This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

This election really discourages me. The bald-faced lies take your breath away, such as when both Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan repeatedly and enthusiastically make statements that the media fact checkers universally say are false, including their claims that President Barack Obama "gutted" the work requirement in welfare.

I was taught that the fundamental assumption of a democracy is the belief that an educated public will make rational choices. Given all the spin, I wonder how educated today's American public is when it is fed emotion-laden lies.

I also wonder how rational the public is. Earlier this year, a poll revealed that 37 percent of Ohio Republicans, 45 percent of Tennessee Republicans and 38 percent of Georgia Republicans do not think Obama was born in the United States.

If Americans can't get a simple fact like that straight, and are so gullible to believe lies by deceitful opinion makers, how can we expect them to make intelligent decisions on candidates' positions on complex issues such as health care and Medicare?

My friend says American politics was always this way. If so, it's amazing our republic has lasted 11 score and six years.

Michael Byrne

Midway

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