Monday, July 31, 2006

They can't stop lying

So New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg lied about why he wouldn’t let protestors gather in Central Park during the 2004 Republican Convention. It wasn’t about security or potential environmental concerns. It was political. What a surprise.

Republicans are habitual liars. Why? Ask Michael Corleone.

One of the many subplots in “The Godfather” movies was the gradual deterioration of the marriage between Michael Corleone and the outsider Kay. From the very beginning of their relationship, Kay is uneasy that Michael is evasive about his family’s business. As the saga progresses, Michael’s continuing lies about his illegal business dealings eventually push Kay out of his life.

In Michael’s world, there was no alternative for him but to lie, because telling the truth—that he was a bloodthirsty mobster who had people killed, including his own brother—would shock and alienate most anyone who wasn’t also a mobster. In other words, the lies were necessary to cover horrible truths understood by only a small group of initiates.

Which brings us to today’s conservatives. Why do they feel the need to lie, even at times when the truth would serve them better? The reasons are the same as their Mafioso brethren. Bush, Cheney, O’Reilly, Coulter, Robertson, Frist, et. al., have a horrible truth that can only be concealed by perpetual lies: The ideology to which they swear their allegiance is rotten at its core. Beneath the thin veneer of public service and fair and balanced is a dark, corrupt system powered by greed, hatred, cronyism, militarism, bigotry and selfishness. You won’t win a lot of votes with this agenda, so you lie.

You lie and you lie and you lie. You wrap your lies in religious images, patriotic slogans, family values and American flags. Twenty-first century conservatives won’t generally stand up at a podium and say, “I’m a racist.” They won’t admit that all of their tax cuts for wealthy individuals and large corporations are intended to buy support in elections. No political commercials will reveal that the Constitution doesn’t fit into their future plans for America.

So they lie. And they lie to cover their lies. Just as Michael Corleone could never be honest with his wife Kay, today’s Conservative politicians, pundits and prayermeisters can never be honest with the American people. The one difference is that Michael actually loved Kay.

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