Sunday, September 11, 2016

Mr X Is Wrong: People Aren't Suckers For The Truth

Hillary's right: at least half of Trump's supporters are a basket of deplorables. They've got a lot of problems. One thing which would help them out a lot with many of those problems, the same way it helps most people, is better education. And about the last guy who's going to give them better education is the orange-and-blonde doofus they're supporting. He's lying to them more than he's lying to anyone else -- which is a lot.

You ever see Oliver Stone's movie JFK, with Kevin Costner as Jim Garrison, the real-life New Orleans DA trying forlornly to solve the case of JFK's murder while being attacked from all sides by pathological liars? The most striking part of the movie is the one with Donald Sutherland as Mr X, the ex-military intelligence guy who tells Garrison, very convincingly, that he could prove that a widespread conspiracy within the US government removed JFK because LBJ was more amenable to their program of military build-up and escalated war in Vietnam -- a build-up they favored because it was making them billions of dollars in profits. That is, he could prove it, except that no-one would believe him if came forward, plus he'd be sent to a mental hospital for the rest of his life, or worse, by the people he accused.

Anyway, Mr X tells Garrison, attempting to encourage him to continue fighting the good fight and bring the real killers to justice: "People are suckers for the truth."

Sounds nice, but I think it's 3 words too long: people are suckers, period. If people were suckers for the truth, a widespread government conspiracy wouldn't have been able to kill JFK for financial reasons and get away with it, and Mr X wouldn't have been afraid to give Garrison his real name for fear that his former friends and colleagues would do away with him because he was somewhat more truthful than they, and things like military intelligence and the CIA might not be necessary in the first place, and Hillary wouldn't have to worry about telling the truth about Trump's supporters right out loud, and there wouldn't be nearly as many of Trump's supporters to begin with. They're not suckers for the truth, they're either out-and-out liars, or they can't HANDLE the truth.

If people were suckers for the truth, Hillary wouldn't have taken a hit in the West Virginia primary for telling the truth: that the West Virginia coal-mining industry is going away and not coming back. That's the truth, and Hillary said it, and Bernie didn't, and Bernie won West Virginia by a wide margin. Bernie, the guy who tells it like it is and says that America's #1 challenge is global warming. Unless there are votes to be won and he's speaking to former coal miners who want to be coal miners again.

People aren't suckers for the truth. Not most of them. They're just suckers. THAT'S the truth. And if I were on Hillary's campaign staff, I wouldn't know how to advise her about how to spin her truthful, undiplomatic characterization of Trump's supporters. My strong gut feeling would be to tell her something like, "You said the truth! Go with the truth! Double down!"

But of course, political campaigns are not won by gut feelings, nor by the truth. They're won by cleverness, cold dispassionate analysis, slander and bullshit. The truth is interesting to a few historians, journalists and autistic bloggers whose voices are drowned out by those of hacks, half-wits, tools and goons.

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