Jan 14

Lies: The Mother’s Milk of Politics

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.]

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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.

As stated above, all politicians lie and either believe their lies or use them to deceive the public. The winners in this lie-a-thon are the Republicans, but the Democrats come in a distant second.

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.

Protect Life Act

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.

Don’t miss the Comments and my replies. Even though the Sampler pieces are from the past, feel free to comment…or not.

Go to the Archives on the right side. Click on August 2013

 

6 comments

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  1. First things first. I’m sorry for the loss of at least one and maybe two people you cherish (my assumption of the right word). We need those people in our lives.

    Now to the question “is honesty the best policy?” The answer is yes, without qualification, if you care about the relationship. If you care only about protecting your ass, or getting something you really aren’t entitled to then you may resort to lies, but only then. Yes, the little white lie may protect a relationship, but too many may destroy it, and it’s a slippery slope. We know people in power, and especially politicians, lie. But Trump is something else again. In 2020 we will see how many Americans themselves will lie by voting again for the monster. Lie by convincing themselves that the monster somehow will make their lives better. Lie by pretending that he isn’t destroying other’s lives. Lie by believing that their well-being is more important than that of others.

    Is honesty the best policy? Damn right.

      • Don Bay on January 15, 2018 at 06:42
        Author

      Yes, all of us here at the warehouse are poorer for the loss of these caregivers.

      Did you really mean your “…but only then” phrase or am I misinterpreting it? For clarification, I think you meant that the political lies we hear constantly aren’t necessary.

      We both agree that excepting the relationship-saving “little white lies” that are defensible, overwhelmingly honesty is the best policy.

      By the way, I have to add here I’ve argued that little white relationship-saving lies may be presumptuous in that they can be impeding growth. Generally, however, honesty is the best policy. It bespeaks personal integrity.

    • Dave Meyers on January 14, 2018 at 19:27

    I will comment on the very beginning of you piece, and the very end. The rest, speaks for itself.
    I can’t seem to say enough negative things about Donald J. Trump. No one can. This man’s rise to power started with lies, so it’s no wonder that it is propelled by constant lies now. He is a man of extraordinarily low morel character, he demonstrates a low level intellect every day, he is not well educated, not well read, certainly not well spoken, and has spent a life time seeking notoriety and wealth by mixing with the lowest of the low and off the backs of anyone unfortunate enough to have fallen into his orbit. He has no real friends, only the sycophants who hope to collect some of the crumbs he leaves behind as he devours the world around himself. He is as evil a man as has ever walked this earth. Be thankful that his intelligence and his ideology are both greatly lacking, otherwise he may have come into view more like a Hitler or a Stalin.
    A good percentage of his lies are specifically designed (in his mind) to boost his own self image and ego. He lies to us to make himself feel and look more important. Down deep, this is a very weak and inadequate man. He knows it, he feels it, and he lies to cover it up.
    And now, I come to your last statement. Take solace in what the universe knows; Nothing is forever.

      • Don Bay on January 15, 2018 at 06:22
        Author

      Enough can’t be said to describe Trump’s awfulness, but you’ve covered many of them magnificently…or should I say you revealed the horror of this presidency.

      As terrible as Trump is, let’s not forget the Republican Party, a group who supports Trump’s awfulness. Just one example is the Republican senator who (though present) flatly denies that Trump said anything ugly about the Haitians and Africans. Despite his denial, members of his own party confirm that Trump grossly insulted the targets. This is RACISM writ large.

      I have to add here that Politico’s list of Trump’s lies is out-of-date. The latest reports indicate that Trump’s lying has escalated and the list if his lies is growing. I wonder if he’s playing to his base or if he’s just a compulsive liar.

      As is obvious, nothing is forever. Let’s remember that in November.

    • Linda on January 19, 2018 at 19:41

    I once worked for a compulsive liar. At one point, he lied about me and backed it up by saying another employee told him this horrible story about me. I was enraged and asked that we get that other employee on the phone or have him join our conversation. Of course, that didn’t happen. No one really wanted to hear the truth.

    Later, that other employee came to me and expressed that our boss had told him what he said about me. The other employee assured me that he did not confirm the lie and asked our boss why he would say such a thing when it was not true?

    I sighed and asked the other employee if he would go to HR and our boss’ boss to say just that, confirming that lies were being told about me. He would not. He said he could not. He was scared. He even said he was a “wimp” because he did not want to jeopardize his position but he did want me to know the truth. He didn’t want me to think badly of him.

    It made me lose respect for that other employee.

    I recalled this incident because I feel as you do about the Republican Party. They have allowed the President to continue his lies with their silence or denials of the truth. The President, like my former boss, may lie so much he becomes unaware of what the truth actually is or simply doesn’t care. The GOP reps that know the truth and say or do nothing about the lies our President spreads are as despicable if not worse.

      • Don Bay on January 20, 2018 at 06:52
        Author

      Thanks for reminding us that lying isn’t just a political way of life.

      No doubt that Trump gets the award for lie-telling, but since we don’t know what’s in his brain, it’s not productive to wonder if he doesn’t know what the truth is or simply doesn’t care. His supporters are the ones who simply don’t care.

      You hit the target when pointing out that the GOP backs Trump regardless of his lies. What they fail to realize is that it going to cost them dearly in the 2018 elections. Who says I’m not an optimist?!

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