Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Lies

 

“But it is not the lie that passeth through the mind, but the lie that sinketh in, and settleth in it, that doth the hurt” — Francis Bacon, “Of Truth”

Which are the lies that pass through the mind and which are those that sink in? In the latter category, I’d put:

That the three-fifths compromise for counting the slave population is clear evidence of just how racist the authors of the Constitution were.

That health care is a right.

That equality of circumstances is possible or even desirable.

That we can and should raise our children to be “citizens of the world.”

That access to abortion is a prerequisite for women to realize their full potential.

That Michael Brown had his hands up and was saying “don’t shoot” when shot by a police officer in Ferguson, MO.

That Mitt Romney’s policies in particular and Republican policies in general were “gonna put y’all back in chains.”

That a person’s subjective belief about his or her gender is superior to the physical fact of his or her sex.

I think the above claims can pass through some minds and sink into others, but that they are particularly attractive lies to many people in this country.

As for the constant line that Trump is the worst because he lies, I generally hear that claim without specific citations of his lies. Here’s a useful guide to Trump’s lies, helpfully compiled by the Washington Post.

Of course, I have not read each of the 13,435 false or misleading claims that the WaPo has fact-checked. Of the ones I sampled, it seems that the truth of the claims could be sincerely debated or that they’re examples or Trump’s hyperbolic, salesman style. As with a restaurant menu that says “World’s Greatest Burger,” we understand that it’s advertising and not a statement of objective fact. To me, those sorts of “lies” are not ones that sink into the mind. If all politicians lie, I prefer lies about the budget and tax cuts to lies about the reality of biological sex.

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There are 20 comments.

  1. Kevin Schulte Member

    Diversity is our strength ! That’s why those who profer that, live in white havens. 

     

    • #1
    • November 10, 2019, at 6:21 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor

    It’s ironic that WaPo is counting all of Trump’s lies. Maybe they should look in the mirror.

    • #2
    • November 10, 2019, at 6:45 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  3. KentForrester Coolidge

    Lilly, you’ve really thought this through. Nicely done. You’ve left us with much to think about. 

    • #3
    • November 10, 2019, at 6:56 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  4. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B Post author

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Lilly, you’ve really thought this through. Nicely done. You’ve left us with much to think about.

    I thought of you while writing “his or her” because I started writing “their” and then realized how much influence the left is having over my choice of pronouns! I almost wrote just “his,” since that’s the way I was taught, but then I thought it sounded better in a sentence specifically about gender identity to use both his and her.

    • #4
    • November 10, 2019, at 7:27 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  5. Vectorman Thatcher

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Lilly, you’ve really thought this through. Nicely done. You’ve left us with much to think about.

    Ditto.


    The Quote of the Day series is the easiest way to start a fun conversation on Ricochet. There are many open days on the November Signup Sheet. We even include tips for finding great quotes, so choose your favorite quote and sign up today!

    • #5
    • November 10, 2019, at 7:48 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  6. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Human beings are destroying the planet.

    There are way too many human beings on the planet, which is a prime cause of the above situation.

    • #6
    • November 10, 2019, at 12:49 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  7. Bruce Caward Thatcher

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Human beings are destroying the planet.

    There are way too many human beings on the planet, which is a prime cause of the above situation.

    The people who think this never seem to see the logical direction the solution to their claim lies. I mean, if you posit that people eat too much asparagus, wouldn’t you try to set an example and stop eating asparagus? If you think everyone should recycle, wouldn’t you practice recycling?

    So you’re saying there are too many people. Well?

    • #7
    • November 10, 2019, at 1:04 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  8. Samuel Block Member

    Bruce Caward (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Human beings are destroying the planet.

    There are way too many human beings on the planet, which is a prime cause of the above situation.

    The people who think this never seem to see the logical direction the solution to their claim lies. I mean, if you posit that people eat too much asparagus, wouldn’t you try to set an example and stop eating asparagus? If you think everyone should recycle, wouldn’t you practice recycling?

    So you’re saying there are too many people. Well?


    Possible Babylon Bee headline:

    Presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren, climatologists meet to discuss final solution to AGW/overpopulation.

    • #8
    • November 10, 2019, at 1:29 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  9. Zafar Member

    If all politicians lie it’s because we reward them when they do and punish them when they tell the truth. It’s on us.

    • #9
    • November 10, 2019, at 6:14 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  10. Knotwise the Poet Member

    Lie- Bush lied to get us into the Iraq War and is a war criminal.

    Saw that one rearing its head a lot in comments sections recently when Ellen Degeneres defended her friendship with Bush.

    Lie- Disparities in socioeconomic outcomes and representation in various fields among different ethnic groups or the sexes are primarily due to discrimination by white males and it is a moral imperative that all such disparities be eliminated.

