Government officials’ lies erode the Republic’s foundation. Do we care?

Summary: Today we look at a vital indicator showing the decay of the Republic and point to the guilty parties. Our leaders lie to us, often and about serious matters. The price paid by them and us has come due. How we pay it will help determine our future.

“Never believe anything about the government until it has been officially denied.”
— Attributed to Bismarck. Lies from government are not new.

Contents

  1. Another day, another lie.
  2. List the big lies.
  3. The most important poll.
  4. What comes next?
  5. For More Information

(1) Another day, another lie.

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki, 20 February 2015

And our view continues to be that political transitions must be democratic, constitutional, peaceful, and legal. We do not support a political transition in Venezuela by non-constitutional means.

She doubled down on March 10, saying “despite the statements to the contrary from Venezuelan officials, we are not promoting instability in Venezuela. Rather we believe respect for democratic norms and human rights is the best guarantee of Venezuela’s stability.”

This is quite false. The US has assisted — sometimes taking the lead — in overthrowing scores of elected governments since 1900. A large fraction of these were elected leaders who advocated policies the US government did not like. That tradition continues up to the 2014 coup d’état in Ukraine following its President signing a trade treaty with the US instead of the EU.

As for “democratic norms and human rights”, US allies outside Europe have often been short on these. For details visit one of our closest allies, the land run by the Saudi Princes.

Realpolitic justifies alliances with nations having political systems we find disgusting. There are too few angels on Earth to guarantee our safety (and they might not choose to ally with us). Our hypocrisy is quite amazing. But that’s not the subject of this post.

During WWII our leaders routinely lied to us, justified by military necessity. After WWII they continued to do so, ever more frequently and boldly. They considered this wise, reinforcing the distinction between the inner party who knows the truth and the outer party that believes the lies (the proles remain uncaring and ignorant). It worked for decades.

Truth, not Pravda, Will Make You Free

(2) List the big lies.

Lies are part of life. But magnitudes matter. What matters are how often and how big the lies.

Our government officials — civilian and military, high and low — lie. They lie often, even on subjects of the greatest importance. As we learn only months (or years, or decades) after the news hits the tape, in the little noticed corrections which spark no outrage.

The list is endless. Little lies like the Jessica Lynch story. And big lies such as in the Hidden history of our first step into the Afghanistan War and The Big Lie at work in Afghanistan, Also, there are still so many questions about the Warren Commission Report

(3) The most important poll

“Since becoming a journalist I had often heard the advice to “believe nothing until it has been officially denied”.
— Claud Cockburn (Irish journalist) in A Discord of Trumpets: An Autobiography (1956).

By now the horrific ill effects of this policy have become visible to anyone paying attention. Decades of lies by our officials have eroded away the trust necessary for our regime to function. See the results of what might be the public opinion poll that best forecasts the fate of the Republic: Gallup’s Confidence in Institutions survey, run since 1973.

We have high confidence in the armed services (military and police) and low in our representative institutions and journalists. Can any nation in such a condition endure? Worse, confidence in our representative institutions continues to slide — probably by now a self-reenforcing trend. We have low confidence, hence they lack the fuel to accomplish their responsibilities — and our respect slides more.

Gallup Confidence in Institutions Poll, June 2014

Gallup Confident in Institutions Survey, June 2014

Believing their role to be stenographers for the powerful, they dutifully report the lies of government officials, which they know to be false. It was the easy path to success. The price they paid as a profession has been high — forfeiting the public’s respect. Their layoffs have just begun, as their industry no longer has a strong economic foundation. Not enough people will pay for lies.

Gallup Confidence in Insitutions Poll, June 2014

(4)  What comes next?

We could hope for new leaders that restore our faith in government. That is, we dream of the leaders we believe we deserve — equal to our awesomeness — so different from the ones we elect. We dream, but cannot bother to work the political machinery bequeathed us by the Founders. Organize. Express our views, Work to find and support candidates, contributing time and money. Hold them responsible for their statements, and punish lies by withdrawal of our support.

Instead we’re sliding into what I and many others call the quiet coup, perhaps nearing the denouement. Should we prepare for fascism (or some other tyrannical state)? Should you close your eyes, seat your butt in front of a screen, and take your place among the sheeple? That’s our present path.

I await a new day dawning in America when we have the strength to laugh at these lies, and we organize to re-take the reins of America. Together we have the strength to do so. For details see the 50 posts about many aspects of Reforming America: steps to new politics.

“{Laughter} is of itself disgusting and a direct insult to the realism, dignity, and austerity of Hell.”
— Screwtape writing to his nephew, from The Screwtape Letters

(5)  For More Information

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. A hat tip on the State press briefing to Liberty Blitzkrieg and Democracy Now.  See all posts about Information & disinformation, in the new media & the old, especially …

  1. Look at past airliner shootings so we can learn about government lies.
  2. Learning to see beyond the American Pravda.
  3. Another day, another campaign of fearmongering in America: North Korea’s cyberattack on Sony.

9 thoughts on “Government officials’ lies erode the Republic’s foundation. Do we care?

  1. “That tradition continues up to the 2014 coup d’état following its President signing a trade treaty with the US instead of the EU.”

    Is there a line missing somewhere? I just cannot make the link with the situation in Venezuela.

  2. What strikes me about this fine piece is this: We expect lies and build them into our reckoning when we deal with any form of authority. We do this not out out of innocence but because we are morally and ethically corrupt and expect others to behave as we would in similar circumstances.

    1. Now that I must consider awhile.
      Passivity in the face of reality, I can easily comprehend.
      Beaten down by Life for just so long….sure.
      But morally equally corrupt?
      Whew.
      Ethically equally corrupt?
      Perhaps.

      Fascinating.
      And dark as Maximus says, for sure.

      Breton

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