There’s this old adage that has become even more pertinent in recent years: “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” This is due primarily to the countless e-mails circulating the Intertubes promising instant wealth if only you turn over sensitive bank information to some foreign dignitary. However, the same logic should apply to e-mails that contain juicy information and damning info about your least favorite political candidate(s).
But if you ever receive an e-mail claiming that so-and-so is a godless heathen who wants to teach America’s schoolchildren how to participate in gay threesomes, or that they have a history of committing war crimes and want to drown cute baby seals in crude oil — you know, the kind of e-mail that you just can’t wait to send off to your family members and friends (Facebook or otherwise) — there should be a red flag or two popping up in the back of your head.
In light of the most recent round of spurious and specious rumors flying around the political campaign trail, I have a single and simple favor to ask. The next time you receive one those e-mails, spend 10 minutes on Google to check it out. Heck, just head on over to Snopes, and see what they’ve already debunked. For example:
- Barack Obama is a “radical Muslim” who “will not recite the Pledge of Allegiance”
- Barack Obama’s birth certificate contains damaging information about him
- Sarah Palin wanted to ban A Clockwork Orange, A Wrinkle In Time, Huckleberry Fin, and other books from the Wasilla, Alaska public library
- Sarah Palin posed in a U.S. flag bikini while holding a rifle
- John McCain said he was a war criminal on 60 Minutes
Surely there are more legitimate issues, complaints, and criticisms that can (and should) be raised than those that can be debunked with a simple Google search. To harp on the same lies and falsehoods is not just dishonest, it’s lazy and ignorant — and I hope to God we’re better than that.