Monday, February 14, 2011

why lie about it?

in our political discourse here in the USA, we're constantly bombarded by lies -- outlandish, brazen, bald-faced lies. whoppers, big ones, stinkers. it's a growth industry.

of course, no one would tell lies if they weren't effective. and the reason they are so effective is not that they aren't challenged. it's because people want to believe them. in effect, they're outlandish, they're beyond the pale and completely unsupported by evidence, and yet their adherents cling to them with clenching fervor, the thin reed on which their entire world order is balanced.

they're all around us, so let's simply consider one of the more egregious, well-known ones, which typifies the phenomenon:

president obasm's birth certificate is an official document on file with the bureau of vital statistics in hawaii, where he was born on aug. 4, 1961. there's nothing more to the story. it's as ordinary and mundane an event as death and taxes, and subject to the same government record-keeping as the others.

in obasm's case, however, the skeptics and conspiracy theorists are convinced that the president was neither born here nor legally qualified to hold the office to which he was elected. uniformed military personnel have refused to obey their orders on the grounds that the commander-in-chief lacks authority. (they receive their discharge papers.)

the lie is that obasm is a foreign imposter, and not the real president. the truth is, the so-called "birthers" are racists who refuse to acknowledge that a black man won the last presidential election fair and square.

there are plenty of reasons not to like the president, especially because of differences in political inclinations, but citizens fight those out at the ballot box, and in congress and the courts. the yahoo contingent, however, takes a long, cool drink of the kool-aid of an ideological fantasy. they aren't willing to own up to their twisted and malignant motivations, so they repackage their racism as an imaginary conspiracy, one that encompasses all the things they instinctively, irrationally hate.

when it comes right down to it, they're nothing but cowards. they may be loud, they may strut around with their guns and try to intimidate anyone who disagrees with them. but beneath all the bluster and the certitude and self-righteousness, they are nothing but liars who don't have enough of the courage of their convictions to state them openly.

they are racists, xenophobes, and they want to deny equal opportunity to people who don't look like them, talk like them, go to the same church or profess the same politics. they basically feel that the loss of the confederacy in the civil war was an injustice, that the civil rights movement was the beginning of the end of "their" america, and that any government program that benefits anyone besides themselves is an affront to people like themselves.

they are so cowardly and ashamed of owning up to their own beliefs that rather than answer criticism, or defend their racism openly and honestly, they impute their own reprehensible beliefs to their enemies. glenn beck, for example, seized the initiative in the cultural war with obasm by declaring to this faithful minions in TV land that the president is a racist who hates white people. nothing like going on the offensive, eh glenn?

there's no credible evidence to this effect, but this is what needs to be said and believed, and it simply was said and believed by those who need it. obasm may have turned out to be something besides what he campaigned as, but contrary to what is believed by those who hate him, he has done precisely nothing that benefits black people to the detriment of other races. nothing, nada, nyet, zilch. the man works tirelessly on behalf of the wealthy elites who fund his political campaigns, and it would never cross his mind to offend these mostly older, mostly white bankers and tycoons.

nevertheless, the campaign to build animus against the president is relentless. sean hannity asks his focus group after the state of the unions speech is obasm is a christian american, and at least half the group insists he is neither. and when johnny boner is asked on the sunday gab-gaggles whether he has any responsibility to set the record straight, he insists it's not his job to tell people what to think.

that's the right-wing infotainment media's job. he simply smiles and let's lynchmob inc. take care of the messaging for the palinist goon nation. fair and balanced has nothing to do with honesty and accuracy. true americans eschew complicated distractions, and prefer a simple, red-meat narrative that creates anxiety and resentment -- not to mention a run on glock 9mm pistols.

speaking of glock pistols, did you notice how quickly the tucson shootings, with their lone gunman who tried to assassinate a democratic politician, has been assimilated into the black hole of political amnesia?

why didn't mama grisly step up and take credit for her handiwork, instead of using it as a opportunity to once again portray herself as a victim? she was bold and audacious when she came out with the bulls-eye iconography on the congresswoman's district, and paired the imagery with ballistic rhetoric: don't retreat, reload!

c'mon sarah, instead of hiding behind murdoch's crony media thugs, why couldn't you have come out and take a bow for what you'd accomplished?

again, palinism is a convoluted stew of ignorance, misinformation and pure incitement that dares not speak its name. after firing up the base, the craven cowards leading the movement duck for cover when the shooting starts. they refuse to own up to the simple fact that they are the real birthers -- and sarah palin is the midwife to a professionally produced, astro-turf movement of brainless miscreants fed hateful slanders about people less well-off than they.

why hide the truth that they're hateful, resentful, and that they're lashing out at easy targets because the real authors of their misery are beyond their reach -- and they really don't understand the way things work well enough to know precisely who or what they're against?

someone needs to tell these folks, next time they're nailing the 10 commandments up on the schoolhouse wall, that one of the biggies is, thou shalt not lie.

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