Sunday, August 12

Probably Only In Florida: Melissa Howard

Would people from other states actually falsely claim to have a college degree, then get busted, then take a photo with a diploma, then get busted again, and finally say it was all fake news? Maybe, but it's almost expected in Florida. The story didn't surprise me at all, and that means I'm now officially a Floridian.

Melissa Howard is easy on the eyes, and maybe that's the most she has going for her. She apparently got into Miami of Ohio and took some classes, so she at least knows what college is all about. The problem is that most people expect you to graduate. With a major that's actually offered at the school. I'm not saying that we all need college degrees or that all politicians need them. Melissa was probably a lot of fun back in college, and there's no real shame in dropping out because your brain doesn't work so good. Most people vote for tiny issues, and they don't care if the politician has a puppy-dog brain. Just look at Scott Walker: he couldn't hack Marquette, but he can follow directions and looks good on camera, and that's all most of us expect out of our leaders, ironically. Of course, we SAY that telling the truth is important, too, but that's really more like wishful thinking.

I've learned that most other people lie on their work resumes. I never have, but I've also never become a billionaire running for governor, so there you go. Society takes no exception to falsehoods on private resumes, so perhaps public ones are now fair game, too. Especially when you can just lie some more and then later call the whole situation fake news. I mean, we all know Donald Trump lies a lot, and he tends to embrace the lie rather than retract it. The crazy part is that his approval rating rises as he uses falsehoods, only making him more likely to continue the cycle. Really, why not then? In fact, since most of us believe most politicians lie, maybe one who does it so blatantly is actually refreshing...as long as we don't actually believe the delusions ourselves, and that probably becomes more difficult as time goes on.

It's not like Melissa claimed to have graduated from Harvard Law. My wife didn't even know Miami of Ohio was an actual college. Most of us don't care whether Melissa was a BS Business Major or a majorette who liked to BS. Or a show girl at Concepts Lounge in Lawrenceburg. Or s trophy wife. It comes down to whether or not she agrees with me on guns, Mexicans, and abortion. Maybe one other issue. While the lie might sink Melissa's battleship in this isolated case, I believe that lying has become much more accepted in politics, especially now that any member of the press who exposes a lie can simply be branded as a self-serving enemy of the people. The press did exactly what the press is supposed to do in this case, even if it was some right-leaning rag set up by her opponent's campaign. Or some leftist manifesto created by pinko liberals. Or Melissa's mom.

The bottom line is that we get to decide with votes, adjusted for real news. We've been voting for liars since we've had votes to cast, and Melissa Howard won't change that, win or lose. If we start to purposefully vote for known liars consistently, then we will have bought fully into the MAGA world, making all of us the losers. I hope a shred of integrity remains in journalism and politics as we weather a stormy presidency and the fallout from his celebrated antics.