The more I read about the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the more sad I become about how easy it is to manipulate facts in the minds of the American voter. Too many people actually believe what these people say, despite the incontrovertible fact that every single living boatmate of John Kerry has stood by his side and unquestionably supported his Vietnam record. Alas… I’m sure it’s more that people don’t necessarily believe them in an active sense, but rather, they passively allow the group’s message to support already-set political beliefs. It’s similar to hearing, on NPR this morning, a voter express how strongly he stood for George Bush and the Republican Party based on his belief in smaller government and less federal spending; I can’t imagine that there’s any amount of data one could feed to the guy about the reality of the Bush Administration on both counts that would cause him to change his mind. So what we’re left with is an election, for what is arguably the most politically important job on Earth, that has less to do with the actual people running against each other than it does the allegiance people feel towards the parties that support the two men. Sad.