Thursday, July 19, 2007

Can Any Lie Still Astound You?

“This is a valuable program with proven results..."

- Senator David Vitter on the Federal Government's abstinence only sexual education program.


As everyone knows, politicians seldom tell the truth. Why should they? Much of the electorate refuses to believe the truth and would resent -- perhaps even hate -- the politician who told it. I know all that.

But some lies still have a dizzying ability to floor me. Like Vitter's statement that abstinence only sexuality education (can it really be called "education"?) is "a valuable program with proven results." All the facts line up against that statement. Worse, abstinence only leads to irresponsible sex which leads to teen pregnancies which leads to abortion. It simply astounds me a person in a position of trust could spout the lie Senator Vitter did. Or, more precisely, the lie itself is what astounds me -- I pretty much expect our esteemed leaders to be liars.

Another lie that still has the power to floor me is the lie that gay marriages will destroy the sanctity of heterosexual marriages. That lie is just as fabricated as a Playmate's breasts. It has no sound evidence for it. Yet, there it stands, more popular with politicians and the public than a cable news car chase.

I could go on, but I'm genuinely curious to hear from you whether there are still any lies that yet have the power to astound you even in this age -- and if so, which lies are those?

5 comments:

amuirin said...

"As everyone knows, politicians seldom tell the truth. Why should they? Much of the electorate refuses to believe the truth and would resent -- perhaps even hate -- the politician who told it. I know all that."

I wanted to respond to that part. Do you really think the electorate refuses to believe the truth? I'm one of the people who often accuses the electorate of being dumb, but sometimes I think it's more that people are treated like they are dumb. It's become a sort of requirement to hide your agenda.

We hold politicians up to these weird moral standards in that they hafta have a good appearance, their record has to have a good appearance, and they have to have viewpoints that are widely acceptable, as well as seeming like upstanding, respectable, established citizens. With money. All this just to get into the game.

Of course they lie. We seem to want to be fooled into thinking someone is perfect. People hold politicians to a higher moral standard during a campaign than the rest of us live by. So you end up with a liar who will pander to anyone. Kind of a paradox.

But are we really given options? Who gets up to campaign, or enters into office and actually serves with integrity? (there have been a few, Oregon's senator Ron Wyden comes to mind as someone who has served his office with integrity)

Webs said...

Politicians are mostly morons that spout BS information cause they are too lazy to look for real results and science. Most of them just want power and like to think they make a difference.

Back to the topic...
Not only does Abstinence fail because of reasons mentioned already, but it also leads to teens having sex before they are married. It fails to stop what the whole back assward program was created to stop, sex. It's just another program created by religious nutballs that think sex is evil.

Paul said...

Great comments, Amuirin! I think we're going to have to agree to disagree to some extent, though, for I remain unshaken in my belief that a large part of the electorate is willfully ignorant on at least some issues -- such as abstinence only sex ed and gay marriage.

It seems to me that when people don't have much at stake in the outcome of a matter, they often indulge in all sorts of fantasies about the matter. For instance, very few people really have much at stake in the gay marriage debate. So, they aren't motivated to check their opinions against reality. The cost of their willful ignorance is nil. And they can let their minds roam free to believe any sort of nonsense that suits their fancy about gay marriage.

Beyond that, though, I think you've touched well on another cause of our electoral malaise -- namely we expect our pols to be perfect. I don't see what you've said and what I've said as being incompatible.

Paul said...

Webs: "Not only does Abstinence fail because of reasons mentioned already, but it also leads to teens having sex before they are married."

I hadn't thought of that, Webs, but now that you mention it, I couldn't agree more. Thank you!

Webs said...

Glad to be of service. I recommend watching the Penn & Teller Bullshit episode on sex education. It basically tells us, in a funny way, what most of already no about abstinence.