    • #10
    • November 10, 2019, at 7:11 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  11. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B Post author

    Zafar (View Comment):

    If all politicians lie it’s because we reward them when they do and punish them when they tell the truth. It’s on us.

    Also from Bacon’s essay “Of Truth”: 

    “Truth may perhaps come to the price of a pearl, that showeth best by day; but it will not rise to the price of a diamond, or carbuncle, that showeth best in varied lights. A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure.”

    I agree that we get what we deserve to the extent that politicians are trying to tell us what they think we want to hear, but I also think that each individual voter actually has so little influence. I think that saying the “American people” want this or that is rather meaningless. 

    • #11
    • November 11, 2019, at 6:37 AM PST
    • 1 like
  12. GrannyDude Member

    The important part of the quote is about the lies that “doeth the hurt.” Vulnerable people are being hurt by lies—sometimes physically and definitely psychologically. The lie that a young black man who is pulled over by the police is likely to be “shot in the back of the head” isn’t a lie that hurts Bernie (who told it). But it definitely hurts the young black man who raised the question with Mr. Sanders, and hurts all the young black men who heard the lie.

    After all, Bernie gets to go right on being an old, rich white guy who lives in the whitest and least violent state in the country. Meanwhile, his young interlocutor has just been told, with great authority, that his society regards him with lethal, violent hatred. 

    This is a lie, and it is unconscionable. 

    • #12
    • November 11, 2019, at 8:58 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  13. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B Post author

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    The important part of the quote is about the lies that “doeth the hurt.” Vulnerable people are being hurt by lies—sometimes physically and definitely psychologically. The lie that a young black man who is pulled over by the police is likely to be “shot in the back of the head” isn’t a lie that hurts Bernie (who told it). But it definitely hurts the young black man who raised the question with Mr. Sanders, and hurts all the young black men who heard the lie.

    After all, Bernie gets to go right on being an old, rich white guy who lives in the whitest and least violent state in the country. Meanwhile, his young interlocutor has just been told, with great authority, that his society regards him with lethal, violent hatred.

    This is a lie, and it is unconscionable.

    The lies of this type are huge and the harm they cause is incalculable. Politicians like Bernie deserve scorn for lying like this, but the popularity of the opinion is where the lie gets so much of its power. The idea that people prefer the lie troubles me as much as the lie itself.

    • #13
    • November 11, 2019, at 9:15 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  14. Zafar Member

    Charity begins at home. What lies am I being told which I find pleasing and choose to believe? I find it hard to answer this question, and I think most of us would when considering what we are told and find pleasing to believe. 

    • #14
    • November 11, 2019, at 2:09 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  15. GrannyDude Member

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Charity begins at home. What lies am I being told which I find pleasing and choose to believe? I find it hard to answer this question, and I think most of us would when considering what we are told and find pleasing to believe.

    I vividly recall the period in which I believed the lie that I was—as a woman—somehow oppressed because I was home with the kids and my husband was at work. I’d come of age as a feminist believing this to be a great injustice. Let me tell you, I hung onto my resentment for years and it did no one any good at all—not me, not my husband (!) and definitely not my children.

    Why did I find it pleasing to believe, I wonder? I suppose I thought that the resentment was righteous anger, defining me as (still) a feminist, somehow justifying what was, in fact, a spartan but nonetheless lucky existence: thanks to the willingness of my husband to be the sole provider for our family, I had the luxury of giving my children myself as their “full time childcare provider.”

    • #15
    • November 13, 2019, at 5:40 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  16. Zafar Member

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Charity begins at home. What lies am I being told which I find pleasing and choose to believe? I find it hard to answer this question, and I think most of us would when considering what we are told and find pleasing to believe.

    I vividly recall the period in which I believed the lie that I was—as a woman—somehow oppressed because I was home with the kids and my husband was at work. I’d come of age as a feminist believing this to be a great injustice. Let me tell you, I hung onto my resentment for years and it did no one any good at all—not me, not my husband (!) and definitely not my children.

    Why did I find it pleasing to believe, I wonder? I suppose I thought that the resentment was righteous anger, defining me as (still) a feminist, somehow justifying what was, in fact, a spartan but nonetheless lucky existence: thanks to the willingness of my husband to be the sole provider for our family, I had the luxury of giving my children myself as their “full time childcare provider.”

    What about now? The past is another country (who said that?) and it’s easier to identify false beliefs which I’m no longer invested in.

    If I had to pick now I suspect it’s something to do with how people respond to what I see as gay rights, but it’s too close to pick the wheat from the chaff. ??

    • #16
    • November 13, 2019, at 6:15 AM PST
    • Like
  17. GrannyDude Member

    Zafar (View Comment):

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Charity begins at home. What lies am I being told which I find pleasing and choose to believe? I find it hard to answer this question, and I think most of us would when considering what we are told and find pleasing to believe.

