maybe emerson has solved the mystery of politics for me. i've been unable to understand the constant lies in this election year. for some reason it seems like a disaster, especially when i remember my own encounter with lying. how old i was i don't know. probably old enough to know better, since i realized lying became a delight, lying even when i didn't have to. there, the black hole, the whirlpool of edgar allen poe.
or maybe the rabbit hole of alice, the mind lost to dreams, which seem more and more real. here's a quote by an author who ghost-wrote a book for a present presidential candidate:
Schwartz says of ...., “He lied strategically. He had a complete lack of conscience about it.” Since most people are “constrained by the truth,” .....'s indifference to it “gave him a strange advantage.”
that last phrase caught my attention. how could lying be an advantage when everybody knows you're lying? what a conundrum! maybe it's part of being a performer, we take the lies as merely stories created to entertain us, and it's the entertainment value that triumphs. if the politician can convince the audience he's really a stand-up comic, perhaps he can fool the nation.
and when he's called on his untruths, he merely sets up a spin:
More than anyone else I have ever met, .... has the ability to convince himself that whatever he is saying at any given moment is true, or sort of true, or at least ought to be true.”
and so the secret seems to be, being ignorant enough to not know what the truth is. in other words, if i don't know the world is round, i can say, with a straight face, the world is flat. i can say the sun revolves around the earth and the moon is made of green cheese. people listening might say to themselves, "he 's just joking, he doesn't mean every latino is a rapist and should be deported. he's just making fun."
and there i have it, the secret to the successful politician. of course, should such a person be elected, the community suffers from his lack of knowledge, his thin skin, and very short attention span, one of the ways he remains ignorant. if i don't listen to anybody, how can i be wrong? i know this is counter-intuitive, yet it seems to be true.
not to be totally bleak, and to give a ray of hope, i consulted the library, and here's a useful tome. unfortunately, the victim of himself must somehow gain a shred of humility. in the political example i've given that seems extremely unlikely: