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People are baffled by the surreal saga of George Santos, the bizarre Republican congress critter who is a bottomless sink hole of lies. How could he think that he, a highly visible public figure, could get away with such blatant fabrications?
Perhaps he thought he was a corporation.
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After all, these multibillion-dollar brand-name outfits routinely lie about who they really are. Crass polluters shamelessly run PR campaigns claiming to be environmentalists, price gougers pose as consumer champions, and economic downsizers glorify themselves as visionary creators. They gild their resumés for their own profit… and they get away with it. So George might’ve thought: I’ll follow the corporate model – just make stuff up.
Like soulless tobacco executives do. For decades, they killed millions of people for profit, flat-out lying that nicotine was not addictive, that their cancer-sticks were not deadly, and that they did not target their ads to children in order to hook them early. But wait – today’s tobacco titans claim to be born-again public health champions! “We have an unprecedented opportunity to move beyond smoking,” said the head honcho of the Phillip Morris brand, asserting that Big Tobacco would henceforth back the public push for a “smoke-free future.”
Phillip Morris garnered widespread praise for this bold stand. But it was a deliberate lie. Even as the executive’s lips moved, the tobacco giants were spending billions on lobbyists and PR campaigns to gut state and national proposals to prevent addiction and actually lead to a smoke-free future.
Yes, we should be outraged that Santos, a flagrant political fake, has swindled his way into Congress, and he should be ousted. But what will Congress do about the far more destructive corporate deceivers who are George Santos’ role models? Their lies kill people, yet they’re still welcome in the halls of Congress.