    I vividly recall the period in which I believed the lie that I was—as a woman—somehow oppressed because I was home with the kids and my husband was at work. I’d come of age as a feminist believing this to be a great injustice. Let me tell you, I hung onto my resentment for years and it did no one any good at all—not me, not my husband (!) and definitely not my children.

    Why did I find it pleasing to believe, I wonder? I suppose I thought that the resentment was righteous anger, defining me as (still) a feminist, somehow justifying what was, in fact, a spartan but nonetheless lucky existence: thanks to the willingness of my husband to be the sole provider for our family, I had the luxury of giving my children myself as their “full time childcare provider.”

    What about now? The past is another country (who said that?) and it’s easier to identify false beliefs which I’m no longer invested in.

    If I had to pick now I suspect it’s something to do with how people respond to what I see as gay rights, but it’s too close to pick the wheat from the chaff. ??

    That’s the thing, isn’t it? For one thing, the past may be another country, but we who used to live in it often have a tough time realizing that we’ve moved or been moved elsewhere.

    I’ve recognized this in myself when it comes to actual geography: “Oh, you should definitely go to this particular restaurant in Athens!” I’ll tell my peripatetic child, completely forgetting that I haven;’t been to Athens in 40 years. It feels like yesterday…so of course that restaurant has to be there still. 

    My mother will confidently describe the peculiarities of “French parents” because she lived in France as a parent…sixty years ago. 

    And so on.

    I honestly believe that a lot of my denomination’s and the left’s (but I repeat myself) vulnerability to -ism talk stems from living in a time warp. They’ll describe some horribly racist or homophobic event…and not realize that they’re talking about something that happened decades ago. 

    I think the right does this too, of course—well, because human beings do it. So a modern day conservative can project their present tolerance backward as if he or she had always been just as un-homophobic, sexist, racist or whatever.

    This is why history is so important. If nothing else, a solid grounding in history can alert us to the complexity, ambiguity and general messiness of human existence, give us a bit of humility about our own virtue and and the same time possibly make us a little more grateful for the progress that has definitely been made.

     

    • #17
    • November 13, 2019, at 9:13 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  18. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B Post author

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Charity begins at home. What lies am I being told which I find pleasing and choose to believe? I find it hard to answer this question, and I think most of us would when considering what we are told and find pleasing to believe.

    This is why history is so important. If nothing else, a solid grounding in history can alert us to the complexity, ambiguity and general messiness of human existence, give us a bit of humility about our own virtue and and the same time possibly make us a little more grateful for the progress that has definitely been made.

    I wish I could like all your comments more than once! You both make such great points. 

    • #18
    • November 13, 2019, at 12:43 PM PST
    • Like
  19. Zafar Member

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    I think the right does this too, of course—well, because human beings do it. So a modern day conservative can project their present tolerance backward as if he or she had always been just as un-homophobic, sexist, racist or whatever.

    Which is a pity, because it makes a whole point of view (that already contradicts confirmation bias) easier to dismiss as delusional.

    This is why history is so important. If nothing else, a solid grounding in history c[an] alert us to the complexity, ambiguity and general messiness of human existence, give us a bit of humility about our own virtue and and the same time possibly make us a little more grateful for the progress that has definitely been made.

    Related to this: we tend to assume that everybody experiences the world the way we do. But sometimes people experience it so differently that it might as well be a different reality.

    • #19
    • November 13, 2019, at 1:57 PM PST
    • Like
  20. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B Post author

    Zafar (View Comment):

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    I think the right does this too, of course—well, because human beings do it. So a modern day conservative can project their present tolerance backward as if he or she had always been just as un-homophobic, sexist, racist or whatever.

    Which is a pity, because it makes a whole point of view (that already contradicts confirmation bias) easier to dismiss as delusional.

    This is why history is so important. If nothing else, a solid grounding in history c[an] alert us to the complexity, ambiguity and general messiness of human existence, give us a bit of humility about our own virtue and and the same time possibly make us a little more grateful for the progress that has definitely been made.

    Related to this: we tend to assume that everybody experiences the world the way we do. But sometimes people experience it so differently that it might as well be a different reality.

    I don’t know about that. I actually started this post because I often feel like I’m living in a different reality than many of my neighbors and friends. I want to figure out what I’m missing. I don’t think Ricochetti are going to give me the “resistance” view, which is quite common here, but I am looking to get different perspectives and test my assumptions. And since I have changed my own views considerably in recent decades, I sometimes wonder how I might be mistaken now just as I once was. But there’s nothing like working for a decade to get to a point where you can earn good money only to be told that first year you actually feel successful that you’re not paying your fair share. Throw in the expense of young children and housing, and it causes one to reflect on all sorts of policies beyond taxes.

    • #20
    • November 13, 2019, at 2:20 PM PST
    • 2 likes