Watching the lies coming out of Washington — “tax reform,” “Russian collusion,” “sexual harassment,” to name but a few — reminds me of one of my favorite movies, Charade.
There’s a profound line in that classic that explains perfectly why lying is a way of life for politicians. When Regina Lampert (Audrey Hepburn) asks Peter Joshua (Cary Grant) why people lie, he answers, “Usually it’s because they want something. They are afraid the truth won’t get it for them.” Politicians are purveyors of charades because they know that telling the truth won’t get them the votes, power, perks, and adulation they so desperately want.
Charade is just a fancy word for a clever kind of lie that is defined in the dictionary as “a blatant pretense or deception.” It’s not surprising, then, that members of the Radical Left are masters of the charade.
Their constant feigning of indignation is a charade. Their perpetual, sanctimonious posture is a charade. Their cries of racism, misogyny, and Islamophobia are lies. Virtually everything they say and do is make-believe, yet millions of people buy into their deceptions.
I believe the reason so many people are taken in by the Radical Left’s tired old charades is because conventional wisdom, myths, and fairytales tend to gain strength with the passage of time. After all, if something has been around for a long time period of time, it must be true, right?
History tells us that when an outrageous lie is repeated often enough, it acquires “legs” and becomes self-perpetuating. And if it attracts enough believers, it spreads exponentially. This is precisely how dogma evolves into “fact.”
As Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda minister, boasted, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” In other words, through repetition a lie can be transformed into truth.
How is it possible for political charades to continue to fool millions of people even as so many lies have been publicly exposed? I believe it’s because people love to be deluded. After all, it feels so warm and fuzzy compared to the harshness of reality. Just as people get the governments they deserve, they also get the charades they deserve — and want.
Worst of all, when evil or ignorance prevail, there is a tendency to believe that perhaps some people are immune to the consequences of their self-destructive tendencies, which only encourages bad behavior. Delusional citizens of the Roman Empire apparently believed this, but they found out otherwise. Ditto with the delusions about communism in the old Soviet Union and other now ex-communist countries that fell under the weight of their own charades.
Sadly, citizens of Western countries are not much better. We continue to accept the charade that freedom and equality can coexist … the charade that debt doesn’t matter … the charade that everything in life is relative and that there is no such thing as right and wrong … the charade that the most heinous criminals — even those from other countries who are here illegally — have the same rights as law-abiding citizens.
There are those who might insist that such beliefs are noble, but even if they were, they are anathema for the longevity of a civilization. Like it or not — and many people don’t — the hard reality is that a civilization cannot exist without a generally accepted code of conduct.
Even so, the resiliency of the human race is awesome. We have survived the Dark Ages, dictators, slavery, and worse. But I do not agree that there are no consequences to our actions. If knowledge is power, ignorance is a recipe for disaster.
In closing, I am reminded of the tiniest of all mammals, the shrew, which weighs less than a dime. The shrew is a voracious eater and will not hesitate to devour other shrews. In fact, when he’s hungry enough and there is no other prey around, he is capable of eating himself to death — literally — beginning with his own tail.
Likewise, I believe that if a person tries hard enough, like the shrew he can devour himself. Man, of course, does not engage in self-cannibalism. Instead, he relies on charades to do the job for him. Kind of like a person who commits suicide by forcing the police to kill him. Make no mistake about it, ignorance can be fatal.
That said, in a world embroiled in turmoil like never before, it’s wise to be vigilant about monitoring your perception of reality as a protection against buying into the charades that surround you. If you are too wrong too often — if you canot resist buying into the lies promulgated by the government and the media — sooner or later, it will catch up to you.