The Art of the Lie

Posted on November 27, 2018 by Robert Ringer Comments (46)

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The lost decade of the sixties brought relativism up to a whole new level, as millions of young people were relieved to discover that lying is a perfectly acceptable alternative to truth telling.  The tone was set by Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, along with underlings like Robert McNamara, Henry Cabot Lodge, and Dean Rusk, all of whom repeatedly lied about the costly, spreading war in Southeast Asia.

Of course, no one went to jail … or was even indicted … or impeached.  After all, what’s the big deal about lying, even if it destroys untold numbers of lives and families — both in the United States and on the other side of the globe?

Then, along came Richard Nixon in 1968, who dutifully carried on the subterfuges surrounding the Vietnam War.  At one point, he even told the American public, without blinking an eye, that he was going to bomb Cambodia “to shorten the war.”  (That must have been when he earned the moniker “Tricky Dick.”)

Unfortunately for Nixon, he stayed around a bit too long, and when he naively put his trust in a sniveling little nerd named John Dean, it was the beginning of the end for him.  Republicans, of course, once again proved that they’re always ready to eat their own by giving full support to their Democratic soulmates, thus forcing Tricky to resign.  No doubt Jeff Flake has fantasies about how exhilarating it would have been had he been involved in going after Nixon.

Today, of course, high-level politicians don’t resign when they’re caught lying, because they realize they can get away with it.  They are well aware that their counterparts in both parties, with just a handful of exceptions, aren’t about to do anything to weaken the power structure that has made it possible for them to commit crimes without having to worry about punishment.

It wasn’t surprising, then, that two decades later Bubba got away with wagging his finger at the American public and chastising those who didn’t believe him by saying that he “did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.”  Understandably feeling an abundance of confidence, he then outdid himself when he answered a perfectly clear question on national television with a Saturday Night Live-type one liner, “It depends upon what the meaning of the word is is.”

He then poked his finger in the public’s eye by adamantly stating that he intended to serve in his capacity as president until the last minute of the last day of his last term.  And, by golly, he did just that.  (Poor Nixon, he didn’t realize that a president could pull that off or he might have tried it himself.)

So, it’s not surprising that Bubba’s charming little wife has no fear of lying about violating 1,823 federal laws (at last count, that is).  Who says you have to answer to the authorities for deleting 33,000 subpoenaed emails?  Who says you have to obey the law that forbids you from conducting government business on a private server in the basement of one of your mansions?  Who says you have to answer the telephone in the middle of the night when the ambassador to Libya is begging for his life?

Above all, who says you can’t dole out favors to America’s enemies in exchange for huge payoffs and lucrative speaking fees?  Or pay millions to the Russians to sabotage your opponent’s presidential campaign?

With all this as a backdrop, it’s little wonder that poll after poll has shown that roughly two-thirds of U.S. students cheat and don’t see anything wrong with it.  And with thug athletes and Hollywood celebrities as their role models, don’t look for that to change anytime soon.

Which brings me to politicians, who are, hands down, the most prolific liars on the planet.  They foist their lies upon us on a daily basis, and now that the Dirty Dems have recaptured the House, the lies we’ve heard over the past two years are sure to be multiplied many times over.

A handful of examples include:

  • Most of the news the media feeds us is a lie.
  • The apocalyptic dangers posed by manmade climate change is a lie.
  • Transgenderism is a lie.
  • Establishment Republicans professing to be conservatives is a lie.
  • Antifa fighting against fascists is a lie.
  • Institutionalized racism in the United States is a lie.
  • Democratic compassion is a lie.
  • The Mueller investigation is a lie.
  • The notion that elected representatives work for the people who vote them into office is a lie.
  • The claim that there is no voter fraud in America is a lie.
  • The whole concept of hate speech is a lie.
  • Everything about illegal immigration is a lie.
  • Planned Parenthood as a provider of women’s health services is a lie.

And, of course …

  • Everything about Barack Obama is a lie, and …
  • Everything about Michelle Obama is a lie.

And on … and on … and on.  The Lie List is endless.

But it’s not just politicians who lie.  Professional liars are everywhere — in the business world, in religious institutions, in sports, in the film industry … literally everywhere.  The sad fact is that lying has become a national pastime.  We are now the Land of the Lie and the Home of the Liar.

One of the biggest secrets of professional liars is their uncanny ability to tell the biggest whoppers imaginable without displaying so much as a smirk.  Further, they tend to be masters at feigning indignation whenever they’re caught in a lie.

The reason professional liars can be so convincing is that in many cases — perhaps a majority of cases — they have devolved to a point where they actually believe their own lies.  From whence comes their self-delusion of moral superiority.

