For several weeks now I've seen articles/editorials all over the net about lying. Not the little white lies we all use to avoid confrontations and hurt feelings. I mean big lies, with big consequences. Then there's deafening silence in the broader culture giving the liars tacit approval to pile one whopper on top of another. So, am I finally detecting a collective disgust? I only wish.
This kind of lying knows no political bounds nor does it have a definite inception. Leaders since the beginning of time have lied to their people for both noble and nefarious reasons. Parents lie to their kids in order to protect them - so they believe. It's not as simple as declaring every single thing with brutal honesty and damn the consequences. But we've come to a time when the most powerful people lie with such ease it has become a pathology. Even when called out the liar suffers almost no consequences and in fact often rise in fame and stature.
It's come so far that people prefer the warmth of a lie to an uncomfortable truth. I'm reminded of a quote posted on one of my favorite blogs alfinnextlevel.wordpress.com George Orwell declared “During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act”. How would people react to a leader who told the truth? Would they even know it?
The thing is evidence is beginning to show that the brain of pathological liars is rewired, eventually robbing them of their ability to think otherwise. According to Professor Bruce Charlton "Habitual dishonesty (most notable political correctness) is a form of learning; and learning strengthens some brain pathways and brain connections; while allowing other pathways and connections to wither and (perhaps eventually) perish.
Therefore, even on those rare occasions when a typical modern intellectual tries to be honest and to think straight - they cannot do it, because their reasoning processes have been sabotaged by their own repeated habits of dishonesty..."
The topic of Political Correctness is ipso facto the topic of pathological lying, and it is PCism that drives much of the bureaucratic lying we suffer today. But not all of it.
Obviously the quest for power motivates lying on a grand scale. The incredible thing is, focusing on the current regime in power, the sheer number of lies, big and small, should have counted for something. They didn't. The President lied about nearly every aspect of his history. Many people presented evidence of the facts - and even when substantiated they were ignored by the press and the electorate. Most people wouldn't want a dog catcher that lied that much - but president, well that's OK.
As pointed out in Victor Davis Hanson's recent piece:
Barack Obama, as is the wont of politicians, has lied a lot — and from the very beginning of his national career. He knew Bill Ayers well, Tony Rezko too. He lied about his decision not to seek the presidency as a newly elected senator, and lied about his willingness to take public campaign financing funds in 2008. He misled about what he would shortly do about most of the Bush-Cheney anti-terrorism protocols. Obama lied about much of his own biography.
When the president uses emphatics like “make no mistake about it,” “let me be perfectly clear,” and “in point of fact,” we know what follows will be untrue. He did not cut the deficit in half in his first four years. He had no intention of ever doing so. He lies about the circumstances of America’s gas and oil production surge — occurring despite, not because of, him. He lied about his involvement in the radical ACORN community action group, and fabricated about his father’s and grandfather’s World War II involvement.
Tally up what Barack Obama said about his health care initiative, the border fence, and his fiscal policy. Almost all of the major assurances proved lies.
I'm not crying boo hoo here, merely pointing out the astonishing fact that straight-up lying doesn't seem to hurt - it in fact seems to help. Can some of the same things be said of George W. Bush? Bill Clinton?
Of course. Yet both Clinton and Bush we're called out on their lying repeatedly - and in the case of Bush by the time his presidency ended he was blamed for literally everything with such dishonesty that it became the stuff of jokes. Barack Obama seems to be blessed with an ADHD media. Yes, politicians lie, always have, probably always will, it's the ease with which they lie in this current era that is so incredible.
We could spend all day talking about the abuse of the truth the media subjects us to. Yes, including FOX news, but I hardly think any of the "serious" news outlets (like MSNBC) would even know how to come clean while still captive to their delusions of objectivity. The media's lies and omissions would fill volumes - a subject for another day...
Oddly, it's our sports stars that we won't accept lies from. Ask Lance Armstrong, Barry Bonds even Alex Rodriguez. Isn't it strange that men who play games aren't allowed to lie, but men who control armies and economies are expected to.
But I could be wrong.