Friday, October 28, 2016

Ten Reasons I Hate Politics and One Reason I Don’t - Part 8

8.  I Lie, You Lie, So Why Aren’t Our Pants On Fire? 

There’s an old joke that asks, “How do you know when politicians are lying?” Answer: “When their lips are moving.” Unfortunately, this isn’t just a joke. There is a lot of truth in it. Politicians lie. A lot. About a lot of things. They lie about how great their past record was. They lie about how terrible their opponents record was. They lie about how their policies will REALLY affect you. They lie about what they will do if elected. They lie about their personal lives. They lie to cover up lies. They lie to cover up the lies they told to cover up lies. You get the picture.

But here’s the deal. They also tell the truth. But I believe this is just a diversionary tactic. If they are shown to lie consistently about everything, they could lose credibility. However, if they tell the truth every once in a while, they can cling to a semblance of credibility and obfuscate about the lies. Also, the lies they tell will often have a bit a truth in them, just to keep people guessing. And the more honest politicians (notice I said MORE honest, not COMPLETELY honest) will find a nuanced way to say things that make people believe a lie while technically telling the truth should you parse the words with a fine-tooth comb. Using this technique can help assuage the consciences of the politicians, letting them tell themselves, “I can’t help it if the populace misunderstood my words.” Never mind that the politician would have misunderstood the same words himself if spoken by another person.

Do you recognize any of these words?

“I am not a crook!”

“Read my lips. NO…NEW…TAXES!

“I did not have sexual relations with that woman!”

“The attack was a result of a spontaneous protest against an Internet video.”

“If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”

“I did NOT chop down that cherry tree.” (This is not referring to George Washington. He supposedly told the truth about chopping down that tree. I don’t actually know who lied about it, but surely someone has.)

I have heard it said that if you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it. I agree with this. And in addition, I believe that sometimes the lying politicians begin to believe it also if they repeat it themselves enough. This is indeed a sad state of affairs.

So, if politicians lie so much, what’s the point of watching them talk or debate? I’m beginning to believe there is no point. If you hear your favorite candidate say something you like, he may be lying. If you hear their opponent say something you hate, she may be lying as well. So, why listen to them?

What are we voters to do? I have decided that are two main things. (1) Look at what the politicians have ACTUALLY DONE in the past, rather than listen to what they are saying now. This is not foolproof since politicians DO change positions on issues from time to time. Some actually change positions from one speech to another, but I digress. (2) Look at the party’s platform. If the nails are pulling loose and the supports are crooked, it’s about to collapse and take our country with it. If the supports are sound and the nails are securely in place, there’s a good chance it can support our country.

Believe me, I am NOT LYING!

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