Monday, March 12, 2012

The politician's biggest weapon.

We live in extremely interesting times.

We are starting to see a direct relationship between the price of gas and the Liar-in-Chief’s popularity…that will make for interesting viewing as the economy continues to worsen in advance of the elections in November.

The Republican primaries continue in full force with no sign of a result any time soon. The candidates all believe they have a chance of securing the nomination – if the other candidates would just drop out!

As each day passes it becomes clear to me that we are watching the development of two very intense battles….one is the battle to win the right the right to wage war on the President. The other is, of course, the war against the President.

As with all wars, the battlefield must be clearly understood….the strategic value of each battle must be determined before the battle is entered, and the tactical methods for winning the battle must be designed.

It is very simple….understand the war, understand the purpose, have a clear and well-articulated objective. When that is ready, understand the battles and the strategic importance of winning, losing or simply holding ground. Third, deliver the tactics that will achieve the objective for each battle.


Of course, in our world there is always the threat that a well-placed nuclear weapon could render all the battlefields irrelevant, a well-placed nuclear bomb could relegate strategy to the realm of chess players and tactics would be no more important than a game of checkers.

So what is the nuclear weapon of the politician?

What is the weapon that can render battlefields irrelevant, strategy impotent and tactics so “yesterday” when thinking about politicians?

There is one.

And it is a big one.

It is a weapon of such destructive power that few can stand up and continue the fight when it is unleashed. It comes in multiple flavors, it can be disguised easily and is launched, not at the political opponent but at the voters…after all, it is ultimately the voters that decide elections (assuming that elections are run in a reasonably fair and open manner – an assumption that is becoming more difficult to accept with every election season!)

So what is this weapon?

It is….”the lie”.

The lie can come in many flavors…it can be the big hairy audacious lie that usually comes from a source not directly attributable to the candidate. A good example of this is the stupid statements made by democrat politicians about how extreme the tea party is….how it is filled with racists….how it is a very dangerous arm of the republican power that has now seized the reigns and is leading the Republican party toward the extreme religious right nut-cases we all know that Republicans have always been.

This is a big audacious lie that most people see right through….but it works. It raises questions in people’s minds…what if it IS true? What if there is even a smidgeon of truth in this? We can’t vote Republican in case there is some truth to this….etc... etc ...etc….

The big hairy audacious lie has no merit….it has no basis in fact….it is presented as fact yet is merely opinion. It does not matter that it is a bald faced lie….it does not matter that the person stating it is ridiculed. What matters is that this big lie plants a tiny seed of doubt in enough people that the impact can be seen at the voting booths.
The big hairy audacious lie works best when there are multiple people saying slightly different versions of the same thing. Frequently. At every possible opportunity. When the media is present. When the outlandish nature of the lie is certain to get press coverage. The bigger the lie the better….the more outlandish the better…the more disgusting and disturbing the better.

The big hairy audacious lie is used because it works.

But there are many other flavors of lie that work too.

There is the subtle lie…the lie that is partly surrounded by a truth. The lie that is nothing more than an opinion that seems factual because of the context.

The Liar0in-Chief is very good at this sort of subtle lie. It is his trade…it is how he got to the White House. Nobody can do it better than he.

Here is how he works this subtle lie….

He will start suggesting that the facts show that the top 1% of Americans hold some 40% of the wealth. He will have solid statistics to support this fact (I will get to statistics in a moment). But for now, let us assume the statistics are right….and he has made a factual statement. (He ALWAYS starts with a factual statement).

After a week or two of speaking like this, his message will start to slowly evolve…it will start to move toward telling us that the 1% has more than we have…also true.  He will start to evolve that message so that we start to believe it is WRONG that the 1% have more. That opens the communication channels so that he can now sympathize with us about the wrongness and the unfairness of this situation. He feels our pain…he has to make it right…the rich must pay their fair share!!!

Do you see how he does it?

He starts with a truth….then creates a lie…then uses that lie to show how sympathetic he is to your suffering…then he provides a solution to the lie.

Before he started talking about the 1% nobody cared, and most never gave it a moment’s thought. Nobody (except for a few ideologically challenged leftist progressives) even cared what the wealthy did. They were all too busy trying to make a living and supporting their families to worry about what the wealthy had. But then Obama creates his lie…and now a large proportion of the population feels they have been cheated…they must have been cheated or the rich would not be rich.

Oh what a clever liar this man is. The world has never seen the likes of him before.

