Saturday, November 5, 2011

Lie Hard, or: It's A Shame

The title of Mission Man's last post included the words "should be ashamed, but isn't."

This brings up an interesting question: "Whatever happened to the concept of shame?"

It is obvious, looking at the ongoing spectacle of American democracy, that the idea of "shame", of "being ashamed" about anything, has fallen out of favor.

Take the Republican Tea Party for example. Its candidates and their paid lackeys lie and dissemble about everything. The economy, Obamacare, jobs, obstructionism, Libya, Iraq, Social Security, Medicare, abortion, taxes, racism, gender issues--pick any subject and the lies fall down around us like a steady Spring rain. They hit the ground and little patches of fresh new lies quickly sprout.

When their lies are pointed out, they either continue to just lie harder or simply change the subject. And they have no shame about it. None at all. It seems that shame has gone out of fashion.

For instance, in a country where shame still played a role in life, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Condi Rice and Donald Rumsfeld would be ashamed to show their faces in public. Instead they all have lucrative book deals and speaking tours. They are not war criminals, they are celebrities and they have fans!

When I was a boy, many, many, long years ago, I was taught to tell the truth. I assume most, if not all, of you were told the same thing. Of course, as I aged, I quickly realized that sometimes it is necessary to tell a little lie if only to ease yourself through some tense social situations. "Yes, you were great in that play" and "No, I love the green bean casserole" come to mind.

Apparently, our Tea Party friends decided to expand these few necessary exceptions to every single aspect of life. When exposed, they have one time tested, automatic retort, (all together now) "the liberals/Democrats do it too!!!"

When it is pointed out that this is not always true and anyway, even if it were, it doesn't lessen their perfidy, they, you guessed it, lie again.

Maybe they're doing us a favor. Perhaps after years of having passive consumerism shoved down our throats as a substitute for active, participatory citizenship, "we the people" couldn't handle the truth. But at this rate we'll never know.

Shame, shame, shame.

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