The Truth is Out There

I posted on Truth, Fact, Lies and Fiction some weeks ago and I find it very interesting that one of the major progressive/liberal reactions to the Romney trouncing of President Obama is that it was all Lies.  And then the follow-up analysis that yes of course it was lies, see this factoid, that factoid, and this other factoid.

In the big picture though Romney didn’t lie, it is not in his temperament or interest to lie and he’s too smart and too well supported to lie by mistake (and the same can be said for President Obama.)  And all those handy Factoids aren’t lies either.   They are all truths that take one cut through a matrix of facts that are too complex to make into sound bites,  too complex to express in an hour, let alone a few moments and in the end too complex to really ‘know’ the end results of at all.

Anything a politician says can be said to be a lie unless it is so basically simple to parse that it cannot (practically) be a lie.  The statement “The dog licking  my hand is alive.” is pretty damned hard to make into a lie {unless the statement’s made on radio and no one is in the studio to vouch for the dog’s existence…but never-mind that!}  But the statement that ‘My Proposal to cut the tax rate for the top five percent of wage earners will not decrease government tax revenues at all, in fact it may raise them!” is impossible to prove as a fiction or as a fact.

The FACT is that many MODELS of taxation show that tax intake does rise if you decrease the tax rate.  This is because those high earners leave more of their money ‘in play’ in the economy attempting to make more money and thus putting it, and any extra they take in, within reach of the taxman.  Those models are pretty simple and anyone who can and will sit down and think about it will realize almost has to be true in the real world.  That is unless you assume that most money is made in a black market beyond the reach of the taxing authorities, and while that may be true in Russia it is patently not true in America.

Throwing the Liar word around is in my opinion simply lazy character assassination and it has backfired on both the right and the left.  The right has again and again attacked the president as a liar  when any reasonable person would see the situation as one of views and values, this ticks the hardliners off and they start frothing and soon turn a lot of people who originally listened to them off (I have been one of these people though I usually calm down and come back.)  The left has said the same thing about Romney and Ryan, often not overtly (but often very overtly) ever since Romney started moving ahead of the pack because many on the left who had met the man when he was Governor of Massachusetts, Savior of the Olympic games or Head of Bain Capital knew him to be a relentless, effective and innovative person of deep convictions but reasonable temperament.  As has been said elsewhere when Romney was a cartoon cutout the character assassination was effective, when they saw the person in action it was a stunning revelation.  The fact that the left and their enablers in much of the media had made him such a cartoon made the revelation all the more shocking, and all the more damaging to the left and the enablers.

Don’t call a politician a liar because you disagree with him.  He may be mistaken in his beliefs but no politician at the national level can be fool enough to just lie because he thinks everyone else is a bigger fool.

So do politicians never lie? Of course they do.  But Statesmen never lie, right? Of course they do.  Statesmen have to lie more that politicians do, and while it’s usually a bad idea for a politician to lie (shading the truth or dodging being their better and most oft chosen course) it is oddly a bad idea for a Statesman to be truthful all the time (though again shading and dodging are often better choices.)

Statesmen, being very important people who know more than they probably care to, cannot tell all to the people because they know damned well that the truth is ugly, the facts poorly understood and the most basic facts are that life goes on and that good people do bad things and bad people do good things.  None of which changes the truth (in the statesman’s eyes) that they are good people and bad people.

So in some ways I feel that President Obama has to be given a bye on some things that he is called a liar on.  Telling the truth is not always a good option and he could well hurt many more people by telling the ugly truth than he is by dodging, equivocating or occasionally outright lying.  But there are limits to the byes and a limit to the things that can pass as Statesmen’s issues.  And the President seems to be skating to the edge or beyond.  But then, what do I know?  Not enough to judge as yet.

You say that sucks!  And I agree.  But think about what a little incitement based on a stupid and utterly dreadful piece of video-logy did in the Muslim world.  That was truth and fact used in the pursuit of sociopolitical ends by enemies of change and development.  That social reaction was pretty much universal once, the torches and pitchforks came out very quickly.  That is the world where Statesmen of good standing learnt they had to lie in pursuit of a more fair and liberal world.

And that sucks. But that’s the world we live in.

 

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2 thoughts on “The Truth is Out There

    • circlesquareedblog make a reasonable point, and fair enough, I’d absolutely agree that there is often a subtext and vast fields ignored by businessmen and politicians. But that’s not lying and in business getting a reputation for lying will destroy you if it’s to peers, superiors or customers. And while financiers are seen as low lives the in fact live in a world rich in near peers, peers, superior(near peers,) customers and future customers.
      Cheers and thanks…

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