But that is not the worst of it….not by a long way.

You see…lies, when repeated often enough, start to displace truth. When repeated often enough, they start to feel like truth….start to be held onto as the truth and start to impact the way we, as a culture, move forward.

But instead of having truth as our basis, we build our future on lies.

Let me give you an example of building our future on lies.

People have said that you can make statistics say whatever you want them to say. I disagree…statistics are pure data…they are facts…and facts are, by nature, truth. The statistics are not the problem. How the pure data is interpreted will be impacted by the agenda of the interpreter…this is human nature. By the same token, the collection of the data can be organized in such a way as to ensure the result that the interpreter is looking for.

So…at the end of the day, statistics can be manipulated as easily as you or I can decide what we want to eat for dinner.

Stay with me here.

If the biggest weapon that politicians have is the lie….and the subtle lies are based on a truth first…why would any President risk not having a supportable truth that allows him to manipulate his lies?

The answer is simple…he won’t.

I have already written a post on the inflation lie….you may like to review it again to understand how the inflation figures are manipulated. (You can read it here…. )

We are told repeatedly that inflation is at a low single digit level…we are told the fed is watching it closely…we are told it is in good shape. And yet, every time we got to the store to buy groceries, we find less money left in our wallets than the week before.

I am sure every person who regularly buys groceries knows that inflation is with us…not just low inflation but something approaching closer to 10% than 2%.

But years of political manipulation to support the “lie” has resulted in government statistics being lies too. Oh, they have good reason for manipulating the numbers as they do….the lies serve their own political ends while keeping us uninformed about the real issues.

The lies and manipulations win elections.

As with inflation, the unemployment figures are also lies. Years of government manipulation of the methods by which the rates are calculated have resulted in America having an unemployment rate today of 8.3%. Really? REALLY?

Every measure that you can find outside of government circles puts the national unemployment rate at something much closer to 20%.

And yet we accept the government lies as truth.

And policy is made based on that truth…so policy is created based on lies.

We are building our future based on lies that we have all come to regard as truth.

Deep breath!

And then there is the most insidious lie of them all.

This is the lie that we accept.

This is the lie that we say…everybody does it…it is just the way things are.

We have become so accustomed to lies from our politicians that we no longer even recognize them….in fact, in many cases we accept them…and have given them a new name that is far less offensive than “lies”.

We call it spin….we see the media indulging in it daily…the best example was last week where a zero change in the unemployment rates were “spun” as proving that the economic recovery was well under way and the economy is getting healthier as expected!



We even do it ourselves…when we are applying for a new job we think carefully about how we spin that time when we got fired for slacking off on the job, into a positive experience…how can we phrase it so that we look good instead of looking like the lazy employee we really were.

We all do it…I am disgusted to admit that I do it in this blog sometimes. While I pride myself on truthful opinion, I know that I spin things to suit my own personal point of view.

While I am not claiming this is right, it is also confined to what can only be described as an opinion piece…I am not attempting to provide spin as fact…but I do it.

This is why politicians can get away with what they do…because we are equally as guilty…and they know it!

Who will be the first to throw the first stone?

And Mr. Politician knows that they can get away with it.

Spin…it effects the very way we think. It is sometimes difficult to spot since it often has large elements of truth.  Sound bites are the most common form of spin….let’s grab a few words OUT OF CONTEXT and claim that is what was said. The lie of omission is particularly difficult to spot as we do not know what was omitted.

And this brings me back full circle to the battlefield of the Primaries.

You see, spin is not confined to politicians of any particular color. They all indulge in it…and this is no more obvious than the way the Republican candidates have been acting.

In an attempt to win the nomination they have all indulged in spin to discredit their opponents.

I say to you, it is time we demanded more.

It is time we demanded honesty and truth from our candidates.

It is time we demanded accountability and integrity.

If we wish to change the way Washington works, and indeed we must, then we must demand that our elected officials meet one single and unassailable requirement…

…we must demand that they hold truth sancrosanct, that they no longer drape it in spin or political correctness ( see my blog on the ultimate lie used by politicians … )

….we must demand truth…even when it hurts (and I believe it will)

…we must demand truth in the information they provide to us, the promises they make to us, the things they say when we cannot hear them…

…then and only then, can we turn this country around to being great once more.

I don’t expect perfection…I expect mistakes to be made…but I do expect truth….we have had a masterful liar in the white house for the last three years….we surely do not want another!

…..stupid is as stupid says!


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