Shakira -Hips don’t lie:
Well, hips might not lie, but many politicians do. “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” said Bill Clinton, past President of the USA, about his intern. Of course, that was proven to have been false. I have read a number of polls in different countries rating professions from most to least trusted. Nurses were usually at, or near the top. Politicians were usually closer to the bottom, or least trusted.
“A busload of politicians were driving down a country road when all of a sudden the bus ran off the road and crashed into a tree in an old farmer’s field. The old farmer after seeing what happened went over to investigate. He then proceeded to dig a hole and bury the politicians. A few days later, the local sheriff came out, saw the crashed bus, and then asked the old farmer, “Were they all dead?”The old farmer replied, “Well, some of them said they weren’t, but you know how them politicians lie.”
“Statesmen tell you what is true even though it may be unpopular. Politicians will tell you what is popular, even though it may be untrue.” – unknown author.
What happens, though, when their promises turn out to be lies? They promise to fix inequality of all kinds, but it continues to worsen. Then they release “cooked” figures saying things have improved! People like myself who are not living in cocoons of privilege, look about them and see the evidence tells a different story. They get more and more disillusioned with their leaders’ “spinning” information , that is, marketing lies.
How do Australians feel? Last year a poll was done and the results showed faith in politicians has declined sharply since 2007:
“Just 31% of the population trust federal government. State and local governments perform little better, with just over a third of people trusting them. Ministers and MPs (whether federal or state) rate at just 21%, while more than 60% of Australians believe the honesty and integrity of politicians is very low.
The three biggest grievances people have with politicians are:
- they are not accountable for broken promises
- they don’t deal with the issues that really matter
- big business has too much power (Liberal and National Party voters identify trade unions instead of big business). ….. Trust was lowest in political parties (16%) and web-based media (20%).” Excerpt from “Australians’ trust in politicians and democracy hits an all-time low: new research.” by Mark Evans, Gerry Stoker and Max Halupka.
I read current affairs a great deal, also from sources across the board and speak with individuals here on the streets and around the world. The sense I am getting from the majority is an internal crying numbness, even to the point of not wanting to read or watch the news anymore. They are often struggling, trying to better their situation, paying their taxes and don’t feel the promises made to them are being kept enough.
P!nk – What About Us (Official Music Video) :
They have said so, in numerous ways, including increasingly voting for minor parties, or independents. Still they feel unheard, whether it be because of computer generated form email replies (or no replies) from their political Representatives, ignored petitions and filed away government funded enquiry reports , government complaints departments that take no or little action, etc. The responses they do hear, are often lying. Spin, generated by highly paid government marketing staff.
“You can fool all of the people all of the time if the advertising is right and the budget is big enough.” – Joseph Levine
Our former Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce had an affair and child with one of his marketing staff , left his wife and daughters and due to public outrage at his hypocrisy, stepped down from his position. He had been a public proponent of and parliamentary voter for traditional marriage and family. During the nation’s conversation about it, other aspects of his honesty on the job were called into question, and I think more will emerge about those.
In many parts of the world corruption and lies in government are so entrenched it’s just “the way it is” or “the way we have to do business if we want to expand into this market”. When citizens get a chance, they get some new blazing hero in (by voting or force) to change things, only to find that they turn out to be untrustworthy too and/or their family is. As the saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
“Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man, and our politicians take advantage of this prejudice by pretending to be even more stupid than nature made them.”
― Bertrand Russell.
This is certainly the case with our new, and not publically elected Prime Minister, a former marketing professional that makes public mistakes often, such as erroneously implying that Captain Cook circumnavigated Australia, and by having his shoes changed by photoshop in a photo, (but badly).
Prime ministers dont last long here any more, bumped by their own parties (while in office) when they read the low public opinion of their leader in polls. They would be better off trying to engender trust, by speaking the truth, and honouring their promises. The thing is, I’ve been reading the same old thing, that the public don’t trust politicians, in poll results, for decades. Nothing seems to change. Why?
Well, I think pollies are chained to their perch, ie their electoral sponsors. It’s called institutional corruption, and the general public are sick of it. As long as entities can donate large amounts of money to politicians , the latter are compromised, whether they publically declare the funds or not. Advertising for elections is expensive, but it should be publically funded, by government on an equitable basis, not privately.
Secondly, monopolies and duopolies of mainstream media need to be outlawed. Politicians are scared of what will be printed in the newspaper next day about their public utterances, so they lie to placate the media moguls.
