Get Real about #StopTheSteal

Guest Correspondence

SRQ DAILY SATURDAY PERSPECTIVES EDITION SATURDAY JAN 23, 2021

Merriam Webster declared “Truthiness” the Word of the Year in 2006, and defines it as “a truthful or seemingly truthful quality that is claimed for something not because of supporting facts or evidence but because of a feeling that it is true or a desire for it to be true.”

The Wikipedia definition elaborates “Truthiness can range from ignorant assertions of falsehoods to deliberate duplicity or propaganda intended to sway opinions.”  

Comedian Stephen Colbert says “truthiness” is ’What I say is right, and [nothing] anyone else says could possibly be true.' It's not only that I feel it to be true, but that I feel it to be true. There's not only an emotional quality, but there's a selfish quality.”
We’ve seen the impact of truthiness in local politics in recent years. A protected wetland is protected until the County Commission decides that it isn’t; they authorize a Whole Foods to be built over it (at University and Honore). Public roads adjacent to waterways are to remain in the public domain, until the County Commission decides Beach Road can be vacated. Adjacent landowners can then amass enough contiguous land to build more condos. There was the $600,00 County grant given to now-defunct Sanborn Studios, to create high paying jobs and make Sarasota a little Hollywood, despite all evidence against it. We know how that turned out.

But truthiness has taken a far uglier turn in Sarasota.

The Orlando Sentinel editorial board recently opined that “Florida’s radicalized GOP” shares responsibility for inciting [the January 6th] deadly insurrection. The publication includes Sarasota’s state senator and Florida GOP Chair Joe Gruters, a Florida elector, among the mentioned radicals. Joe Gruters retweeted the #StoptheSteal hashtag.  As the Sentinel explained, #StoptheSteal has been used to promote “the big lie about a stolen election” and to promote the Jan. 6 “Save America” rally against Congress certifying the presidential election.

Local Congressman Greg Stuebe voted against certifying electoral votes from Arizona, even after he condemned the violence of #StoptheSteal rioters.  

Congressman Vern Buchanan had signaled he could vote against certifying the election, but voted to certify after the deadly riot. He said in a statement that millions “expressed legitimate concern over voting procedures that were changed by several states… But after witnessing the sad spectacle that occurred (Wednesday), I voted to certify the results of the Electoral College because it’s time to move past this election. I supported President Trump and publicly backed his legal right to challenge the Nov. 3 results.”  

Lots of talk about a fraudulent election, but no evidence offered. Over 60 lawsuits claiming fraud failed.
Sarasota County Commissioner and Florida GOP Vice Chair Christian Ziegler also tweeted the #StoptheSteal hashtag and demonstrated on Jan. 6 against certifying the election. After the violence, Zeigler admitted to the Venice Gondolier that Joe Biden is the next president.  

Isn’t it time our local elected leaders stop talking out of both sides of their mouth?

#StoptheSteal election fraud fundraising has raised hundreds of millions for the GOP.  There’s that selfish aspect of truthiness. Remember?

Cathy Antunes is the host of The Detail.

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