Friday, August 31, 2012

Charles Pierce on How Many Lies, Evasions, Elisions, and Chunks of Gobbledegook Political Media Can Swallow

Charles Pierce wonders how many more colossal lies a political party can channel into the American political system before the system goes belly up from the toxins:

But the Republican Party did something remarkable at its convention on Tuesday. It set out on an experiment to see exactly how much unmitigated hogwash the American political system can contain on a single evening. The Republican Party has set out at its 2012 convention in search of the Event Horizon of utter bullshit. It has sought to see precisely how many lies, evasions, elisions, and undigestible chunks of utter gobbledegook the political media can swallow before it finally gags twice and falls over dead, leaving the rest of America suckers all the same.

I think Pierce is absolutely correct to ask these questions.  But the sewer via which the colossal lies are channeled into the political system runs everywhere through American cultural life.  Normalize bold lying in the bold, barefaced way that Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, and every other actor on the stage of the GOP convention did this week, and you spread toxins through an entire body politic.

Through the whole population.  Normalize lying in the sectors of power at the top of a society, and you normalize it throughout the entire culture.

The next step, the insidious one that almost always portends death for the institutions of a democratic society, is the empowerment of the bold liars who, once in office, begin to issue decrees that declare night to be day, so that those who have been asleep throughout the ascendancy of the maleficent to power lose their sense of bearing about when the day dawns and when night falls.

And then the lies, which are always crafted to serve the rich and powerful and subjugate everyone else, become all that anyone knows or thinks or cares about.  And, short of revolution, democracy is thereby lost.

P.S. Thanks to Abby Zimet at Common Dreams for the link to Pierce's article.

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