So, how do honest people survive in the Land of the Lie and the Home of the Liar?  By fighting lies with more lies?  I don’t think so.  It’s not so much that two wrongs don’t make a right.  It’s just that if you aren’t a natural-born liar, you won’t get away with it.  You will be caught, while professional liars get off scot free.

That being the case, I believe one of the great challenges to achieving a happy life is finding an efficient way to deal with the endless stream of lies that surround us each day.  Whether the lies be from politicians or people with whom you come in direct contact, my personal solution is to simply ignore everything that comes out of the mouths of liars.  I’m not saying it’s easy, but with a bit of self-discipline, I know from firsthand experience that it works.

On the other side of the coin, you should always keep in mind that it’s just as important for you to have the courage to speak the truth when all about you are lying their heads off (aka “group lying” or just plain groupthink).  This isn’t just a moral choice.  It’s also a rationally selfish choice, because what it gives you is a clear mind coupled with dignity, two commodities that professional liars can never hope to acquire.

Robert Ringer

+Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

46 responses to “The Art of the Lie”

  1. TheLookOut says:

    Thanks Robert for telling it like it is- Truer words were never written.

  2. Jerry Spillane says:

    Being a regular reader of Mr. Ringer's articles, I guess it shouldn't surprise me that, in an article entitled The Art of the Lie, he neglects to mention lier extraordinaire: Donal J. Trump.

  3. Dean Kloter says:

    Well said, Robert! Thank you!

  4. sixxfingers says:

    President Trump wrote a book called The Art Of The Deal. Every democrat politician, past or present, is eminently qualified to write a book called The Art Of The Lie. It's almost as though once they make a commitment to liberalism, the lies flow freely and automatically. I wonder if they sometimes lie just for sport.

    Speaking as a registered libertarian since 1980, the same could be said of all but a few republicans. (Thank you Robert for Restoring The American Dream.)

  5. Gene says:

    Excellent article Robert, as usual. I think you nailed it, when at the end of the article you wisely advised us to "ignore everything that comes out of the mouth of liars". One of the reasons lying is rampant today is that society for the most part believes the lies. As the saying goes, if you tell a lie long enough and often enough, most people will believe it. This is exactly what has happened to us as a nation. We have been lied to for so long, by so many trusted institutions (our government, the schools and the media) that we easily believe every lie without ever fact checking it. We have been so dumbed down by the idiocy of social media, we can't tell the difference anymore between a lie and truth. There are so many important life and death issues in which most people just trust that the media or politicians are telling the truth, which is usually the exact opposite of what is going on. In short, we must stop being so gullible. In a world saturated with lies, deceit and deception, we must search for the truth with all due diligence as if our very lives depend on it, because they do.

  6. kauai_mike says:

    'if their lips are moving, they're lying. period.'

    • Rick G. says:

      Lols! You got that one right! I don't believe a damn thing people say! I take everything in as a "lie" until I can verify to myself it is not a lie. That is just to be on the safe side!

  7. gmh says:

    When the world’s best scientists raise the alarm about man made climate change, I believe them. Increasingly fierce wildfires and destructive hurricanes, melting ice caps, steadily rising heat and drought, island nations preparing for when higher sea levels wipe them out are obvious signs. With nearly 60% of Earth’s biodiversity, upon which we depend, destroyed since the 70s, warming oceans full of plastic and spreading dead zones, ever burgeoning human populations that can’t help but become unsustainable, anyone can look around them and see we are in trouble. Individual efforts help but it also requires firm government action to turn this ship around. Conservative means to conserve. Time we started doing exactly that.

    • Rick G. says:

      Today, Tuesday, November 27, 2018, here in northern Kentucky in the Greater Cincinnati area, the temperature right now is 24° F. That's global warming, right? And it is still considered fall, not winter yet!

      • Blake C says:

        Yes, global warming or climate change or whatever you want to call it causes more extreme weather patterns. I share your conservative skepticism, but the truth is that man made global warming is a real concern among anyone who can read and understand the data objectively. Unless you are a meteorologist familiar with the raw data used to make this determination, your opinion on this matter is based on lies — it's no different than big industry's push back on the dangers of leaded gasoline!

        • David D says:

          The historical data on climate change is based on estimates of time encompassing thousands, tens of thousands, and millions of years. To think that modern "climate scientists" can create accurate models of future catastrophic global climate changes to occur over the next fifty to one-hundred years is the ultimate naivety. You don't hear it much anymore but in the early days of computing there was a popular expression – GIGO – garbage in, garbage out. It has been proven far too many times in the climate change debates that everything that goes into the models are unprovable estimates (simply guesses) and much of what goes in to many of the models is "garbage" (simply wrong guesses).

