Politics and the Pinocchio Complex
by Carolyn Wyler
“I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” “I never told anyone to lie… never.” — Bill Clinton
“When the President does it, that means that it’s not illegal.” — Richard Nixon
“The story is false. It’s completely untrue, ridiculous… made up.” — John Edwards (on his affair with his mistress and the baby he fathered with her AND the paternity he blamed on another).
“…those simple values that they teach us in Sunday school, the Golden Rule… those are the things I’m going to keep fighting for… I haven’t let you down.” — Rod Blagojevich (who slept through most of his Sunday School classes)
“With legitimate rape, victims have ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” — Todd Akin. (“We would like to shut you down,” said all women everywhere).
“I ran a marathon in under three hours” — Paul Ryan
“I have a wide stance.” — Larry Craig
These are just a select few of the classic falsehoods told in recent political history. When dealing with politics, there’s no limit to the amount of make-believe flung about.
Lies are one of my biggest pet peeves, but I must admit that when caught in an unpleasant situation, or when trying to make a particularly good impression, I too am tempted to succumb to deception.
Let’s assume (hypothetically of course), that I was driving 75 miles per hour in a 55 mile per hour speed zone, merely minding my own business while flying over a hill. Let’s further assume a damn hypothetical cop was stationed at the bottom of said hill, standing outside of his car with his frickin’ hypothetical radar gun aimed right at me and hand motioning me to stop. If it wasn’t for my hypothetical husband sitting next to me, I might have just kept driving, pretending that I didn’t notice him signal for me to stop and when said hypothetical cop pulled me over and inquired why I was traveling so fast, I could benefit from the use a lifeline to call up a friend, a politician or perhaps someone who specializes in lies come up with a response.
(Where were you, Donald Sanders and your website http://lietome.yolasite.com when I needed you? I could have used a good lie just then, maybe something along the lines of, “Uhmm my husband is having a heart attack and I’m rushing him to the hospital.” Thanks anyway, Mr. Sanders. You’re $275 too late!)
There is often a fine line between fact and fiction as we heard recently from a former New York City Mayor and one-time wannabe U.S. President: “Not every fact is always absolutely accurate.” “Particularly,” he added, “when it pertains to Republican convention speeches.”
Lying is almost epidemic amongst politicians, especially during election years, and non-specific to any particular party. Those afflicted are often arrogant individuals caught up in their own self-importance whose singular intention is to make themselves appear more impressive.
It can be quite frustrating trying to sift through the fabrications told by these chronic sufferers of this affliction. Where do we turn to find the truth; how can we decipher the fine line of fact from fiction?
If only there was some meter that could tell us when these dishonesty sufferers were exhibiting symptoms of falsehoods.
Enter Carlo Lorenzini, pen name Carlo Collodi, author of the child storybook “Pinocchio.” If only politicians had noses that would grow as your puppet’s nose did whenever he told a lie, something that would warn listeners and give them a “heads up” that what they were about to hear was more for entertainment/shock value and not for the benefit of informative discourse.
Something we could attach to every politician that would meter his lies. A Pinocchio-Complex-Dickometer-Lie-Detector, or P.C.D.L.D. for short.
“I didn’t send that text.” Uhmmm, that’s not what your Dickometer shows Mr. Weiner! It erected straight up to the “Lying! For Entertainment Purposes Only” category!
“I did not have sexual relations with that woman.” And the meter reads: “Yeah that’s quite a mouthful, and a tough one to swallow.”
But not everyone is actually caught with their pants down, and the dickometer (if it were actually real) could easily be swayed by any number of distractions. Although it sounds like a terrifically easy solution, a P.C.D.L.D. machine could never be trusted as an accurate measure for sifting through the bullshit.
I guess that leads us back to the internet in search of “facts.” It’s up to each of us to do our research, study the candidates, weigh the various positions, and decipher which candidate is suffering least from the Pinocchio complex. Then, after the research process, we can vote for the candidate who is running with the man with the mesmerizing blue eyes, six-pack abs who claims he “can run a marathon in less than three hours.” OMG! He’s sooooooo dreamy!