Nice one about "Little Lies" in the GOP culture, by Paul Krugman

There is a piece in today’s New York Times by Paul Krugman, talking about how GOP politicians, routinely in the past 20 years, have used a battery of “little lies” as a means to attack political opponents. (Sounds like another legacy of Richard Nixon.)

Krugman contrasts the “big lies” such as a nonexistent connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq, with these other, smaller but repetitive falsehoods. They are mouthed time and again by partisans who are looking to attack some individual or plan.

I wholeheartedly agree with what Krugman is pointing out. What is funny, to boot, is the term “little lie”. If you read the article, it sounds like many of these little ones weren’t so small at all. (When does a little lie grow up enough to be what used to be what was simply called a lie.)

The practice of spreading repeated lies entered our political culture, when? There is no certain date, but my goodness it is prevalent nowadays!

It calls to mind a fantastic book written by a Princeton University philosopher named Harry Frankfurt, called “On Bullshit”. Frankfurt derided the modern bullshit artist, and said that he or she was worse than the liar—because the liar at least has some awareness of the truth, but deliberately does not tell it. The bullshitter simply states whatever he or she wants, regardless of its truth.

I have met both kinds along the way.

One thing I noticed about Confucian/Eastern cultures, is that there is much less tolerance for outright lying. People bend over backwards through all other sorts of social rituals, then to be put out as someone not trustworthy. It is like the Protestant culture in America of many years ago.

Nowadays, we are stuck however, with the “little liars”. They go around saying things that are utterly untrue, and because they say them enough, they get away with it. No one calls them on it–puts their faces right in the facts. And since their mouths are going all the time, maybe no one realizes anything is wrong.