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Doug Smith: Truth, Lies, and for goodness sake Harry, call it manure.

2 Jan

doug-for-fsp

Doug Smith: Author, historian, patriot and lead contributor to Free State Patriot

1.2.17

lying-politician

 

“Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction, and division of society.”

John Adams

“I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [hard-core pornography]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.”

Justice Potter Stewart

“For goodness sake, Harry, can’t you call it manure?”

Bess Truman

 

Ok, admittedly, that last one is an assumption, borrowed from a quip by Ronald Reagan, to wit, that Bess had for years tried to get Harry to call a certain substance found in abundance around cattle and politicians “manure”. But to that point, this may be the year when truth suddenly mattered a lot more than it had for years.

Follow me down the path a bit, kind reader, and I’ll try not to get us lost. Some clever wag has noted ““If you want to make a Conservative mad, lie to him. If you want to make a Liberal mad, tell him the truth”. (Sometimes attributed to Teddy Roosevelt, but whoever said it, it makes me smile.)

Hillary Clinton gave a series of ever changing answers, redefinitions, and diversions to questions regarding her business and political dealings for the entirety of her 40 years in the public eye.

Bill Clinton famously told us:

“I want you to listen to me. I did not have sexual relations with that woman. Miss Lewinsky.

And, 8 months later;

“Indeed, I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong. It constituted a critical lapse in judgment and a personal failure on my part for which I am solely and completely responsible. I know that my public comments and my silence about this matter gave a false impression.”

Too bad he didn’t see fit to say it all on the same day.

So, to look at the truth from the underside (the preferred angle for the Clintons, and the progressives they have led for a generation) what, we might ask, is a lie?

Well, sir, Justice Potter to the rescue. In speaking of pornography, which was the issue before SCOTUS at the time of his famous quip, he noted that he might not be able to define it, but he could certainly recognize it when he saw it!

What exactly is a lie, coming from a politician? Well, we said in our millions, I might not be able to define it for you, but I can sure tell when somebody slaps me in the face with it like a dead fish. Parenthetically, the 2 smell largely the same.

Lest you assume that I am only able to see lies when perpetrated by Liberal Democrats like the Clintons, which is, as we used to say in the Navy, a “target rich environment”, I note that the leader for some years of my own exasperating, infuriating Grand Old Party, Mitch McConnell, had a pre-November and a post November side of his mouth in regards to repealing or defunding Obamacare. (We wait with baited breath, now that he has it all, both Houses of Congress, POTUS, and over 2/3 of statehouses firmly in GOP control, if he will finally, to quote, well, him, “repeal it, root and branch.”)

Now here is a curious phenomenon. I am (Ok, Bess, you could never tame Harry, but I’ll filter the Navy out of the boy) angry with Mitch for lying to me. The Democrats who stood in lock step supporting Bill on the steps of the Capitol were not angry with him in Aug when he admitted he had lied, and got them to swear to it. They were angry with Ken Starr. They were angry with the GOP for making a big deal about it. They were angry on an individual basis with conservatives who dared to say, See, I told you so. Bill Clinton is a liar. (Or moving forward, after Hillary contradicted her own story for the 4th or 5th time, HRC is a liar.) It did not matter that they lied, only that they gave at least lip service to the right ideas.

When Barack Obama promised most faithfully those “shovel ready jobs”, and then chuckled later, that oops, they were not as shovel ready as we thought, (in point of fact, they were nonexistent), when his lies on Obamacare unraveled, when he campaigned in favor of medical marijuana, then worked against it as POTUS, (now THAT one ought to have the lefts undies bunched up!), no Liberal Democrats were outraged and angry at him. Instead, they joined in merry chorus of RACIST! Against anyone who opposed him or pointed out his lies.

Now, in 2016, for better or worse, the truth became important. What Obama had done, instead of what he promised or took credit for, mattered. The constant lies of Hillary Clinton became too much to swallow for too many people. And it was part, if not all, of a political tidal wave.

And in all of it, conservatives and Republicans were outraged at the leaders of our party for lying to us, and gave rise to the year of the insurgency candidates Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. Trump may be far from perfect, but so many times he called the same things Bull… sorry, Bess, I m trying, manure, that we did. And it struck a chord.

Meanwhile, Democrats angrily, hysterically, denounced any who failed to kow tow to party orthodoxy, and many, too many, or enough, depending on your point of view, said, Nope, not this time.

The party outraged by the truth slid behind the ones outraged by the lies to its lowest ebb since Woodrow Wilson. The Progressive movement has been set back a generation, and the work of undoing their damage is about to begin.

Sophistry has about run its course. Truth is gaining ground.

Taking on the most extreme, out of touch, fringe elements of society, desperately waiting to be insulted or aggrieved, does not make you a major political influence, it makes you a fragmented party of wackos, who eventually, and finally, make it clear that my job, my housing value, my paycheck, my retirement, my life and safety and that of my children and grandchildren, is less important to you than wedding cakes and Kardashians.

Common sense folks, trying to live their lives, have been aware of these truths, if hesitant to say them for fear of the (Democrat) mob.

So, here’s another bit of truth: that is all about to change.

The last time the Democrat party was this weak, Babe Ruth hit 138 home runs, The Republic of Ireland was formed, a famine began in Russia, FDR developed polio, and John Glenn was born.

If you are a Democrat, perhaps you need to find a safe place and make some playdough Unicorns.

Because the Lions are back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DOUG SMITH: THE WAR ON LANGUAGE

12 Mar

doug smith

DOUG SMITH: Author, Historian and a regular contributor to FSP

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Political language — is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language” The oldest political speech I can recall was from Cain: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Short, but all the elements. The Lie: I have no idea if his body is where I left it when I killed him. The respectability of the murder: I’m not responsible for him. He’s the one who put his head in the way of my fist. Unfortunately, his audience (God) was not easily swayed. But Cain showed the way. Politicians, in particular progressive ones, have been busily perfecting the art the political speech ever since.

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Language is important. That is how we communicate our ideas. If I tell my kid “You cannot have a cookie.”, and he counters with “I didn’t. I only took a baked confection.”, then we have a problem. Words have meaning, and those who twist and shade those meanings are not trying to tell the truth. In the Dark Ages in Britain, from the fall of Rome to the beginnings of the Renaissance, the art of writing was all but lost. Few outside Irish monasteries could either read, or write, and thus, be aware of their history and culture. Communication devolved to the bare minimums needed for survival and civilization to a mean and barbaric existence. (Thank God for the Irish, who preserved the core of written knowledge in monasteries to form the yeast from which the Renaissance rose.) Words have meanings. The written word lets us record those meanings for others besides those sitting near enough to hear us speak. Words, meanings, are the lubricant without which our social interactions cannot rise above barbarism. But, as with Cain, so with many today, there is an assault on language. When words have no meaning, or when they can mean anything, then scoundrels can hide their meanings and intentions from people. Take the word, Democrat, for example. A country that says it is Democratic is meant to be perceived as having a free and benevolent government. However, few people, even those on the progressive left, would describe Die Deutsche Demokratische Republik as anything but oppressive. Fidel Castro was elected over and over by voters with guns to their head, but elected he was. Yet “his” democracy remains one of the most brutal, repressive regimes in the world. He and his cohorts came to power with ruthless murders, and maintained it with a police state, political prisoners, and the theft of wealth of citizens. Just tossing the word democratic at a Gulag does not make it Coney Island.

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But if people can hijack language, destroy meaning, than they can avoid calling evil or stupidity what it is. They can avoid making rational arguments for nonsensical goals. In short, they can be progressives. Hence, an Army deserter is said to have served with honor and distinction. Taxing and spending become investing and paying your fair share. One who is Rich has steady work and a paycheck that can be robbed. Anyone who opposes higher taxes and out of control spending is a right wing extremist. Conversely, Muslim terrorists who murder children with an electric drill are NOT Muslim terrorists, but just extremists. (I guess they REALLY hate taxes.) A backward, corrupt, poor country with tribal warfare and warlords who confiscate any foreign aid becomes a developing country. (One might ask, in fairness, into what they are developing.) A self-serving shakedown artist becomes a civil rights leader. (Again, one might ask, whose rights, other than his own rights to a fat bank account, has Al Sharpton led?) Patriotism becomes a joke, a synonym for a bumpkin, or in the opposite extreme it becomes a blind following of a party or person, rather than a nation. Affordable housing and Affordable Health care provide neither, but put control of both in government hands, where both are ravaged.

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Words become so imprecise that they mean nothing, or everything, or whatever a dishonest speaker or writer wishes them to mean. Thus, they can never be held to account for what they say, or promise, or swear. Reporters cannot even manage to write a simple paragraph or sentence, and readers become accepting of sloppy writing, and reporting, and outright lies. Imprecise and meaningless language makes people vulnerable to nonsense phrases that say nothing but sound good. Hence, “I feel your pain” makes us feel you are one of us. “Hope and Change”, uttered with Greek Columns and fireworks, sounds profound. In reality,both phrases are semantically null: they mean absolutely nothing. So the hearer can project into them whatever he or she wishes to believe, and the slick politician can never be held to account for his promises, because he has promised precisely nothing. But it sounded like something! To quote Orwell again: “the slovenliness of our language makes it easier to have foolish thoughts.” Foolish thoughts lead to foolish actions, foolish decisions, and foolish leaders, leading foolish people off a foolish cliff. We need to take back our language. We can start with simple words. Halt. About face.

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