Please see the Key Features and How-Tos page at MysteryPatriot to learn how you can begin advancing clear, accurate knowledge to the persuadable Independents and Democrats who are going to decide this race.

Also, see the above graphics and more at Black unemployment under Obama – and Reagan.  Related: The facts: Obama vs. Reagan on job creation...

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