When it comes to the art of lying--it's no contest: liberals are the undisputed champs, the most accomplished and resilient liars to participate in the political life of the republic. How do I know this? Indeed, how does one quantify such a thing? Even after one cites all the whoppers told by the Obama administration, and they are legion, the liberal opposition could probably argue convincingly that Conservatives are at least as disingenuous.
"The greatest challenge in American politics and government is that liberals lie better than conservatives tell the truth." -- Newt Gringich
I swear I cannot understand all the shock and dismay in the media about the president's false claims for his Affordable Care Act. Remember? This was the man who went on a late night talk show and insisted that the Benghazi attack was prompted by an obscure YouTube video a full two weeks after it was known for a fact that the assault was planned and executed by Al Qaeda. This was also the man who came to the rescue of his beleaguered U.N. ambassador, Susan Rice, after she lied on five different Sunday morning news shows, regurgitating the same false narrative. Said the president in high moral dudgeon:
"If Sen. McCain and Sen. Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. When they go after the U.N. ambassador apparently because they think she's an easy target, then they've got a problem with me."
The magnitude of obfuscation was epic. Not only did Obama advance a blatant falsehood, but in the gallant fashion of the knight coming to the rescue of a lady in distress, he rushed to the defense of Susan Rice when she was being pilloried for advancing the same arrant nonsense. The lies came so hard and fast, and with such casual indifference to the truth, that some wondered if Obama was one of those childish personalities who believe their own lies.
This should surprise on one. When it comes to the art of lying--it's no contest: liberals are the undisputed champs, the most accomplished and resilient liars to participate in the political life of the republic. How do I know this? Indeed, how does one quantify such a thing? Even after one cites all the whoppers told by the Obama administration, and they are legion, the liberal opposition could probably argue convincingly that Conservatives are at least as disingenuous.
I think this is one of those occasions when it's okay to say, 'It's just a feeling I have.' I agree that this is not an empirical argument; and as a courtroom judge often asks: "Counselor, where are you going with this?"
Your honor, I intend to show that liberalism, as it is practiced today, is a tribalist political philosophy which discourages curiosity in its lower orders and whose chieftains and sub-chieftains place the highest value on loyalty to tribe above all other qualities, not excluding the pursuit of truth. But (it will be argued) tribalism (i.e. a way of thinking and feeling that places absolute value on loyalty to a political, ethnic or cultural group) is ubiquitous. It is not confined to any particular political party. No group is immune to the allure of tribal behavior, least of all Republicans.
This argument, however, is flawed. There is only one political entity that believes it is its bounden duty to care for its lower orders and suppresses every form of individualism to accomplish this, and that is the Democratic Party. In fact, true believers on the left will be the first to tell you that it is the conservatives who have no heart and who do not care about the welfare of the proletariat. My point? It is this paternalistic concern for the welfare of the underclass that, above all else, is key to tribalism and that distinguishes it from any other form of social and political organization.
But before I proceed with this line of thought, let me expand on the quality and quantity of lying by the Democratic Party.
Several examples of the liberal hubris and mendacity spring to mind. There was President Obama's unambiguous claim that he and his administration were alone responsible for running Osama bin Laden to ground. There was a certain perverse symmetry to Obama's claim: since he did not hesitate to blame Bush for the country's economic woes, it was not a complete shock when he appropriated the intelligence product of Bush's counter-terrorism policies to himself. No one can say Obama lacks for chutzpah: not only had he dismantled the program responsible for the interrogations that led to the identification of bin Laden's courier, Ibrahim Saeed Ahmed (nom de guerre, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti), but his own Attorney General conducted a furious three-year criminal investigation of the very operatives who ran those interrogations. The investigations failed abjectly, but bankrupted the defendants and effectively destroyed their careers. Jack Bauer is nodding his head ruefully--been there, done that.
Another gross misrepresentation of the facts was Obama's habitual assertion, unchallenged by the press, and even many conservatives, that the 2008 financial collapse was a Republican failure. Here is Obama's 'reckless driver' metaphor, a meme repeated so often it has become enshrined as a permanent sutra in the liberal canon:
"After [the GOP] drove the car into the ditch, made it as difficult as possible for us to pull it back, now they want the keys back. No! You can't drive. We don't want to have to go back into the ditch. We just got the car out."
Reality check: it was the Clinton administration that repealed key provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act prohibiting the consolidation of insured banks with investment banks. And it was the Clinton administration that enacted the two pieces of legislation most responsible for the housing and credit bubbles--the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000--not to mention the Community Reinvestment Act that federally mandated lowering of lending standards. Moreover, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mack, the government sponsored enterprises that drove the mortgage crisis and that were the primary catalyst for the stock market crash, were the brainchildren of Barney Frank and the Democratic party.
