If You Must At Least Make It Good

Memories of a meeting from years ago and today’s political pronouncements collided in my mind. The result is today’s article. I’ll end it with an axiom.

Over a decade ago I had an aisle seat at a business meeting where my boss’ boss’ boss was tapped to address the crowd of several hundred. By far the largest gathering he ever spoke in front of. (Among several other challenges, the company had way too many layers of management.) As he made his way back to his seat near the back of the room he passed me by. I liked him and could tell he was unsure of his performance. I grabbed him and told him he did a good job; which considering what those meetings were like – useless, at best – he did. I said that it was all malarkey (OK, I might have used a different expression), but that it was good “malarkey”. He smiled and I felt good in that I comforted a friend without lying to him.

Malarkey, the word I used and several other expressions are all basically synonyms for the word “lie”. His lies were good because they were at least somewhat believable.

The flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the Moskva, sunk last week. The Ukrainians claimed to have hit it with two missile strikes effectively sinking it. The Russian put out a statement that a fire broke out on board in an ammunition locker causing the damage that led to the sinking. I believe the fire in the ammunition locker may have been the “fatal blow” but which is more believable: a missile strike or careless smoking?

When you look up the word liar in the dictionary a picture of Donald Trump should be next to the definition as an easily relatable to example. I lack the space and you the time to cover all his lies. Recently he spoke and said words to the effect that he was perhaps the purest person ever born. Among all his lies that may well be the biggest. (Although, “I alone can fix it” comes close.)

The common wisdom (which isn’t really all that wise!) is that all politicians lie. Even if you believe that you have to admit that Republicans do it with much greater frequency and if you are both well informed and capable of critical thinking the vast majority of those lies aren’t believable. Remember no Democratic president needed one of his paid mouthpieces to talk about the “Alternate facts” that another of his paid mouthpieces used earlier that week. And that was in the dawning days of his administration.

What do modern day Russians and Republicans have in common? They lie a lot and are not very good at it. If you must tell a lie at least make it a good one and somewhat believable.

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