Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Politicians and Lies

There is a story (probably a myth), of a Professor that tells his students that he will lie to them every single class.   Furthermore, if they believe the lie, he will grade them wrong.   The lies start out obvious, but by the end of the semester become hard to detect.   One of his best students double checks all of his statements and always finds the lie.  But on the last day he checked and checked and could not find the lie. So the student goes to him after class and asks him what the lie was.  The professor states 'Remember on the first day when I said "I will lie to you every day"  -  I lied.'

Supposedly the professor did this to get his students to: - 1).  Question Authority and 2). Pay attention and study their books, not just memorize what he said.   If I were a teacher, I would definitely try this out.

But you too can play along, with your politicians instead of teachers.   Everyone knows politicians lies.  Even the best ones do it.   If you stand there and say yours does not, you look a fool.  For one thing, they have to speak so often, that accidental lies must creep in.   To err is human.
Don't examine the statements of those you dislike.  That is like shooting fish in a barrel.  The trick is to find the lies that your favorite politician speaks.  For example, I like Obama, yet I think he lied when he says his actions in Libya do not violate the War Powers Act.

Unless you stalk your politician, chances are you won't hear them speak every day.  So make it once a month or so during election seasons and once a year otherwise.  Or you could pick multiple politicians you like and do it more often.

Politifact makes your job easy.  Just go through the statements they think are false/pants on fire, and find one you think they got right.  You don't have to use Politifact, if you don't trust them, but it might be harder.

But if you can not find out when your politicians lied, then one of two things has occurred:

  1. You have found the Messiah.  His very holy nature makes him immune to the normal human mistakes.  You can easily tell this because of course, all others will recognize his greatness.  Such a man, if he went to college, would go to Harvard or Yale.  Corporations he ran never lost money.   You should quit your job and spend your life worshipping him - or at least working directly for him.  Place bets that he will win the next election. If you are not willing to do this, then you have lied to yourself or...
  2. You are not competent to judge his veracity.  That probably means you are blinded by loyalty and wishes.  Keep this in mind and try to be more lenient when judging the truth of others.  Your own deep opinions are getting in the way of your ability to think.

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