  8. Barbara Dyson says:

    Great article, and very well put…. And so very sad.

    Thanks

  9. Rick G. says:

    Well, there you go, folks! You have it for what it's worth. Kauai mike above knows just as I do. People are liars, but not just "liars", Stinkin' Liars! And all the types of Stinkin' Liars there are! Whew! Just go back to your Robert Ringer book if you have it on hand, "How You Can Find Happiness During the Collapse of Western Civilization" to find out, or refresh yourself, on the myriad kinds of lies these liars tell. And I'm sure he could come up with a lot more kinds too if he wanted.

    I like this article's mention everything about Hussein Nobama being a lie! He is not only a liar, and a Stinkin' One to boot, but a complete not-so-funny Islamic joke. There is nothing about him, or that transgender "man-wife" of his, that is the truth. I still think she is a dude! THE HUMAN EMBODIMENT OF A LIE, A WALIKNG TALKING LIE MACHINE!

    Even though I am a supporter of President Trump, I voted for him, and plan to vote again for him in 2020, unless the Constitution Party is on the ballot here in Kentucky and I get smart and decide to make a switch. I get this uncomforty feeling some time that he tends to tell little fibs, to put it mildly and euphemistically, about issues here and there at times. I know a guy right here in my area who sells preowned automobiles that talks just like Donald Trump. That's why when Trump speaks, I am constantly reminded of him as I feel like at times he is full of what I call "caca del toro". "Toro" is Spanish for "bull", so you can infer what "caca" is! I need not do your thinking, since thinking is in short supply nowadays and you probably need the exercise anyway! For one, among other issues, President Trump says that millions have been taken off food stamps. Huh! Yeah, right! I say, "Where? I don't see it!" Seems like everyone is running around frolicking with their SNAP EBT card. President Trump says only the truly needy have it. Everyone claims to be "truly needy"! I say, "Caca del toro"! These parasites are more able-bodied than me to get off their lazy duff and go out and earn it and quit being a burden on Kentucky taxpayers!. Right? Right! Yes folks! The Republican Party, also in my book known as the Republicratic Party, or as Robert Ringer calls them, the "Demopublicans", either way, are all Stinkin' Liars! Too bad for President Trump, Robert Ringer reached me first on educating me about notorious lying politicians, particularly in Restoring the American Dream. Thank you. Robert, you saved me!

  10. Eric Scott says:

    Schopenhauer said: “In uncivilized societies, men eat one another. In civilized society, men lie to one another”. Sorry, but lying isn’t a recent phenomena. A wise man once said: “Say nothing and believe nothing”. Wise advice indeed.

  11. larajf says:

    Doublespeak is the new RightThink . (sadly)

  12. Jay S. says:

    You can only control that for which you have control over. You can't control other peoples lies or lying habits. You can control how you choose to deal with the lies and the people who tell them…

    Around the same time in the 1970s that I read Winning Through Intimidation and Looking Out for Number 1, I watched an interview of the late actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr. in which he was talking about his family, parenting and the rules within his home. He said that within his home there was a doctrine that everyone had to abide by. It was "Nothing false, nothing untrue".

    This message had a profound effect on me that I tried to convey to my own children within my own home…

  13. Robby Bonfire says:

    We have devolved as a society to where to ascertain what really is the truth all you have to do is invert any statement that is made by anyone and about 90% of the time you will have ferreted out the truth.

    And let’s not ascribe the bulk of lying in our society to politiicians because your doctor, your auto mechanic, your lawyer, your boss, your spouse, your children, the media, commercial advertisers, your “friends,” sales types, telemarketers, fundraising sob story purveyors, your banker, teachers, et al are all, at all times, lying through their teeth to you, for whatever perceived advantage they think accrues to them for that duplicity.

    This is why infantile/ideal world people who lobby for “fairness,” and “justice” in a savagely cruel, self-serving, and corrupt world make me cringe and run from them. At least with liars you know where you stand, while they are thinking they have taken you in and “hoodwinked” you with the sophomoric condescension they dump on you. Have no doubt, they think they are smart and you are stupid, as the premise for their cunning manipulations.

    Robert has written a great deal about REALITY, and how difficult it is for many people to accept and deal with it. Understanding that each one of us is an island surrounded by booby traps created to look like people is a great departure point from which to start dealing with life in this world for what it really is – a survival game wherein each one of us is really on his own.

  14. Richard Lee Van Der says:

    There is almost always a "lee" peering over the edge dropping one-liners that suggest only he she or it knows and speaks the TRUTH! Makes me ashamed that my middle name is Lee!

  15. Richard Lee Van Der says:

    I "believe" but don't "know" the Truth will begin one minute, or less, after we die!

