Friday, November 06, 2009

Goebbels is Passe

Miss England forced to
relinquish crown after
punching Miss Manchester.

Goebbels, it turns out, might have been a pioneer when it came to lying, but he is now passé. It was Herr Goebbels, I believe, who said something to the effect that “if you tell a big lie often enough people will come to believe it.” Rove, Bush and Cheney refined that technique by discovering that if you tell constant lies about everything, all the time, truth simply becomes completely irrelevant. That is what I think is going on now. We have reached the point where the lies have become so commonplace and ubiquitous that no one has any idea of truth anymore. This is why Republicans can now say anything they wish, no matter how unbelievably ridiculous, and there will be at least some who will believe them. And it is also why whatever Democrats say cannot be believed because no one believes there is any truth anymore. Thus when Republicans say the Obama health care proposals mean that old people will be put to death, no Democratic denial matters, because we have all been conditioned to understand that no one tells the truth. If Bachmann claims there were 50,000 or 500,000 supporters at her rally in D.C., and someone else claims there were a million, the police claim of 4,000 is no more acceptable than the larger numbers, because who knows anymore who is lying? If Republicans claim a huge victory in the election last Tuesday, and Democrats think otherwise, who is to know? Everything nowadays is just considered “spin” because that is what we have been fed for the past eight or more years. I have to concede, however grudgingly, that this was a brilliant strategy on the part of Bush/Cheney. The result of it is that nothing can be taken seriously as there is no truth. If I say Cheney is a blatant war criminal who should be prosecuted for his terrible unconstitutional and illegal atrocities, others will say he saved us from a fate worse than death, and who is to be the wiser? If I say we have no reason to be in Afghanistan and should get out as soon as possible, others will say that is unthinkable, but no one seems willing to explain why.

This is why I believe that there may be someone, somewhere, perhaps more than one (but not many), who must actually know the truth but won’t tell us what it is. It is all this uncertainty and doubt about veracity that has led me to start thinking about conspiracies. For example, I believe there is a “truth” about our continued “war” in Afghanistan, and that is we still must be planning to build a pipeline through that troubled land, but no one will admit it. I believe there must be a “truth” about Osama bin Laden as well that we are not being told. I doubt very much that a millionaire Saudi Prince is still hiding out in a cave in the wilds of Pakistan, and I also suspect that he may still be a CIA asset they cannot possibly reveal now (for good reasons). He certainly was an asset for Bush/Cheney as he became their only excuse for their barbaric and illegal behavior. Similarly, I have no idea what to believe about health care and its presumed changes. Some Democrats say one thing, some say another, Republicans just say “no” to whatever it is, and how could anyone possibly know the truth. If it passes I would venture to say we still won’t know the truth because the bill is almost 1000 pages, probably mostly gobbledy-gook that most of them have not bothered to read, and quite likely unintelligible so that it can be interpreted, reinterpreted, argued about and ignored for years. The Obama administration claims they have stopped torture, but some say they are still involved in renditions. How could I be expected to know what is true? It all reminds me of a story I once heard about a father who put his son on top of a fence post and told him to jump and he would catch him. The boy jumped and the father didn’t catch him. He said, “there, son, let that be a lesson to you, don’t trust nobody, not even your own father.”

Why can’t everyone be like our Independent (socialist) Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders? As near as I can make out he and Dennis Kucinich are about the only two people in Washington D.C. that have any interest in the public interest. Sanders says, rightly, that we must break up the huge “too big to fail” banks. I say hurrah! Yes, by all means we should do that. And while we are at it, we should break up all the big corporations, especially the corporate farms that are slowly trying to kill us with their pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and genetically modified crops. Here again we are caught up in lies so frequent and never-ending we have no way of knowing what is what. Some say genetically modified foods are perfectly safe, others (including me) say how do we know? They say they have been researched and found to be safe, but the research usually turns out to be research sponsored and paid for by those who want to modify our crops in the first place. So who do you want to believe? Again, we seem to have reached a place where no one knows who to believe. How convenient for those who want to just go ahead and do whatever they want. If we had any genuine interest in the public interest, when there is any doubt whatsoever about the possible deleterious effects of something, we should stop doing it until we really know. Not here, not in the good ol’ U.S.of A. Caught in the strangle-hold of our huge and immoral corporations we have to prove that something actually is harmful before any action can be taken. And simple correlations won’t do, so if there is a correlation between tobacco and lung cancer and such that doesn’t really count, let ‘em sell their poison until we can prove causation. Hey, it’s the American way, and Americans are infallible as well as being the greatest country on earth. Just ask Republicans, they never lie.

We Americans live in a nation where the medical-care system is second to none in the world, unless you count maybe 25 or 30 little scuzzball countries like Scotland that we could vaporize in seconds if we felt like it.
Dave Barry

TILT: Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was born Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov on April 22, 1870 (I am entering a Russian period).

1 comment:

Prup (aka Jim Benton) said...

Just want you to know I've posted substantial parts of your brilliant opening paragrph on two blogs, COGITAMUS and Steve Benen's POLITICAL ANIMAL (at Washinton Monthly). Maybe you'll start getting the readership you deserve.

The difference between your prose and an exquistely cooked meal or a fine wine is that the wonderful sensations they give can be shared without cost.

Thanks for great writing, wisdom, and making this 63 year old feel like an immature kid -- a valuable reminder.