In some countries of the world, if they don’t lie along party lines, (propaganda), they will “be disappeared”, killed or both, even their families targeted. So they lie for survival, and the privilege that often comes with office, in those countries. Parties should not be in power for too long. They get complacent, let standards slide, cover up and lie to maintain their position. Maybe they feel they couldn’t make it working out in the real world. Sometimes they are afraid of revenge from their opponents.
Another reason is because of Nationalism (extreme patriotism). Their supporters believe in the superiority of their state or country and all its traditional ways, so the politician lies about that, to keep their votes. Superiority doctrine is in itself a lie, that distracts from the real inequality in their own societies. “Look over there, you think you have it bad, they are much worse.”
A politician may have extreme ideological beliefs, often because of personal circumstances in their past lives. They can sincerely believe that lying to get and keep power is justified so they can implement their ideology.
Another may have a belief that their lifestyle is somehow sacrosanct. So they lie about it – the great unwashed masses don’t need to know that! I deserve a little fun , groping my staff or legislating while drunk is ok (wink wink! ) Anyone says I did it, I’ll just deny it!
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Don’t Ask Me No Questions – 4/27/1975 – Winterland (Official) :
Yet another impetus is religion. Many politicians pretend to be more religious than they are. Even if they do attend church regularly, many are living a lie by not privately upholding the values they publically espouse.
They lie by commission, like Barnaby Joyce, or Donald Trump, but they also lie by omission, not telling us their shortcomings and mistakes up front so we can make informed choices, for example saying that we have low unemployment, omitting to mention that “employed” in their parlance, means as little as one hour’s work a week. This is despite most religions teaching honesty.
Living a lie is hearing the teachings of their religion in church, mosque, synagogue or temple; but not applying it in power. Some vote no to free contraception and abortion, while simultaneously maintaining extra marital affairs , pregnancies and secret abortions. Maybe their religion preaches peace, but they vote for war or violent citizen suppression. Maybe their religion teaches sharing, but they protect the bankers, at the expense of their clients. Some are ostensibly Muslim, but drink alcohol privately. Every religion, East, West, North or South, has a version of “do to others as you want them to do to you.” But so many leaders care little about equality, of religion, gender, income, etc., merely paying lip service -lying- that they are doing something about it.
Power is heady yummy stuff. Politicians sometimes start a life in politics idealistic and relatively honest, then start telling lies when their party tells them to, when they find it’s not possible to fulfill all their election promises and give up trying, or maybe they or their family are being threatened by organised crime. Still, they maintain a character that has now become a lie.
Some politicians come into that world from another profession where legalised lying is tolerated to get a win, eg lawyers, actors, real estate moguls, (our last Prime Minister owns a fortune in real estate), or businessmen. I was interested to see that corporate CEOs are low on the trust polls with the public , too. Some doctors do make it to the legislative halls of power, and try to change things. Doctors don’t rate low on the trust polls, but not the top , either, (possibly because of allegations that many prescribe treatments following free perks from drug companies, or overcharge patients.)
Perhaps honesty in politics needs to be taught from the ground up, in schools. Only children that are rated low in lying by their teachers and peers, could be promoted to class , team and school captain status; not the richest, prettiest, best dressed, most athletic, or the one who’s parent gave most money to the school.
Barbara Streisand -Don’t lie to me (about Trump).
Many memes have been made about former businessman and current US President, Donald Trump, allegedly lying. Unnecessary lies are Tweeted by him about facts and figures that are disproven with ease by opponents, but also by independent fact checkers, who have arisen in an era of “fake news”.
To the politicians and wanna bes. Now seriously, everyone needs to clean up their acts. If you are an elected representative, you are there to represent voting individuals, not large entities or the richest campaign contributing individuals. They have theirs, so look out for the others. You are there to do what is right, healthy (just ban smoking and burning coal already) and pure-minded. You will leave a legacy of being loved by the majority, not mistrusted. Maybe even warrant a stupid statue on a plinth for the pigeons to poop on. Votes, money, power, you can’t take them with you when you die, I promise.
Would I lie to you?
I saw the Eurythmics play live, it was a wonderful night and Annie had a phenomenal voice.
Eurythmics -Would I lie to you:
About Donald Trump’s veracity:
Transparency declaration of PolitiFact:
The poll quoted by me, made in 2018 in Australia:
Barnaby Joyce , former deputy Prime Minister of Australia scandal in 2018. It was widely covered in the media, but here is an article that discusses the lying aspect of his behaviour:
Why do voters accept liars?
If you like reading (and singing) about sins, you might enjoy my 7 part series on The seven deadly sins, starting here: