Throughout this presidential election season, I have been stunned to the lengths to which candidates have been willing to go. They have lied, twisted the truth, and taken entire statements out of context. (The Romney campaign did this with their very first campaign ad.)
But for a lie to work, the listeners must be complicit in the lie. So, this is the moment where we can shut down the lies.
Fact checkers are going insane just keeping up with the sheer quantity of lies coming out of the mouths of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Steve Benen collected 533 lies in the past 30 weeks from Romney alone, and this is not a comprehensive list. Hundreds of those lies have been repeated over and over again; all 15 volumes of Mitt Romney's lies are chronicled here.
Paul Ryan made so many lies in his speech that even Republican news sources began to feel great concern about certain statements. A Democratic site ThinkProgress offers an analysis of the "6 Worst Lies in Paul Ryan's speech."
Neil Newhouse, a pollster for Romney, has even said, "We're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers."
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have been caught lying directly to the American people. What scares me most about Paul Ryan is that even though I've studied nonverbal communication and can usually detect deception, Paul Ryan seems to have perfected it. Like a child who has learned to look his mother directly in the eye when lying, Paul Ryan knows how to lie to the American public. He knows how to lie to you.
And these are our presidential and vice presidential candidates. What happens when they actually have power and they deceive and commit fraud in their statements to the American people? I don't care what party you are in, this is a matter of serious importance.
And it's not unique to Romney and Ryan, either.
Dick Cheney worked tirelessly to link 9/11 to Iraq. And Cheney's lie in the debates had greater consequences. President Bush quoted the lies of the Vice President as justification for what he said.
When Bush told us that Al Qaeda was involved in Iraq, I believed him. I had voted Republican in that election; I voted for Bush. You will notice how fiercely I try today to bring awareness to the deceptions that are taking place, because these things have real consequences when someone acquires the power of leadership.
What are the consequences when a leader lies? More than 30,000 Americans came home severely wounded from the Iraq War — a war based on a lie.
My concerns over Mitt Romney began when I studied his health care plan and then all the sudden saw him come out attacking everything he had created and promoted nationally. Romney had called for all the things he now attacks; it's fascinating to watch the team that wrote Romneycare talk about their feelings, to watch the woman who was the first person covered by Romneycare as she talks about her feelings now that Romney has jumped ship for his own political gain.
Romney made this the core issue of his campaign, and it was based entirely on deception of what he actually believes.
Now consider this. The entire Republican National Convention was based on the theme, "We Built That." They built their entire campaign on something that Politifact said was an outright lie.
I am a small business owner. I received so many tax credits from Obama's policies that the federal government sent me $236 back one year, in a year when I did well, in the middle of the crisis. I am a small business owner and I stand with Obama. I believe he is the best thing small businesses have seen.
Their entire convention, the introduction of the Republican candidates to the country and the world, was built on deception and fraud.
Romney, Ryan, and the Republican Party have shown that they have little use for facts. They are not concerned with being straight with the American people. Romney and Ryan are candidates now, but as was the case with Bush and Cheney, you can see they will not enter office and then all of a sudden become honest.
The lies have consequences. Romney and his team wrote Obamacare; if Romney repeals it, as many as 40 million people lose their health care. Consequences already. Consequences.
In order for a liar to continue lying, you must be complicit in the process. Stop now. We cannot have someone as Commander-in-Chief who we already know will lie directly to the American public. The stakes are simply too high; people's lives are at stake.
I ask you today to draw the line here. Do not allow our country to be led by people who have already proven they can look directly in the face of Americans like you and lie. Vote Democrat in the next election.
Editor's note: This article has been edited from its original form. We've taken out the graphic images initially included in this piece due to their extremely graphic, shocking nature. If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact the Editorial Board at firstname.lastname@example.org.