Lying: the New Default Behavior

I am having a very hard time trusting anyone that I do not personally know and can vouch for from direct historical experience. I am sure that not everyone else is lying to us, but it is very hard to tell who is who. This is almost certainly a matter of having been conditioned to expect bullshit from people in the public eye. I’m not just talking about the Liar in Chief pictured at the left and his cronies; it is almost everybody who is a public figure.

Little George may be behind the recent increase in this behavior. After all, if it is all right for the President to lie openly, obviously, and without impunity, I suppose we should expect word to get around that there is no real penalty for not telling the truth. Still, one would hope that someone, somewhere would be able to tell the truth in an interview, or a press conference, or in some public arena.

But no, it seems not. A college football coach making two million dollars a year plus perks, when asked, will always say that money is not important and his NFL underclassman draft picks should stay in school. When asked if his Big Twelve powerhouse team will have trouble with their next game, which is against the South Dakota College of Beauticians, he will say they are a very tough opponent, look out. Every question asked is handled this way; stock answers, all of which are pure crap, and all of which are accepted without further question by the media.

Any United States Senator, caught in some lewd, obscene, and / or illegal act will always respond that they are being framed, railroaded, or are the victim of a witch-hunt. When confronted by the photographs or video of their behavior, they will continue to tell the same set of lies. As the guards lock the door to the former Senator’s luxury cell, there will be no change in the lies that the Senator tells, hoping to make us believe them, and to love them once again.

A City Councilman, asked if aggressive panhandling is a problem downtown, will respond that a law was passed to handle that, but will not tell you that the police have been instructed not to enforce that law because the City is afraid of lawsuits from the homeless. The same response will be used for all of those laws that the citizenry wants in order to solve real problems in the community, but which the City lacks the cojones to enforce. Each one is a lie, in public, to the public.

Of course, every commercial that you see, hear, or read is lying to you about the product, trying to make it something that it is not, and therefore more attractive as a purchase. This deceptive behavior is known as “Marketing” and is shamelessly practiced by nearly every advertiser on the planet. Somehow, this seems to be perfectly acceptable to the general public. Oh comma well. This list could easily become as long as an encyclopedia, but you can fill in the rest of it yourself.

Yet, when little Susie comes home late and says she’s been at the school library studying with Lisa, even though you saw her sprawled on the hood of a car with most of her skin showing and surrounded by a herd of predatory, hormonal boys, you will immediately call her on it, then you will agree to lie to her father so she doesn’t get in trouble. Where do we get this behavior, which is so obviously unethical in the extreme?

We get it from the Presidents, football coaches, Senators, City Councilmen, and advertisers that we see and hear every day, all lying their hearts out in order to get more money, more power, or maybe just because they know that you will let them get away with it. Your sons and daughters lie to you because you refuse to call all the public figures on the lies they tell, every day, on television and elsewhere in the public arena.

Kids are not stupid. They can see through a lot of those lies as easily as you can. But kids are still actively engaged in learning ethical behavior while pushing the envelope. If little George and everyone else in the public eye can lie without any consequences, why can’t they? You know, they have a point. The only way we can stop the little liars all around us is to stop the big liars in the limelight. All you have to do is let them know that you have noticed their lies and that you are going to punish them with the ballot, your wallet, your feet, or a grand jury.

When she sees that the big kids are punished for lying, Susie will be much less likely to take a chance on it and you might begin to get some honest answers at home.


Comments

Lying: the New Default Behavior — 2 Comments

  1. While I agree with most everything you say in this article, Kermit – especially the point that the media and the government have sold most everybody a bill of goods and we happily lap up their crap like any other reptilian carrion eater – I do disagree with the notion that Bush may be behind the increase in this behavior. I think that dishonor goes to Bill Clinton and his actions/statements concerning his conduct with Monica Lewinsky. He flat out lied to America (“I did not have sexual relations with that woman”) and when caught tried to get all semantic to wiggle out of it (“It depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is…).

    Bush may have indeed turned his back on most every conservative principle he espoused, but Trick Willy was the true artist of lies.

  2. Jerry –

    Bill lied about Monica, after having done a stupid, unethical thing. Just a few people had their pride and reputations hurt by it, including Bill.

    Little George has lied almost every time he has opened his mouth since 9/12/2001, when his voice came back. His lies have cost the live of thousands of Americans and untold Iraqis, just for openers. He is doing his best to repeal every right in the Constitution, and lying furiously about that.

    Your comparison, to me, is both incorrect and odious. Sorry, I just believe that’s the truth. We are going to have to agree to disagree on this one. Maybe we can go out some time, have a beer and talk about Nixon. ;o)

    Michael

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