...But the point still stands, and has in fact stood throughout all of human history. There are certain lies that will always work in politics, no matter how often they’re used, no matter how often they’re debunked, and frequently, even if both the speaker and the listener know they’re lies. Because they’re seductive. They’re things we want to believe are true, and so we let ourselves go along with them because the truth is nasty and unpleasant and the lie is warm and comfortable. There has always been an audience for these lies, and there always will be. The three lies are:We've seen a lot of those three lies during the recent years-long ruckus over the Democrats' Health Care Reform efforts. We've seen them nearly every time there's an election year, although in the past ten years or so given the full-campaign-mode politics now operates by we're basically seeing them 24/7.
1. It’s somebody else’s fault.
2. There are easy answers.
3. You shouldn’t have to pay for it.
Each of those lies are easy and seductive. Isn't it pretty to think that it IS somebody else's fault your work pays you nothing, that your kids aren't learning, that your roads are bumpy and your latte less foamy? Simplistic, three-word banner-worthy explanations go into the brain so much quicker than a 50-page treatise (wait, you need to know what that word means, right?) that may be more factual but can be soooooo dull. And this is America: nobody (mostly the upper class... and the middle class... for the poorer class it isn't a question of not wanting, they just honestly can't afford it) wants to pay (screw taxes!) for anything (what do you mean more money means better lattes?) ever.
And so politicians lie. It's Not Your Fault: BLAME SOCIALISTS. Hey y'all, I'm one of you so VOTE FOR ME and git er dunn! And let's CUT THOSE TAXES 'cause that will fix the deficits and force them ebil governments to cut poor people's welfare benefits!
The one thing that guest commentator Seavey doesn't mention, however, is that for all this lying the politicians are NEVER held accountable for it all. True story. Every election year these guys head back home as incumbents and for all the anti-incumbent mood the national voters are in, we voters keep sending them back! After all "It's all them OTHER elected officials who keep lying to ya! Trust your own dawg, people!"
THIS is why I push for that amendment idea that spells out:
- Lying is NOT protected speech;
- Any elected or government employee caught lying in some form or another (there are different types of lying) will get suspended without pay pending investigation. If it's proven the person knowingly made a false statement (such as having foreknowledge of actual data or evidence and saying otherwise), they get removed from their job and banned for life from federal employment AND acting as a lobbyist or petitioner to any branch of federal government.
Ahem. That's a lot of postscripts for a paragraph, I know.
Yes, there is lying in government. And Yes, these lies are making it harder and harder to get anything fixed in this nation. So YES, we need to make it punishable to lie. It's gotta happen, and the sooner the better.