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.