Politics & Media
Feb 14, 2023, 06:29AM

In Praise of George Santos

He unintentionally exposed America’s broken elections system.

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George Santos is likely one of the most hated politicians in America. The Republican Congressman from New York is a habitual liar with a sketchy past. He lies so much that he even said he was a Division 3 men’s volleyball player at a college he never attended.

A recent Siena College poll found that 78 percent of New Yorkers, including 71 percent of Republicans, think Santos should resign. Yet, being a widely-despised liar makes Santos the perfect politician.

Santos winning an election is an example of the failures of our electoral system. People showed up to vote straight Republican tickets in the 2022 midterm election without knowing much about the candidates they were supporting. They saw an R next to the candidates’ names and filled in the bubble. Conversely, this is also what happens in Democratic areas, hence why liberals on Twitter repeat the “Vote blue no matter who” mantra.

Many people have no idea who they’re voting for, and in some cases, they’ve no idea what the position entails. One of the first times I interviewed a state senator, he told me I’d never guess how many people thought he worked in Washington, D.C. Some past and present state legislative aides have also confirmed this: a lot of people think their state representatives and state senators work in Washington, D.C.

Meanwhile, corporate media is destroying local journalism. Big conglomerates are gutting local newsrooms and shrinking newspapers. The result is less information for prospective voters and less of an opportunity to expose corrupt, lying politicians. The lies about Santos’ past only became widely-known after the election. Other than one small paper on Long Island, no one bothered to investigate his past, even though it wasn’t difficult. Santos wasn’t some political newcomer. In 2020, he unsuccessfully ran for the same U.S. House seat he currently represents. The media had two election cycles to fact-check his claims and all but one news outlet failed both times.

Instead, most of the mainstream media went with his lies. It’s no surprise because the news media has long run with politicians’ lies. It’s not hard to find archived stories from 2003 where the media falsely claimed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction which resulted in the American public supporting a disastrous regime change war.

While people can argue that Santos lied more frequently and about more mundane things than other politicians, perhaps that means he’s a better politician. Santos wanted to be a rank-and-file member of the U.S. House so much that he was willing to lie about significant and insignificant parts of his life. Usually, if someone badly wants a position of power the public should be wary. Santos showed us you can lie about everything and win an election. He deserves respect for unintentionally exposing this broken system.

Other politicians have told big lies. Barack Obama informed the American people that if they liked their doctor, they could keep their doctor under the Affordable Care Act. Donald Trump told people that the United States would build a southern border wall and that Mexico would pay for it; he also ran on putting Hillary Clinton in prison and backed off the promise right after winning his election. Joe Biden said South Africa arrested him when he was trying to visit Nelson Mandela in prison in the 1980s; that’s another lie.

Santos isn’t the type of politician I usually like. He’s a northeast Republican. He has no desire to outlaw abortion, is a former drag queen, and participated in an event where he tried to court transgender voters to his party. Transgender people have a right to vote for whichever political party they prefer, but affirming gender dysphoria and body dysmorphia isn’t a conservative position. So while he abandons socially conservative principles, his platform indicates that he supports the GOP in its conquest to make the rich richer. Also, Santos claimed the election was rigged against him when he lost in 2020. Presumably, he’ll say the same when he loses in 2024.

I used to think Santos should resign and give someone else a chance. But because Santos is making a mockery of the system and called Mitt Romney an asshole last week, he should stay in Congress as long as possible. No one believes a word he says, and I love it. If only people applied this logic to the other 534 Congressmen.


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