  16. Melanie says:

    What about the "useful idiots" who repeat the lies and truly believe them? They are some of the most earnest people on the planet, even though they're wrong. I would like to know how to deal with those people.

  17. David Gorton says:

    Welcome to Planet Earth.

  18. FedUp says:

    There are lies, damn lies, and statistics. Politicians are masters of all. I especially detest the “damn lies” intended to destroy one’s political opponents. Nothing is lower than pure slander against someone like Judge Kavanaugh. But, that is standard procedure for the most malevolent people on the planet. It has become epidemic with Democrats and the hate MSMedia. The mass of American citizens are basically good and law abiding. But the MSM is doing everything possible to incite unrest and violence. And, it’s all based on their incessant lies and distortions. I guess it helps sell their papers and “news services”. And we used to think the National Enquirer was bad.

  19. James says:

    In the Vietnam war the USA lost 58,000 killed while the communists lost around 3,000,000 killed. Yet it was the cowardly USA that gave up first.

    Resulting from this terrorists nowadays know that they can defeat the USA if they can just kill a few of them because, as a nation, they do not have the courage of their convictions.

    • Rick G. says:

      That was because the war was run by Washington, not the generals. Anything Washington runs is a major disaster.. I am also including rules of engagement.

  20. Rick G. says:

    Here is my take, Jake! Lying and stealing are two sides of the honesty coin. If you lie, you steal. If you steal or cheat, you lie. Plain and simple. End of story. Example: The government is one of countless!

  21. Ivan says:

    The art of the lie gets better with practice and acceptable to the liars. As a society there are plenty of mentors from politicians to marketers that one can learn from. Hence, as we have become more uncivilized with lying The Art of the Lie has become increasingly an Art and unfortunately demoralizing and betraying for future generations.

  22. JOE C says:

    People who are pathological liars damage their own self-esteem. They are just hurting themselves and eventually all the lying they do will lower their self-esteem. Honesty with other is about being true to your self and maintaining and also developing your self-esteem.

  23. Larry Smith says:

    For a guy who earned a reputation by spreading your wisdom on how to conduct business and live a rewarding life successfully, you sure fly in the face of everything I've learned (and I'm an old guy with a life of modest success) about how to attract honest people to causes that will improve conduct in the governance of our communities and our nation. Your name calling and generalizations about bad behavior amongst infinite organizations creates such a negative picture it's no wonder we struggle to get bi-partisan solutions to our many problems and challenges. You're a leader with a wrong approach. You and we should be listening and respecting our fellow Americans, not spreading hate. Of course, we need to find a way to attract more honest, successful people to serve our nation. Hate is not the answer!

    • lee says:

      Thank you mr.Smith for your wisdom. It is very much needed now.i know mr. Ringer is a very intelligent man. And i hope it's not to late for him to take your advice.thank you again.

  24. John Jpsix says:

    There is no way this country will survive if there is not a mass uprising against the lying culture in our country. We need to begin with rebuilding the American family in the home, get our schools back on track, and limit the damage that politically minded self-serving people do by limiting them to no more than two terms in office at the Federal and State levels of government! Both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party no longer exist as written in their charters!

  25. B Wilds says:

    I cannot thank Robert Ringer enough for all the years he has preached that we be cautious about what we are told. One thing we have come to expect on any issue confronting our nation is grandstanding from those in both parties. The government in Washington like those in other countries specialize in putting lipstick "On A Pig." It is very possible Washington is a swamp that cannot be drained.

    Strangely, as time has passed it seems the polarizing divide that grips the nation might be planned or contrived merely to create a pathway to greater power by the forces that hold us hostage. The article below explores how those in power with the aid of the media have created an environment of gridlock where they can run free and continue exploiting those they pretend to serve.

    http://brucewilds.blogspot.com/2018/01/washington

  26. a Robert fan! says:

    Since I think like you, I am buying the same frames you wear so that my glasses look like yours… I’ll be the tortoise of Houston!
    Cheers to your great post on LIARS . Apply it to Hillary:
    Liar Liar Pantsuit on Fire

  27. Paul Herring says:

    And you know this, Lee, because…?

  28. Serge says:

    What is so wise and civilized about "men lie to one another". Example, if a man lies to orchestrate a murder.

  29. lee says:

    Once a year cspan telecasts putins press conference from Russia.people present there and through skype from all over the world can ask putin questions.their are many people in the united states that ask putin what they can do to change the united states attitude towards Russia.and their is also Russian news you can get through the internet.

  30. Eric Scott says:

    Say nothing and believe nothing is wise advice. I wasn’t referring to the first sentence. Schopenhauer statement wasn’t advice, it was an observation. Sheeze. Use some common sense and don’t overthink things.

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