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“It’s endemic in the profession.”

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In his recent essay on Hillary Clinton’s deceptiveness [2], Jonah Goldberg quotes Carl Bernstein (who wrote a biography of H. Clinton [3]):

Reacting to the interview [that H. Clinton recently did on CNN], Carl Bernstein – of Woodward and Bernstein fame – offered an odd analysis of Clinton’s deceptions, conceding that Clinton has a “difficult relationship with the truth.”

“We have to look at what politicians do generally in terms of fudging,” Bernstein added. “It’s endemic in the profession. She’s become a kind of specialist at it.”

I don’t wish here to dispute the suggestion that Hillary Clinton deals in deceits more frequently than does the typical politician.  Maybe she does or maybe she doesn’t.  But if Goldberg is correct that H. Clinton is an especially poor liar compared to other politicians (including B. Clinton), perhaps the impression that she lies with unusually great frequency is a misimpression created by her lack of skill at that particular political art.  Perhaps Ms. Clinton’s lies simply are more noticeable than are those of other politicians.  (Certainly her lie about once being the target of sniper fire proved easy to expose [4].)

My purpose here is to highlight once again the low and uncivilized standard to which politicians are held.  As Bernstein implies, politicians as a group routinely aim to deceive the public.  What’s sad is the fact that this reality is interpreted by many, perhaps most, people (and it seems that Bernstein is among them) as a justification for excusing the deceits, at least as long as these deceits are no more frequent than is normal for politicians.

What a racket politics is!  Because most politicians lie with unusual frequency, participants in – and aspirants to – that profession are given a pass whenever they lie to the public.  Yet these liars-by-profession who succeed at winning political office – which means those liars-by-profession who are especially adept at lying – are trusted with enormous power.  They’re called “Honorable.”  They speak of their careers as being ones “in public service” without anyone bursting into laughter at such a ridiculous description.  They lecture investors and entrepreneurs on proper behavior and financial rectitude.  They presume to override the choices of individuals whom they have never met (such as the choices of those low-skilled workers who, to get jobs, would agree to work at hourly wages below the wage that these liars have divined is minimally acceptable for all workers).  They trumpet their moral superiority and intellectual depth, as well as proclaim their indispensability to The People.  And they not only get paid to lie and to meddle in the affairs of others, they – especially the ones who meddle the most – also receive plaudits and honors and statues.

Politics is a scam.

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