I wrote the following in a comment in an online discussion elsewhere, but decided to post it here. I’ve used the B.H. Liddell Hart quote before, but it bears repeating. I’ve been very concerned about the acceptance of lying as no big deal, by too many Americans, our politicians and especially by the news media, for decades. When I first heard the Clinton “war room” normalizing “spin” and the liberal media using that term as if it was some sort of clever media strategy and not an affront to American civic values, the rule of law and even to their journalistic ethics, I was dismayed. Journalists should be seekers of the facts. They should be digging for the who, what, when, where, why and how on the matters they report. Here’s my comment:
“Civilization is built on the practice of keeping promises. It may not sound a high attainment, but if trust in its observance be shaken the whole structure cracks and sinks. Any constructive effort and all human relations – personal, political, and commercial – depend on being able to depend on promises.”
– B.H. Liddell Hart, “Why We Don’t Learn From History”
Sorry, I went really long again, so if you don’t want to wade through this – the main gist is lying is not just a personal character flaw – it’s a battering ram smashing against the pillars of our republic.
That phrase “post-reality” speaks to a very dangerous, horrific state of being and when it’s being imposed with the power of the state, you’re looking at a totalitarian nightmare. The hijacking of words that matter and completely turning them on their heads has been the goal of communists since the early part of the last century and for American Alinskyite/Marxists in America to continue that long march leaves us headed down a very dark road.
Living in a “post-reality” America is where we’ve allowed the very underpinnings of our republic to be corrupted. When words lose their meaning, so does the rule of law and so does our societal cohesiveness, because the common ground necessary to keep our republic girded against collapse or anarchy, rests on a shared understanding of our shared civic values.
The technology of the past century fueled mass media and our ability to communicate with others, to levels never imagined, but it has also fostered an ability for those with power and money to engage in mass deception and massively corrupt the American character (and not just Hollywood). It moved from the media blithely talking about Clinton “spin” (deliberate lying by politicians) to the Obama “narratives”, where the President of the United States has the executive branch busily rewriting facts to create a fictional version of events.
It’s so pervasive in the Obama administration, that they are purging official records, editing out portions of video from news briefings and obstructing justice whenever asked to produce records to Congress or the courts. That is the executive branch deliberately usurping the other two branches of the federal government’s power to check executive power and it should alarm everyone.
For journalists to utter the words “the administration’s narrative” is an affront to journalistic integrity, where the goal is supposed to be to report: who, what, when, where, why, and how.
The media helped the Obama administration and liberal loons spread that “narrative”, to alter the public perception of the Orlando terrorist attack, into being the result of “Christian bigotry and hate” in just two weeks. Ferguson gave us “hands up, don’t shoot” – a total lie and even more disturbing in Ferguson is the fact that there were dozens of witnesses to this incident of a white cop in an altercation with a young black man and not a single cell phone video has ever made it out into the public. That is a community willing to LIE and HIDE evidence of the truth from law enforcement, because many of these people were interviewed by police and the district attorney’s office. C’mon dozens of witnesses in a black community watching this white cop and young black man and no one pulled out a cell phone and videotaped it???
The FBI Director went on national TV and gave a list of very serious offenses and he then dismissed it as “extremely careless” handling of sensitive information, which is “grossly negligent” and even now Hillary, not only continues to lie about her email server, she’s even begun to lie about what Comey said. She has an army of political operatives and friends in the media spreading and bolstering her lies. She knows if she repeats the lies often enough, they will become the reality. It’s wholesale public corruption.
Trump doesn’t have the vast political operation of the Clinton machine yet, but he’s borrowed their talking points/scorched earth strategy to win, win, win. He blithely throws out smears, no matter their veracity, and his followers cheer that he is willing to sink as low as the Clintons. If he acquires the power of the presidency, he will be just like the Clintons. He hasn’t shown any remorse about using the Carville approach of throwing as much dirt as you can and hoping some of it sticks.
Hillary and Trump’s lying aren’t just bad personal character traits. Their lying creates large numbers of partisans engaged in, not only believing their lies, but hordes of their political followers, operatives, friends in the media and political allies jump into action to bolster, prop-up, repeat, defend their lies. It rapidly corrupts America and it feeds the rabid factionalization that is destroying America.
B.H. Liddell Hart’s , “Why We Don’t Learn From History” is available free in PDF format: