In Brief — A look at how the political establishment at all levels distorts the truth to sell its laws to a gullible public. [Written in July/August 2017.]
Is Honesty the Best Policy or Not? —
Donald Trump, now the President of the United States, has set a new record for lying. According to Politifact, Over 80% of Trump’s statements are at least partially lies. Just under 50% are rated as False or Pants on Fire. Maybe this is a strategy designed to con his gullible supporters or, more likely, he is simply so shallow (no disputing that!) that he actually believes his lies.
We’re talking only about congress here, but lies are concocted at all levels of the political spectrum, state and local.
Let’s look at some examples in the United States congress.
The Republican House introduced a healthcare law titled “World’s Greatest Healthcare Plan of 2017.” Was the title true or was it a lie? Once the public saw the contents and learned how regressive and awful it was, they realized the Republican law was nakedly harsh and a lie.
The Senate’s “Better Care Reconciliation Act” (!!) had slightly modified the House’s bill and tried to sell it to their membership. It, too, was a lie. They were trying to hide the truth that their healthcare bill was also dreadful as revealed by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Anything to wipe out Obamacare. Racist as well as a lie.
These are just two examples of political lying and both have been roundly rejected by the public, but as of this writing Trump persists. An openly racist exercise! There are hundreds of such cases, but let’s look at a few others.
Sounds appealing, but at least three aspects reveal it is a lie: 1) The law fails to protect the lives of pregnant women who must have an abortion for any of a number of valid medical reasons such as a pregnancy that may kill the woman; 2) Too many overly-zealous people lie about the consequences of taking the contraceptive pill by saying it leads to breast cancer. It doesn’t; 3) Again, too many overly-zealous people — or just plain ignorant folks — misrepresent the definition of pregnancy which, in fact, begins when the fertilized egg implants in the uterine wall.
Defense of Marriage Act —
This deceitful law excludes anybody who wants to wed someone of the same sex. It is designed to benefit only heterosexual couples who intend to marry someone of the opposite sex. Aside from being discriminatory against LGBT individuals, it’s a lie.
The Internet Freedom Act —
This deliberately deceitful law is designed to benefit powerful telecom giants by destroying the internet neutrality that assures that all parties are equal. Put clearly, it doesn’t assure “freedom” but discrimination. You get to pay more for slower speeds than the big guys. This law illustrates that some are more free than others…the wealthy and powerful, for instance.
These are just the tip of a very big iceberg. Political lies are as common as dirt and are just as dirty. These examples will awaken you to the lies we live with every day. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to have honesty in political life?
There is sometimes a valid need for secrecy, for not being honest. Don’t give the enemy the tools to destroy you. But why tell lies when the truth won’t destroy the fiber of the nation.
There are instances where a little white lie may save a relationship, but that’s not what this is about. This piece illustrates how pervasive is the political lie. The moral is: Think and be skeptical of what you hear, read or see. It may be a lie intended to hide the truth. Do you have other examples?
Note: I know this isn’t the place for it, but Kicki, a hardworking member of the staff, suffered a blood clot on the brain and must undergo an emergency operation. She probably won’t return.
As if that isn’t bad news enough, Sven-Gunnar, another hardworking staff member who recently returned after suffering a mild stroke, has permanently left the warehouse where I live.
Sheesh! The universe is reminding us that nothing is forever.
The Weekly Sampler—
As a reminder, go to the Archives on the right side of the page and click on the month and year of that week’s featured Sampler. If you wish, go to the January 15, 2017, blog (“A Simple Reading Assignment”) for more thorough instructions.
If you want to read the entire piece, simply click on the box titled “Continue Reading.” When you want to read the next piece, simply swipe your cursor across the one you have been reading and you will find the next one. Do this every time you want to read the next piece.
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Go to the Archives on the right side. Click on August 2013