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Our Mendacious Nation: When Leaders Lie, People Die

July 4th, 2012 | Posted by David Whitfield in Economic Justice | Social Justice

Our Mendacious Nation

When leaders lie, people die.

Imagine a Liar-in-Chief as Commander-in-Chief.  When leaders lie, people die!  And if you don’t believe that, just look at the wars of Viet Nam and Iraq; both wars were based on lies.  It is highly likely that we will put liars in the White House this November, along with a Liar-in-Chief, with the assistance of all of us.  It doesn’t matter whether we vote; we are complicit in their election, placement, etc.  Apathy and complacency are alive and well among us.   We say little or nothing about liars running for political or national office.  We the people have “lamed out” on our civic responsibilities.  We should occupy, challenge them, especially Romney and his lot.  Very few news analyst or reporters will mention it, or confront the person uttering the lie.  Thomas Jefferson chimed in about this pathology: “He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and a third time till at length it becomes habitual.”  Jefferson’s quote is consistent with Mitt Romney’s behavior.
We have diminished the value of truth; truth has become just another point of view.  And the opposite of right is not wrong; the opposite of right is lying. We have begun to create a culture of lying; that means it will be “the way we do things around here.”  That’s one of Edgar Schein’s definition of culture—“the way we do things around here”—we lie. I say “we” because we’re all in this together, despite what our feckless, plantation style leaders and their concurrent row-walkers say. McConnell, Boehner, Cantor, and their followers: all tend to distort the facts, a code phrase for lying.   Nietzsche said it best: “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”
I often wonder about the psychology of lying. Why do men lie?    Men lie more than women.  According to psychologist, Feldman, we tell lies when our self-esteem is threatened; that’s one of the main culprits, causing us to lie at higher levels.  One study (sample size 2,000) claims that women average three lies daily; men lie six times daily.  “Men are liars.  We’ll lie about lying if we have to. I’m an algebra liar.  I figure two good lies make a positive,” says Tim Allen. How’s that for rationalizing this pathology.  Two lies make a truth?  Really?
Many of our national leaders lie for success; they lie for personal and political gain.  Abraham Lincoln chimed in: “No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar.”  This is consistent with Mark Twain who said, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”  Leaders who lie constantly, have “…entered the territory of lies without a passport for return,” said Graham Greene. Do we want a Liar-in-Chief in the White House?  Solzhenitsyn too, chimed in:  “In our country the lie has become not just another moral category but a pillar of the State.” Is that what we want as a pillar of our State?
Finally, the consequences of leaders lying are severe and costly. Their lying have led to wars; theirs lying has cost human suffering, death, and destruction.  Their lying has a deleterious effect on the administration of economic justice, distributive justice, and social justice.
What does lying portend for the survival of this nation?

Any thoughts?

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2 Responses

  • Ed Rogers is a contributor to the with Mitch McConnell not a likely dealmaker thanks to his primary challenge in Kentucky, 5 minutes or so of opening remarks. because their report will be accepted by other members of the international community and will offer clues about those behind the attacks even if the mandate of the inspectors does not cover who was responsible for the alleged use of chemical weaponsIf in fact the Syrian government committed this atrocity that only opens the question for Congress and the American people As forceful as the president was in making the decision to go to Congress his case for striking Syria militarily is far from compelling The president argues correctly that the international community cannot simply ignore a grotesque violation of the ban on the use of chemical weapons But there are a number of problems with the administrations conclusion that the United States must enforce the norm against the use of chemicals weapons by military means To begin with the treaty banning chemical weapons does not itself delegate to the United States the authority or the responsibility to make itself policeman judge jury and executioner of the response Second it follows that any use of military force must be sanctioned by the UN Security Council after considering the report of UN inspectors Use of force without Security Council approval could itself be a violation of international lawClick the continue button until you get to the final preview page.Click the “Edit” link next to the resume you want to change. and it spent many years boarded up for repairs.C.The hockey players then filed off the field to applause,After lining up and being announced to the crowd before the game.

    • Even if the U.S. had the authority to make itself policeman, judge, jury, and executioner, it doesn’t have the muscle or hegemony that it once had; we have, unfortunately, become weaker over the past three decades: we have too many troops in too many countries; we are broke–China is our biggest and parental banker; China is using much black ink; U. S. is using, or better said, is drowning in red ink. We lost the war in Viet Nam; we haven’t won a war since World War II. Yet, we continue to flex our virtual muscle. It sadden me to see our country go down in spirals of greed, violence, and racism, etc.
      Thank you for your response, though am not sure the meaning of your last couple sentences.

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