Readers of the Mesquite Weekly article titled “What is Truth”, requested that we allocate equal time to speak about “What is a Lie”. The fact that a lie, simply put, is not a truth does not resonate well with many who prefer a less offensive word or prefer a term to soften the disturbing reality of the truth. Today’s political rhetoric and political opinions are laced with words that express concepts of “alternative facts” and mask lies as truths which are unashamedly presented as “true lies”.
While most of us recognize that “true lies” is a contradiction in terms, the irony of true lies is that even more division and confusion results. Instead of an absolute rejection of all that is truly a lie, it provides a corrupted view of “true lies” which results in definitions as lies that are true.
A masterful demonstration of “True Lies” was presented by the Republican speaker of the house, Paul Ryan on February 9, 2018.
The “true lie” resides in the tea party madness that saw the likes of Rick Santelli and Grover Nyquist proclaim that the national debt, fiscal austerity and economic growth is a function of restricted tax revenue growth. Paul Ryan and the republicans were not to be left out of this patriotic “tea party” party, joined in the demands to curtail government activities and they signed on to this “true lie”. Listen to what Ryan had to say not so very long ago:
The largest of the “true lies” resides in the promise of an economic “trickle down” effect. Economic theory and history have pointed to an inflationary effect that is more akin to a flash flood destroying everything in its wake and not a positive “trickle of wealth” experience. In the end, the damage of the “true lies” will never be truly known and the nefarious intend will never be blamed on those that will greatly benefit from such misleading “true lies” rhetoric. Ryan and the Republican party are now ready to unleash economic hell on the American people for the benefit of a few outrageously wealthy campaign contributors. The results of election outcomes are dependent on the funding of election campaigns and the moral compass of the electorate has consistently pointed to and favored donors with deep pockets.
A less transparent effort is also underway to soften the obvious blow (financial and political) of having to back away from such infamous campaign promises to “built a great wall on the Mexican border and to make Mexico pay for it”. As expected by reasonable people not swayed by such nonsense, no payments from Mexico were forthcoming. A change in direction ensued and the narrative was changed to deflect from the “true lie” by redefining the word “wall” and by obtaining funding from an already strapped budget and burgeoning national debt. This narrative and whopper of a “true lie” has been a republican political campaign effort to enable racism and religious intolerance under the guise of all manner of evil that blames immigrants for all manner of criminal activities, including religious oppression and terrorism, welfare and Medicaid abuses as well as all the economic ills that had befallen the American working class. Historians have noted that the propaganda objectives to make “America Great Again” and “America First” echo the Nazi regime to make Germany number one and Germany First. Victims of crimes perpetrated by select immigrant minorities, are routinely presented at the highest level of government meetings and political rallies.
These “true lies” also countenance propositions that immigrant criminals are not prosecuted and jailed for their crimes and are not deported. The intent of this “true lie” is to deflect from the realities of actual crime rates and comparisons to other immigrants(white) and white American crime rates. This outrageous display of white supremacy, neo fascism and religious intolerance is not just a campaign slogan but a policy statement from the highest level of our government and is tolerated almost unanimously by the republican party.
If we are to learn the anything from the pages of history, we need to try to understand how these “true lies” proponents intend to repatriate select Americans unfortunate to have lived most of their lives in the US but have missed birthright citizenship by a few months. These Americans, number almost 1.2 million. An even larger segment of undocumented residents number are over 10 million people. Estimates as to the logistics in terms of economic costs in finding, transporting, and processing certain undocumented immigrants (be sure to note that not all undocumented immigrants are equal) and finding a country that will accept people of undetermined national status are astronomical and may bankrupt us all. We also risk that our reputation as human rights activists will no longer be credible and history will paint a less than honorable portrait of the American people.
This brings us to the largest of the “true lies” and the stupidity of wall building. The great wall of China, Hadrian’s wall and the Berlin wall, as far as walls go are also known as great failures and economic disasters. These walls were more political than effective in their stated purpose. The border wall with Mexico, if we closely examine its purpose will fail. Expenditures to assure that a wall of 1000 plus miles is not compromised would require personnel and equipment that would place a strain on our resources to the point of economic collapse. We have not even begun to consider that access to the US through a northern border (no Mexicans would use this border, but is available to all other seeking access), egress by air and sea is often the more commonly used immigration path.
Ronald Reagan spoke in 1987 at the Berlin wall and expressed a humanitarian and a republican party policy statement with a political tone that shamed those that build walls. Here is President Reagan at one of his finest moments:
Two years later the wall was removed by an uprising opposing the economic and social oppression of governments that seek to divide people.
The freedoms of a world at peace and working together for the common good are again under attack and have found traction among oligarchs and real s…holes. The greatest danger that we face when we treat “true lies” and/or alternative facts as acceptable opposition opinions, will be a communications disaster equivalent to the biblical story of Babel. It is time that we reclaim our ability to reason and sort out the nonsense with critical thinking and asking those that propose ridiculous solutions to problems that are not real, to respond to fundamental questions that enable serious discussion and solutions that reflect the decency and generosity of “truly” honorable people.
This last two years can be best described as (at least up to this point) peak “true lies” and I am certain that all of us can discuss and describe such outrageous behavior in many more instances than is presented in this writing. I invite all that care to participate in opposing outrages fortunes and hope to end them by exposing the evil art of lying, by writing and posting comments that unmask such deception.