Tuesday, July 23, 2013

"Lying in the Age of Obama"

Victor Davis Hansen discusses the rampant lying by the President, his administration, and other elites, citing numerous examples. He then reasons:

There are both age-old and more recent catalysts for lying.
One, lying and plagiarism are forms of narcissism. ...

Two, lying more often than not pays. Take an ethical shortcut and the odds are small that one gets caught. Yes, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Fareed Zakaria were found out. But after brief anguished penance, they reinvented themselves and returned to the level of their prior stature. ...
Liars are good at what they do. Eric Holder certainly is. Again, like a shoplifter, why stop when you have mastered the craft? ...
Three, more recently postmodernism has blurred the divide from reality and truth. ... For thirty years, the acolytes of fakers like Michel Foucault have taught our elites that truth is socially constructed — a relative thing, a power narrative fabricated by those of the right race, gender, and class to perpetuate their privilege. Howard Zinn could publish fantasies because who was to say that they were entirely wrong, and who would dare suggest that his myths were not put to a good cause?
Hansen also explores reasons why we shouldn't lie:

The majority has to tell the truth — to the IRS, to the police, to the DA, to the census — if a consensual society is to work. ...

Two, this often sordid, sometimes beautiful world is not the end. There is transcendence. Lies damage our soul. Selling out in the here and now has consequences later on. If you are religious, your immortal soul is lost. If you are not, at least consider that your legacy, heritage, and remembrance are forever ruined. ...

Third, we must strive to be tragic heroes, .... We must try to tell the truth, not to doctor films, edit tapes, erase talking points, or lie before Congress, fabricate heroic war records, or invent false sources. ...Because we seek to do the right thing with the full resignation that in the here and now we will often still lose and will lose often and gladly telling the truth.
“We always lose,” says Chris at the end of the The Magnificent Seven after he did the right thing. Or to paraphrase the cinematic T.E. Lawrence about Auda Abu Tayi, we will not lie, as do our elites, because it is simply “our pleasure” not to.
 However, the reasons not to lie are as revealing about our lying elites as anything. Because, if telling the truth is necessary for a consensual society, then it is clear that our leaders are not committed to a consensual society; if we shouldn't lie because of eternal consequences, it is obvious that our leaders lack that religious or moral foundation that says that lying is wrong; if we should not lie because it is better to tell the truth and lose, than to tell a lie and win, then our leaders have chosen to win at all costs, even if it means betraying their oaths of office.

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