To Tell The Truth
This was the name of a game show that ran on television from 1956 to 1968. From Wikipedia:
The show features a panel of four celebrities attempting to correctly identify a described contestant who has an unusual occupation or experience. This central character is accompanied by two impostors who pretend to be the central character. The celebrity panelists question the three contestants; the impostors are allowed to lie but the central character is sworn ‘to tell the truth.’After questioning, the panel attempts to identify which of the three challengers is telling the truth and is thus the central character.
From the time we are very young we are told by our parents, teachers and our church that it is always important to tell truth but we learn very early on that this is not always wise. That in fact it can result in very unpleasant outcomes. We also learn that telling the truth is not something that any of those groups do very often. Sometimes very rarely.
We quickly learn that lying is part and partial to the American culture from commercials to political campaigns. From church sermons to school text books. It’s a wonder we have any clue what truth really is and sometimes there are people who actually do not. Like the soft language that George Carlin speaks of:
Smug, greedy well-fed white people have invented a language to conceal their sins. It’s as simple as that. The CIA doesn’t kill people anymore, they neutralize people, or they depopulate the area. The government doesn’t lie, it engages in disinformation. The pentagon actually measures radiation in something they call sunshine units. Israeli murderers are called commandos. Arab commandos are called terrorists. Contra killers are called freedom fighters. Well if crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire what do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part of it to us, do they?
Doctors and nurses will lie to us about our condition and the effectiveness of the treatment. Lawyers will lie and their clients will lie. Corporations constantly lie about their products and a politician who tells the truth hasn’t a prayer in hell of getting elected.
Our whole capitalistic system is one big lie. In fact it qualifies as being a recursive definition of itself since to be successful at capitalism — which it self is a lie — you have to be good at lying.
One of the biggest lies though is called by the euphemistic term of “Politically Correctness” which by definition is a lie. It’s speaking and acting in a manner that does not offend anyone even though this is quite often NOT the way one feels. Taken even to the point of being against the law and being termed as hate speech.
The biggest problem with this approach is that it actually makes people even more resentful because it’s forced dishonesty. Intensifying the attitudes it’s supposed to correct. Where as they may not talk this way in public, but will still talk this way in private and echo their thoughts and feelings among themselves and family, there by reinforcing it. As an example the case of racism as is outlined here is this piece from Raw Story:
The Democratic Party had long been the party of racist southern whites, but ‘the Depression-caused backlash against Republican incumbents’ swept Franklin D. Roosevelt into the White House along with other northern Democrats.
‘The southerners were all of a sudden a minority, and the deal the southern Democrats made with the northern Democrats is the northerners would get their New Deal if the southerners got, essentially, racist exclusions and other racial policy inserted into the New Deal and no things like anti-lynching (laws),’ Beauchamp explained Wednesday on ‘The Thom Hartmann Program.’
Despite this bargain, the New Deal started turning blacks away from the Republican Party, he said.
‘The New Deal brought black people into the Democratic coalition because it benefitted them substantially,’ Beauchamp said. ‘This led northern Democrats to become more and more supportive of raced-based legislation.’
This shift eventually brought about the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which is generally credited with driving white southerners away from the Democratic Party.
Beauchamp said the modern conservative movement, which was started during the failed presidential campaign of Republican Barry Goldwater that same year and crystalized by President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, was rooted in this racist backlash.
The laws and attitudes of the “progressive left” have not eliminated racism, but have instead made it even more intense in the sectors of society where it supposed to correct it. These people — not only from the south but also the north – have now doubled down on their racist, white supremacist attitudes to the point of being willing to shoot themselves to make it legal again and deprive those which the have ALWAYS detested of any benefits they maybe due. Even if it means depriving themselves as well.
I am aware that there are those that want to make this all about class and wealth but the core issue is racial inequality and if the wealthy are willing to finance it, these same people are more than happy to take the money and run.
The current government shutdown and the constant attack on ACA and other safety net programs is centered on keeping those minorities and others from benefiting from anything these white anglo saxon protestants thing they own.
Until we get honest and call it what it is — tea party racism — this kind of thing will continue.