A couple of weeks ago on Facebook, around the time of the Pro-Life March in Washington, D.C., there was a post from last year with an article stating the fears of then Vice-Presidential candidate Mike Pence, who was and is pro-life. Pence feared that legalized abortion in cases of rape would cause women to lie about being raped just to get abortions, and that some women would deliberately go out and get raped and have abortions just to get out of work to recover. And I, and other women, fell for it.
It turned out that this "article" came from a website called Newslo, which features stories that are only partly true. I learned about this in another Facebook post from Scopes.com that ran later that week. And Facebook is supposed to be cracking down on false news!
Look, as a person whose job it is to be funny, I enjoy a good satire now and then, but how could I have believed this Mike Pence story was all true? Because U.S. politicians have said stupid stuff in the press before in real life. During the 2012 Presidential campaign, Sen. Todd Akin, another pro-lifer, claimed that the female reproductive system "shuts down" during a "legitimate rape" in order to prevent pregnancy. Now the human body is a wondrous creation, but it's not that wondrous. Stupid remarks in U.S. politics are not restricted to white males, either. Do you remember when then-Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin said we should "stand with our North Korean allies"? I thought only Dennis Rodman had North Korean allies. And African American 2016 Presidential hopeful Herman Cain didn't quite know the meanings of the words "settlement" and "agreement". A quote from Napoleon goes, "In politics, stupidity is not a handicap." He was so right!
I think the lesson here is to be more discerning about the stories in the news, especially stories online--or at least wait until another source debunks that story. Let's face it--we average Americans are not going to do our own research on a story, no matter how ridiculous it may sound.
I leave you now with cartoon portraits of the Second Couple of the United States.