Summary: There is no need for complex solutions to produce political reform in America. We have the machinery. We know our peril as the Republic dies. We need only find the spark within ourselves that will produce action. I recommend anger. We have much to get angry about. Here we look at our leaders’ lies. They lie because we let them. We believe their lies, learn the truth, then forget the story. It’s a FAILure to learn or even react. Anger can short-circuit this process. Anger is contagious, like all flames. Read this and pass it on.
“Anger is easy. Anger at the right person, at the right time, for the right reason, is difficult.”
— Aristotle, in the Nicomachean Ethics, book IV, chapter 5 (slightly paraphrased)
“Telemachus, now is the time to be angry.”
— Odysseus, when the time came to deal with the Suitors. From the movie The Odyssey (1997)
We have been emasculated. Our political leaders — of both parties — flagrantly cuckold us, flaunting their allegiance to the 1% without even attempting to conceal it. We react to this ugly truth in a commonplace fashion, with the dreamtime (to use Wolfgang Schivelbusch’s concept). We pretend not to see. We pretend not to care. We tell ourselves that it doesn’t matter. We pretend amnesia, as if we don’t remember. Just as a cuckold fears his spouse will leave him for her more attractive new friend, we fear that our leaders will betray us.
Just as spouses drift away from each other once their trust is broken, we less often work the political machinery of the Republic — not even voting. We have less confidence in its institution and leaders. In both cases the response makes the fear more likely to happen.
There is another way to respond. We can get angry and hold our leaders to account. Let’s start with something easy: let’s punish them when they lie to us. We have not done so for generations, so now they lie to us frequently. Why not? Look at this list of lies, documented in last month’s Why do we believe, when the government lies to us so often? Notice that all of our wars for 50 years have been justified by lies. That’s quite a record, one of which we should be ashamed.
- Eisenhower lies about the U-2 (1960).
- The Tonkin Gulf Incident (1964).
- Our 1st war in Afghanistan (1979+).
- Libyan hit teams in America (1981).
- Iran’s nukes (1984-now).
- The shooting of Iran Air Flight 655 (1988).
- Iraq’s atrocities in Kuwait (1990).
- President Clinton lied, a lot (e.g, 1998).
- Our 2nd war in Afghanistan (2001).
- Saddam’s link to Al Qaeda (2002).
- Saddam’s WMD’s (2002).
It’s sad that we’re so gullible, believing lies from liars — again and again. It’s bad that we don’t respond when we learn that they lied to us. Now for the worse news: many American still believe these lies. We’re like the marks of highly skilled con men who refuse to press charges; we find self-deceit less painful than admitting we were fooled.
It need not be like this. This cannot continue, if we wish the Republic to survive. Let’s break the cycle at the vulnerable step. Let’s get angry and punish leaders who lie to us. We can vote out elected officials, demand that political appointees get fired and that civil servants get punished.
It’s the easy first step to rebuilding our confidence in the Republic’s machinery. We hold elections every two years. Let’s start with 2016. America has many good people. Let’s put some of them in office. Vote “no” on liars.
For More Information
See all posts about anger, about our amnesia, about propaganda, and about reforming America and the steps to political change.
Posts explaining why our leaders lie to us so frequently:
- Our leaders have made a discovery of the sort that changes the destiny of nations.
- The secret, simple tool that persuades Americans. That molds our opinions.
- Why do we believe, when the government lies to us so often? When we change, the government also will change.
A few posts about anger as a political tool to reform America:
- Now is the time for America to get angry.
- In “Network”, Howard Beale asks us to get mad and do something. He’s still waiting.
- A simple thing you can do to start the reform of America: get angry.
- How can we arouse a passion to reform America in the hearts of our neighbors?.
- Should we risk using anger to arouse America?.