Abraham Lincoln once said, “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”
In his folksy way, Lincoln was observing that promoting false beliefs among the electorate would eventually catch up with a tinhorn politician because, in Lincoln’s day, it did. I don’t think it ever occurred to Lincoln or even tinhorn politicians who were his contemporaries that a public official would stoop to telling outright, bald-faced lies on any regular basis. In Lincoln’s day, “honor” still meant something, even to tinhorn politicians.
Unfortunately, the shameless, bald-faced lie has become the order of our day. It is important to understand the difference between “lying” and “fooling people.” A “lie” is a false statement made by one who knows the statement to be false. Such as, “If you like your health insurance plan, ObamaCare will let you keep it.” Or, “The assault on the Benghazi Embassy was not a terrorist attack.” Or, “The IRS did not target conservative groups for political purposes.”
These are what you call your shameless, bald-faced lies. Other statements, because they amount to some kind of “interpretation” such as “We have Al Qaeda on the run,” “We are beating ISIS” and “The world is safer for Americans now than it has ever been,” might be considered “fooling people” because, in some parallel universe, those making such statements might actually believe they are telling the truth. But they amount to the same thing.
Many of our elected officials and public servants pee on our shoes and tell us it’s raining, and they keep getting away with it. That’s because about one-third of us are stupid enough to believe it, while the rest of us can’t quite figure out what to do about it, except maybe change our shoes.
Just because some people in power now lie shamelessly to us about anything and everything on a daily basis doesn’t mean they have given up on merely “fooling” us. We are “fooled” when we notice our shoes are wet. But failing to notice how they got that way, we erroneously conclude it must be raining.
The culprit, who knows better, lopes off snickering. If we were simply to look at the sky, hold out our hands or examine our shoes a little more carefully, we would quickly determine we were wrong about the rain and focus our attention on that guy running away.
The government, which is currently made up mostly of tinhorn politicians, is “fooling some of the people all of the time.” Look at federal unemployment statistics. The government is trying to trick us into believing the economic policies of the last seven years have actually improved the nation’s economy “because unemployment is going down.”
The official number of unemployed is going down – that’s actually a true statement. But it’s only because of how the government calculates the number. Anyone with half a brain could easily discover that just by reading the fine print. Unemployment is “going down” solely because government bean counters only count as “unemployed” people actively seeking employment within the preceding four weeks.
It does NOT take into consideration the millions of people who have finally given up looking for a good job because there are none available.
It does NOT take into consideration the millions of “underemployed” people who are working 15 to 20 hours a week instead of the 40 hours a week they need.
It does NOT take into consideration the millions of people who are working in low-paying jobs out of desperation because the good jobs are not there.
More than one-third of able-bodied Americans are “unemployed” and living on government handouts from those of us working in full-time jobs. I call this “fooling people” on the grandest of scales – right up there with NASA “adjusting” historic temperature records to substantiate global warming.
But they are not fooling ALL of us even SOME of the time.