This is quite a provocative question and it has been raised by James Stewart. He is the author of the new book “Tangled Web: How False Statements are Undermining America”. His book brings to the surface the epidemic of lies by politicians, athletes, business leaders, government departments, corporations and more. I look forward to reading it. I heard his interview on the radio and his research over the last several years highlights some deeply rooted problems at the heart of many of our institutions.
What is really disturbing is the loyalty factor involved in lying. An example is the Scooter Libbey trial a few years ago that covered up the lies made by many in the Bush administration regarding the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame. We are now uncovering the loyalty factor in the drug cover up by those on the Lance Armstrong cycling team or Barry Bonds, Giant’s player. How about the Madoff cover up by the SEC. How about the Catholic Church cover up of the pedophile priests. Each day we are witness to more discoveries of the cover ups and lies. The government bureaucracy, inflated wages, bribes to building inspectors, pharmaceutical payments to doctors for “unbiased” findings, physicians who only use a certain hip or knee implant because they receive a kick back from the manufacturer. How about the “bribes” to our elected officials for getting union monies during campaigns to receive better union benefits once the official is in office.
The acceptance of lies, bribes and cover ups creates an erosion effect. After awhile we expect to be lied to, we become complacent, cynical and defeated. We lower our expectations and create our own reality. The spiral is downward and so is our guard. It becomes a self-fulfilled prophecy. Does your vote count? Is the voting turnout poor? Do we demand the truth from our leaders?
Even more scary, are we lying to ourselves? Do we stay in relationships that really hurt us? Do we keep drinking, eating and working to excess and tell ourselves it is okay? Have we such a high tolerance for disappointment, betrayal, and pain that we stay stuck in moving forward and freeing ourselves? What is happening to us and to our standards? What price are we paying for our unwillingness to call people and institutions on their lies?
“I Did Not Have Sex with that Woman!”
Remember Bill Clinton’s famous line on television. That earnest look through those lying eyes. How about the IMF President just arrested for accosting the cleaning maid in his hotel room, or Arnold for his love child. It goes on and on. We have a parade of characters testifying under oath through their lying teeth. It damages us all when are reduced to an audience that has been marginalized because others have been able “to get away with it”.
The Worm Has Turned–Exposure and more exposure
The pattern of discovery of cover ups and lies began in earnest in 2009 and will continue through this change in America’s Social Contract. It was put in place November of 2008 and continues to 2024. You can expect more dirty laundry, more exposure, more shock and awe in the lying department. This is not a good time to lie to anyone to get a job or cheat the IRS. We are having a Pluto in Capricorn transit. It is rough, tough and takes no prisoners. People who have been home free for 20 – 30 years are now getting the light of day shone on them for what they are. Liars, cheats and scoundrels. You will read more and more stories of politicians, business leaders, corporations, unions, medical field, and just about every area of the social contract having to come clean and tell the truth.
Middle East, Spain and America
There has always been a strong historical connection to the Middle East and Spain. It is not surprising to me to see the unrest of the revolutions in Middle Eastern countries spread to Spain where unemployment is 21 % and under age 30 it is 42%. The uncovering of the truth of what has been going on in these governments for many years is out in the open. You can expect eventually this idea of an exposure of how the government is led and who is doing what to whom will spread to the United States. This is a worldwide movement–not just limited to countries in the Middle East.
I do not expect a revolution as they have in these countries but I do expect citizen participation and very possibly strikes or work stoppage as people protest. Jobs are returning but very gradually, mostly in service industry and not at wages to buy property. The economy is improving but……what changes? FCC Commissioner, Meredith Atwell Baker, has just been hired by Comcast following her approval of the Comcast purchase of NBC Universal. Hmmmmmmm is there something smelly here? She can lobby Congress and government agencies while working for Comcast but must wait 2 years to lobby the FCC. So in 2013 she can lobby her old commissioners.
If you are disturbed by these bits of information, I encourage you to get active in a group that is doing something worthy to change this system. If not, keep lying to yourself. Let’s see, maybe if I buy this smaller dress size, I will lose weight.