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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Liar, Liar

Cousin Vinnie said that the reason a lot of old stuff about the President keeps being recycled (he sent me another silly birther rumor!) is because Obama is such a "chronic lyre (sic)." My response:

Read history. Every president including and especially Washington and Lincoln have been accused of being liars and devils. It goes with the territory.

When you make a promise that you cannot fulfill (I've done this a number of times myself if you ask my kids and Obama did on you can keep your own plan and Guantanamo) even though you tried to and wanted to, you are called a liar.

When you change your mind based on new discoveries or pressures (as did Wilson in WWI and Obama on universal health care ), you are called a liar.

When you make a mistake or misspeak or say something is so that isn't (even though you thought it was, like Bush and Powell on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and Obama/Rice on Benghazi), you are called a liar.

When you are found to be holding some information back because you judge it might be more detrimental to release it (like cracking the Enigma code or Obama on intelligence issues), you are called a liar.

When you act for something that you think is in the best interest for the most people or for the groups you most want to help, but others do not empathize with those people or identify with those groups (like Obama on infrastructure funding and health care), you are called a liar.

When you disagree with someone and cite false evidence that you really think is true (like you do all the time), you are called a liar.  

Indeed a chronic liar. 

Yes, we will constantly go through this old internet stuff that has been completely refuted because there are a number of fanatic true-believers out there who refuse to think, refuse to check out what they are saying or passing on, refuse to admit that they might be wrong, love rumors and conspiracies, see the world in black and white, fail to distinguish the personal from the public, always impute evil motives on people just because they don't agree with them. E.g. I can't believe how many people still think that Bush engineered 9/11. 

I'm not saying we have not been lied to. We have--often. Just read Zinn's People's History of the US if you dare. Mainly because telling the truth was not in the interest of the in-group. And people do not want to hear a truth that challenges their assumptions, values, interests.

Indeed, I would lie to save my family, friends, people with whom I most identify, and my country. But with a very troubled conscience because I know that transparency generally works to create trust which is essential for a vibrant republic. One of my biggest criticisms of Obama is that he saw the need for and promised transparency but had left the NSA continue its policies and has gone after leakers. 

On the other hand I know that I do not know the complete situation. And I do value the security of my family, friends, and community. So I will continue to criticize him for this and for other things that I do not like or consider wrong or not in the best interest of the people I love or the nation, or even evil. But I refuse to call him or you stupid, liar, evil because I disagree. The same for Reagan and Bush. (Nixon and Clinton who were trying to save their asses, Madoff, Limbaugh, Koch Bros who know what they are doing while laughing all the way to the bank are different cases!)

Be careful when you call people stupid, liars, or evil. You are really saying something about yourself. (PS you can pass this on to your friends, if you want.)

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