I continue to worry about what I have referred to in past posts as "the age of insanity." Recently I met with R.H. Flutes, my old friend from the Lying Institute of America. Dr. R.H. Flutes was in a jubilant mood because his former student, Ted Cruz, was on the presidential campaign trail.
Dr. RH Flutes: Ted Cruz, a brilliant student! When he's caught in a lie, he just says it was a joke! How brilliant is that? There's no defense for it -- if you don't get the joke, end of discussion!
Me: Yes... Brilliant....
Dr. RH Flutes: Listen, lying is hitting an all-time high in political circles. It excites us, stimulates us, entertains us....
Dr. RH Flutes: Because, my dear friend, when a way of life is dying, a government, society hears the death rattle -- truth dies first.
Me: Are you saying that the United States of America is dying?
Dr. RH Flutes: Certainly! For quite a while now. We have lost our way. We have stopped dreaming of a better America, afraid of the future, fearful of progress, fearful of our own government. Look at us now! We accomplish nothing, plan nothing, prepare for nothing -- it's only survival! We are a fearful people without dreams, so lying is our compensation. Lying is the fake Band-Aid. Lying is the tranquilizer to make us feel better.
I thought Dr. Flutes, who is always somewhat of a provocateur, was overstating his case this time:
Dr. RH Flutes: Just look at the Supreme Court rulings recently. They have basically said that there is no racism in America. Really?! These men and women are not dumb, but the ruling on voting rights is insane by any standard. Or the Citizens United ruling, which basically lets as much money into the political process as any wealthy individual wants to spend? And they don't believe it pollutes the political process? Nonsense. Of course it does.
Me: If they know it's wrong, why did they vote that way?
Dr. RH Flutes: It's a good question, perhaps too difficult to explain, but I believe once idealism is betrayed, once the dream fades, the support beams begin to bend and falter. The Titanic went down one compartment after another. Lying in America is surging through our bloodstreams! Everything is becoming meaningless. Nothing of substance can stand in its way.
At this point he was as animated and jubilant as I had ever seen him. This next part he said to me with a huge smile on his face:
Dr. RH Flutes: And the truth? Too real. This is the age of junk-food politics, my boy. Every day these politicians rant about this and that, and there are those who expose the lies on a daily basis, but no one cares. Lying is just so entertaining. It might not be good for you, but damn, those French fries taste great!