That all politicians shade the truth is, of course, a commonplace; H. L. Mencken considered skillful lying a prerequisite for office. But much of the demagoguery and deception that is casually dismissed as 'politics as usual' today would have been considered shocking only a few years ago. Obama's misattributions of credit and blame were such transparent perversions of the truth only the uninformed could have been taken in--namely the American public. Polls reveal that American voters believed that Obama was the hero of the bin Laden operation and that Republicans were the authors of the economic meltdown. Adroit politics, as the talking heads say; but would Dwight D. Eisenhower or John F. Kennedy have stooped to such a small-minded theft of credit and vulgar display of self-promotion? Doubtful--both men had a deep and abiding respect for the dignity of the office, as did Harry Truman. The so-called Marshall Plan was really the Truman Plan, but to insure its passage Truman conferred full credit on the venerated general. Oh, for a return to those happy days of selfless public service!
Marshall McLuhan once observed that "no human difficulties ever seem inevitable to the historical gaze." Liberalism's truth deficit is not a recent phenomena. There are cultural precedents reaching as far back as societies of the Bronze Age and beyond; which, providing we are willing to relax our fixation on the politics of the moment, can yield significant insight into the psychological roots of liberalism: the problem with liberals and their party is not so much a contempt for truth as the tribal cast of the liberal mind.
The Tribal Origins of Liberalism and the Welfare State
A study by J. C. Carothers, a leading authority on tribalism, is relevant to this discussion. The tribal origins of communism (collectivism) and the welfare state, i.e. the reassuring prospect and expectation that you will be taken care of from cradle to grave, represents a regression to a more primitive, totalitarian way of life. Speaking of African tribal culture, Carothers observed that African children are raised in a world of implicit magic:
by reason of the type of educational influences that impinge upon Africans in infancy and early childhood, and indeed throughout their lives, a man comes to regard himself as a rather insignificant part of a much larger organism--the family and the clan--and not as an independent, self-reliant unit; personal initiative and ambition are permitted little outlet; and a meaningful integration of a man's experience on individual, personal lines is not achieved.
The correspondences to the liberal mindset are striking. The qualities of self-reliance and personal initiative achieved by the open society are denigrated as 'social Darwinism' in the liberal handbook; and the belief that we all belong to a larger social organism, i.e. the state, is the fundamental premise of liberalism and the welfare state.
Of primary importance to tribal life is psychological and social continuity sustained by superstition and ritual beliefs, to which western ideas of objective truth, and the achieved values of the Enlightenment, are entirely irrelevant. Spinoza said: 'Every man is by indefeasible natural right the master of his own thoughts.' But this is not the case in tribal societies. As Carothers goes on to explain, "free ideation" permitted to western societies is quite out of the question for tribal communities:
The concept that verbal thought is separable from action, and is, or can be, ineffective and contained within the man... has important socio-cultural implications, for it is only in societies which recognize that verbal thoughts can be so contained, and do not of their nature emerge on wings of power, that social constraints can, in theory at least, afford to ignore ideation.
While open societies permit the free play of ideas, in tribal societies, where thought is equivalent to action, it is strictly controlled. The test of truth is whatever sustains the continuity and viability of the tribe, i.e. 'thought crime' (free ideation) is literally impossible.
In these circumstances it is implicit that behavioral constraints must include constraint of thought. Since all behavior in such societies is governed and conceived on highly social lines... it is furthermore implicit in the attitude of these societies that the very possibility of such thinking is hardly to be recognized... and when such thinking does occur, at other than strictly practical and utilitarian levels, it is apt to be seen as deriving from the devil....
This goes a long way to explaining why those imbued with the liberal mindset, i.e. those who believe we are all members of a coherent social organism called the state, find it so difficult to accept any deviation from party ideology and to accept objective facts; for in a tribal environment, inner verbalization equals effective social action. I.e. dedicated liberals and their advocates in the media, are psychologically unequipped to acknowledge any truth deemed inimical to the continuity and cohesion of the party.
Thus when Susan Rice goes on five major media outlets and peddles a preposterous narrative of the Benghazi assault, a transparent fiction quietly ratified by the mainstream media, she and they are not lying in the conventional sense of the word. According to their own lights they are acting in a perfectly rational way: they are responding to an existential emergency, obeying an irresistible inner voice telling them to preserve the homeostasis and biological unity of the tribe, i.e. they are honoring a primitive social imperative to insure tribal cohesion and solidarity--in this case the cohesion and solidarity of a Democratic administration.
Much of tribalism from ancient times would be regarded as lawless behavior today, a variety of fascism. Speaking of the detribalization of ancient societies in his study, The Open Society and Its Enemies, Karl R. Popper writes,
By the sixth century B.C., this development [detribalization] had led to the partial dissolution of the old ways of life, and even to a series of political revolutions and reactions. And it had led not only to attempts to retain and to arrest tribalism by force, as in Sparta, but also to that great spiritual revolution, the invention of critical discussion, and in consequence of thought that was free from magical obsessions.
