Lies are so commonplace now that people just discount them or factor them into whatever context they read into various methods of communication. Many believe them.
It is a shame that I and many other writers for The AIMN find it necessary to write on the subject but we do and will probably do so until some semblance of normality returns to the body politic.
Such was my upbringing that using the ‘F’ word in front of elders was taboo. Using it in front of women was outlawed.
Using the ‘C’ word was totality forbidden. Even by men, but both are as common now as red, green and amber lights at intersections.
Like lying and good manners, it doesn’t seem to matter anymore.
The Rod Laver Tennis Centre now dominates an area of land where the Melbourne Olympic pool once stood. To its east massive Elm trees occupied the adjacent land.
It was under these huge trees that fierce political debates once took place.
Rather like Hyde Park in London. It was there that as a teenage boy I spent many a Sunday afternoon. Politics has been for most of my life something that had within its existence the means of making things so obviously wrong or unequal, better.
Other than what one might do in bed I can think of little that politics doesn’t invade in society in one way or another.
The circumstances of my growing up defined my future. I was exposed to injustice, inequality, unfairness and prejudice at an early age. Lying always seemed to underscore it all.
We may have been poor but we were taught values like truth, manners and honesty.
In my growing I became wise enough to understand that in a democracy the party I didn’t support had as much right to power as the one I do.
I am of the Left because social inequality is anathema to me.
There was, however, a time when I had a guarded tolerance for things Liberal and got on with life. But somewhere along the way things went horribly wrong.
Like rust finding its way, hate and untruth insinuated its way into the Australian politics.
It is now a cesspool of lying and ideological corruption where politicians use it as a legitimate political weapon. They just, in Trumpish fashion, brush aside their lies, and tell another one or repeat the same one.
At a time when the world is screaming out for collective answers to complex problems our government isn’t listening because it’s so busy telling lies.
Probably because I don’t understand the “why” of it is the reason I have developed a particular loathing for all this lying – this self-righteous attempt to corrupt the business of government.
Time and time again history would record the failure of lies yet the temptation is ever present. It seems to have worked for Donald, so why not give it a go.
Children learn from the age of four how lying works and one might argue that men who lie in copiousness have never grown up.
Having said that, I’m not naive enough to think that it is curable; lying has and probably will always exist.
However, Trump has taken political language into a new dimension. One where the craft of nefarious persuasion and communication has reached into a bucket of his sewerage and take from it the stench of his own bullshit.
Lying in American politics is now a legitimate and acceptable part of the cut and thrust of it. Because lying is a choice it would be unfair to suggest we have inherited it from America, but it is a fair assumption.
Lying in Australian politics has also reached unprecedented levels. The Prime minister and his Cabinet have taken lying to such depths that it is not disingenuous to suggest that this government under Morrison no longer has a moral compass nor any understanding of truth.
If this means I am saying that our Prime Minister is a pathological liar then so be it. I’m not it the habit of calling anyone a liar without proof (I do so with a heavy heart) but we are dealing with truth here.
It’s not so much that he is a serial offender, he is.
That he professes a practising belief in the Christian faith at the same time is both insulting and hypocritical.
He makes truth the victim. You can shape truth by telling lies in a way that embellishes crap and you can use the contrivance of omission to create yet another lie but when they are exposed they have little value.
However, the ability to admit you are wrong when found out is an absolute prerequisite to discernment and knowledge.
Admitting a lie requires a truthfulness foreign to conservatives. If a political party is not transparent in supplying all the information the public has a democratic right to be aware of, it destroys the very democracy that enables it to exist.
And if humility is the basis by which intellectual advancement is made then it is only on the basis of truth that we make any human progress.
Telling the truth should not be delayed simply because we are not sure how people might react to it. It is far better to be comforted by truth than to be controlled by lies.
Is it plausible? Does what I am being told have the ring of truth about it? We make judgements based on our life’s experience.
Unless your personal bias clouds the ’Pub test’ … your inner conscience dictates your judgement. But in itself your emotion can never be a substitute for facts.
My thought for the day
Faith is the residue of what is not understood but can never be a replacement for fact.
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