I’ve written about The Big Lie many times over the years, and it’s more in evidence today than ever before in our nation’s capital. Shock and disgust over sexual harassment in government, Hollywood, and the corporate world is a Big Lie. Tax reform is a Big lie. Social Security is a Big Lie. Global warming is a Big Lie. Braying over the plight of so-called Dreamers is a Big Lie. And, of course, any government solution to the healthcare crisis is a Big Lie.
The Big Lie is a tool used by high-level, professional liars, those who are so morally flawed that they are able to apply their craft with a straight face — as in, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”
These accomplished liars understand that the key to effectively utilizing The Big Lie is to refuse to give ground even when the facts threaten to expose you. On the contrary, effective tellers of The Big Lie are masters at feigning indignation, adopting a sanctimonious posture, and quickly going on the offensive when challenged.
The most masterful perpetrators of The Big Lie are those who wear personality masks intended to deceive. They are, in the words of M. Scott Peck, “People of the Lie.”
A few examples include:
- Media personalities who posit themselves as professional commentators while relentlessly pushing their hate-inspired agendas. They are, in fact, People of the Lie.
- Politicians who cast themselves as champions of “women’s rights,” defenders of the “middle class,” or protectors of “the poor” in an effort to win votes. They are, in fact, People of the Lie.
- Those who justify the use of violence by claiming to be in hot pursuit of “social justice.” They are, in fact, People of the Lie.
- Et al.
People of the Lie have always been with us and will continue to be with us so long as the human race exists. They do and say whatever they believe is necessary to accomplish their ends, which almost always includes achieving power over others. In fact, in most cases power is the end. In his book 1984, George Orwell, through his character O’Brien, underscored this reality when he said:
Now tell me why we [the Party] cling to power? What is our motive? Why should we want power? … The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. … We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. … The object of power is power.
It’s worth noting that power and force are not mutually exclusive ends, because a person can use his personal power to act either constructively or destructively, and the ultimate destructive use of power is force. Force is the use of physical or intellectual power to compel or restrain, thus force robs other people of their power.
In bygone days, the civilized world did not hesitate to use overwhelming, retaliatory force to destroy People of the Lie who tried to establish power over massive numbers of people through the use of force. Despots like Hitler and Mussolini were crushed without ceremony. Nevertheless, it is obvious to all but the sleepwalkers among us that People of the Lie are in positions of power more than ever before and are taking ever-greater control of world events.
Sadly, this will not change any time soon. You and I do not have the means to rid the world of lying tyrants, but we can control how People of the Lie affect us on a personal level by being vigilant, well informed, and willing to face up to the truth about who these people are when they cross our paths.
If it’s obvious that someone is wearing a psychic mask — i.e., trying to represent himself to be someone other than who he really is — it’s almost always a big mistake to try to convince yourself that it’s your imagination. In my experience, when someone hisses like a snake and slithers like a snake, he always turns out to be a snake.
By all means, you should give family, friends, and seemingly well-meaning people who come into your life the benefit of the doubt. But when it comes to those whom you suspect of being be People of the Lie, giving them the benefit of the doubt can be an invitation to a snakebite.
In other words, at the first sign of dishonesty, it’s wise to resist the temptation to be naïve. Do you really believe the teller of The Big Lie is going to respond to your presentation of facts by saying, “Gee, I hadn’t really thought about it in that way before. I guess I was wrong.” Forget it. People of the Lie actually thrive on telling The Big Lie; it’s what they live for.
What I’ve learned through all too much firsthand experience is that the most rationally selfish way to handle People of the Lie is to respond with my feet. Plain and simple, you do not have an obligation to allow a person of questionable character to enter, or remain in, your life.
And what about People of the Lie who roam the halls of Congress? While it may not be possible to completely extricate yourself from government busybodies who seek ever more control over your life, it is possible to lessen their control by making a conscious effort to steer clear of them.
How does one go about doing that? First and foremost, by not looking to People of the Lie in Washington to solve his problems. As recent events in the nation’s capital have clearly demonstrated, the freeloading charlatans in Washington cannot even solve their own problems.
That said, I would suggest it’s a good idea to keep in mind Ronald Reagan’s admonition that government is not the solution to our problem, but, rather, government is the problem. Then, once this reality is firmly entrenched in your mind, the challenge is to plan your life accordingly.