Friday, February 22, 2013

I'm Somewhat Sympathetic

In a somewhat perverse way I am sympathetic to those who are taken in by lies, rumors, and deceptions. There are at the moment probably dozens of falsehoods making the rounds of the media. I came across one just now that claims to have proof that Obama is Gay, not only that, he was apparently once married to a Gay man.
There are also now claims that the Pope resigned because of a report of a Gay cabal in the Vatican that would be so difficult and embarrassing to deal with he felt it wise to get out of the situation.
Our new Senator from Texas, Cruz, is reported to have claimed there were 12 communists on the Harvard Law School Faculty while he was a student there. And, of course, he has also said President Obama is the most radical President ever.
Then there is the now famous case of those currently imprisoned at Gitmo receiving G.I. benefits, an absolutely ridiculous claim that was apparently taken seriously by one of McConnell’s staff.
There has also been the completely false claim that Hagel has received support from an organization called “Friends of Hamas,” an organization that does not even exist, and if it did it would not go by such a name. This has apparently been believed by at least some of our Senators even though it is ridiculous on the face of it.
Of course there are also the longstanding claims that Obama was born in Kenya, is a Muslim, a Socialist, Communist, Fascist, mysterious intruder from outer space who wants to take away guns, promote abortion, and so on.
All of these claims are obvious nonsense with no factual basis whatsoever, but yet t here always seems to be some who accept them, or at least give them the benefit of the doubt. And for those who believe it is virtually impossible to convince them otherwise. How can this be? Why are so many willing to believe what most of us recognize immediately as utter hogwash, balderdash, claims so far-fetched as to deserve no credibility whatsoever?
It is true, I guess, that in some cases there might at least be some sliver of truth involved. I suppose it could be true there is some Gay faction in the Vatican, and depending upon your definition of radical I suppose one could conceivably argue the point about Obama, but there certainly can be no question of Obama’s sexuality, his birth, 12 communists on the Harvard faculty, Gitmo prisoners getting the GI Bill, and whatever. Unfortunately it has become increasingly difficult to separate the remotely possible from the obviously impossible.
The unfortunate ability for people to believe virtually anything these days has to do, I think, with the fact that lying has become the norm rather than the exception in our political system. It is doubtless true that politicians have lied from time immemorial, at least about certain things, but I don’t think they lied on the massive scale, and about almost everything, that has become so commonplace in recent years. The Bush/Cheney administration made lying the norm rather than the exception. I doubt that anyone, especially Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, or Rice ever told the truth about anything. This has created a situation of such massive distrust on the part of the public they are no longer capable of separating fact from fiction, truth from untruth, and are thus far more susceptible to accepting even the most outrageous lies as possible truths. While I obviously don’t know the exact extent of lying in previous administrations, I seriously doubt that any of them lied so persistently, glibly, or unconscionably as Bush/Cheney and their gang of loyal prevaricators. Being a pretty forgiving person I would like to think they might have believed the lies they fed us on a daily basis, but I know better. They knew they were lying, and I guess they thought that lying in the pursuit of oil was no vice.  They even outdid Richard Nixon.

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