Sparta and European fascism are examples of attempts to maintain or revive tribalism; and Marshall McLuhan was not being fanciful when he declared that Hitler used radio as a 'tribal drum' to rouse the German people to the excesses of nationalism that led to Nazi totalitarianism.
The similarities of the left to soviet tribalism are also quite striking. Commenting on the doctrinaire incompetence of the Soviet apparat and Party nomenklatura in Putting Up With the Russians, British journalist Edward Crankshaw, wrote:
[T]his is a milieu almost impossible for the foreigner to present to his own countrymen. I have had to work with such officials in war and peace. Their sycophancy, their barefaced lying, their treachery, their cowardice, are so blatant, their ignorance so stultifying, their stupidity so absolute, that I have found it impossible to convey it with any credibility to those fortunate enough never to have encountered it.
Crankshaw would have no trouble conveying this sensibility today: it is just this milieu that we are encountering with increasing frequency in the ranks of those who identify themselves as liberal-progressives.
A haunting dramatization of the brutal, nightmarish aspect of tribal life can be found in Joseph Conrad's short story, "The Lagoon," in which two Malaysian lovers, Arsat and Diamelen (a servant of the Rajah's wife), try to flee the repressive atmosphere of tribal coercion by eloping. Pursued by the Rajah's men, they die seeking sanctuary in the Western world of justice and law. Conrad's story is reminiscent of Vladimir Putin's pursuit and execution of Soviet defectors in London and the recent assassination of Anna Politkovskaya. Only compare this to the savage attacks by the left on 'defectors' like Christopher Hitchens and David Mamet, and with the Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwa against apostate Salmon Rushdie. Perhaps this explains the extraordinary sympathy of liberal-progressives for Islamic fascism. Marshall McLuhan also said, "Nothing is inevitable so long as we are willing to contemplate what is happening." Thus conservative consternation with liberal-progressives should be less an occasion for moral indignation, than an investigation of the causes and effects of modern tribalism: its corrosive effect on our democratic values and its infantilizing effect on the American electorate. Now that Popper and Carothers have clarified the dynamics of tribalism, we need to provide the conceptual tools necessary to counteract its influence in the political forum. Moral indignation may be satisfying in the short term, but it is bad for digestion, and achieves little in the way of remediation.
The ease with which the Obama administration obscured responsibility for the Benghazi tragedy and the casual acceptance of the contrived cover story by the press and by the American people signal a significant transfer of influence from the public forum to the secret chambers of the state.
Pericles - "we do not say that a man who takes no interest in politics is a man who minds his own business; we say that he has no business here at all." Obama: ""If You've Got a Business -- You Didn't Build That! Somebody Else Made That Happen.""
Charles Krauthammer, suggested that Roberts resorted to this semantic legerdemain to avoid politicizing the Court and weakening its prestige. But the Court and America have weathered more violent partisan storms than those of the current climate: just read some of the broadsides in newspapers written one hundred to two hundred years ago. To my knowledge, no Congressmen have been caned to within an inch of their lives in the well of the Senate (though, no doubt, some have deserved it), and no cabinet secretaries killed in duels in the past 100 years. A good rule of thumb: follow the law and let the chips fall where they may.
Since 2004 he has been writing academic articles, social commentaries and photographic 'Stories from China' both here at KingsCalendar, and formerly as a contributing columnist at Magic City Morning Star News (Maine USA) where from 2009 to 2015 he was Stand-in Editor. He currently has a column at iPatriot.com and teaches English to Business English and Flight Attendant College Students in Suzhou City Jiangsu Province People's Republic of China.)
BenDedek originally created the site to publicize his research results into the Chronology of Ancient Israel. Those results were published under the title: 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran.' Whilst there have been many attempts to solve the chronological riddle of the Bible's synchronisms of reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah and their synchronism with other Ancient Near Eastern Nations, no other research is based on a simple mathematical formula which could, if it is incorrect, be disproved easily. To date, no one has been able to dismiss the mathematical results of this research.
Free to air Academic articles set forth Apologetics for and results of his discovery of an "artificial chronological scheme" running through the Bible, Josephus, the Damascus Documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Seder Olam Rabbah. Check the Chapter Precis Page to see details of each chapter and to gain access to the Four Free to Air Chapters
(The Download book does not contain a section on Seder Olam)
Definition: King's Calendar Chronological Research
The Premise: Between the 5th and 3rd centuries BCE (but continuing down to at least 104 BCE), Sectarian redactors transcribed the legitimate 'solar year' chronological records of Israel and Judah, into an artificial form, with listed years as each comprised of 12 months of 4 weeks of 7 days, or 336 days per year, thus creating a 13th artificial year where 12 solar years existed.
When the Synchronous Chronological Data provided in the Books of Kings and Chronicles for the Divided Kingdom Period are measured in years of 336 days, the synchronisms actually align. [Refer to Appendix 5. to see how it synchronises the Divided Kingdom Period]