“I hate to disrespect the president, but he’s lying.”
That was TV commentator Dick Morris last night on Fox’s “Hannity,” talking about Barack Obama’s primetime speech in which the president once again warned Americans their government was on the verge of catastrophic default.
But what I want to focus on here is Morris’s qualifier, “I hate to disrespect the president, but …”
I sympathize with Morris’s personal and professional awkwardness in calling the president of the United States a liar. I’ve seen my good friend Sean Hannity struggle with this same awkwardness many times: He nails an outright lie the president has told, and may even use the word “lie,” but his delivery is usually accompanied by a certain discomfort at having to speak the truth so nakedly.
There’s a good reason for this reticence and awkwardness.
Most of us as Americans love our country and revere our presidents – if not the person himself, at least we revere the office he holds. It was also held by Washington and Jefferson and Lincoln, after all. So we speak with appropriate respect and restraint – almost veneration – for the elected leader of the free world. And so we should.
But what happens when Americans – as 69 million of us did in November 2008 – make the disastrous mistake of elevating someone profoundly unworthy to hold the office of president, someone dedicated to “transforming” this nation into something that would horrify all preceding generations of Americans, and whose primary tool for accomplishing this is … lying?
So, let’s talk about liars and lying for a few minutes.
You see, lies and liars are so common, so unremarkable, so ordinary in this life, we tend not to realize the extraordinary power for evil they represent.
But according to famed psychiatrist M. Scott Peck, people who are caught up with evil are, first and foremost, liars. In his classic book, “People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil,” Peck explains that such people lie not only to everyone around them, but to themselves as well, “deceiving others as they also build layer upon layer of self-deception.”
At this point, let’s just say it: The president of the United States, Barack Obama, is a liar. I don’t mean he lies once in a while. Or even that he lies fairly frequently in order to get his way. I mean that his presidency is one continual, ongoing lie.
As an American citizen and a journalist for three decades, this is – as Morris correctly suggested – painful to express so bluntly. Painful not because the truth of it is even remotely in question; the evidence of Obama’s boundless lying is both overwhelming and irrefutable. But painful because saying it reminds us of the terrible mistake we made in electing him, a mistake that is obscured and assuaged when we speak in delicately constructed euphemisms (“the president is engaging in typical Chicago politics,” “I believe he was somewhat disingenuous about that,” “the president misspoke” and so on).
Over my 45+ years in the business community, both domestic and international, I have dealt with an overwhelming variety of people of all races and political philosophies. Men and women who were thoroughly honest and many who had no concept of honor and integrity. Among them were those who would do or say anything to achieve their ends and do so with a straight face and an air of self-confidence that would deceive the most gullible. …
While I have always been wary of and have written about his dishonesty, after the speech the president delivered the 13th of April regarding the federal budget, one that was chock full of lies, deceit and crass fear-mongering, it must be said that Barack Obama is the most dishonest, deceitful and mendacious person in a position of power I have ever witnessed.
But there’s more. Remember, as Andy McCarthy noted, Obama doesn’t lie only when he is trying to get his way. He lies even when he doesn’t “need to,” so to speak. He simply lies. Deceptive is his normal. Whatever he says, more often then not, turns out to be the opposite of the truth:
Obamacare – officially titled “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” – actually affords citizens less protection and freedom, and radically increases costs of care.
The “Respect for Marriage Act” – a current congressional effort Obama supports to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and pave the way for forcing same-sex marriage on the entire nation – would therefore more honestly be titled the “No Respect for Marriage Act.”
When Obama pulled the trigger recently on implementation of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” he proclaimed: “Today, we have taken the final major step toward ending the discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law that undermines our military readiness.” But all the evidence points to the precise opposite conclusion – that legitimizing and protecting open homosexuality in our military will undermine morale, unit cohesion and overall morality, and thus readiness.
The lies are endless and seemingly effortless:
During the presidential campaign, Obama promised to voters at least eight different times – on camera (all preserved on YouTube) – that the upcoming healthcare debate would be the paragon of transparency, “carried live on C-SPAN.” As president, the healthcare debate and final congressional passage unfolded as one of the most underhanded, ugly, sleazy and arguably illegal congressional spectacles of our lifetime. Nancy Pelosi brazenly highlighted the point that no one – not even Congress – had even read the 2,700-page healthcare monstrosity, by telling the nation, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”
We could go on, recalling and linking to documentary proof-positive of major, consequential lie after major, consequential lie. But let’s pause now, and go back to M. Scott Peck and examine something he says about “people of the lie”:
While they seem to lack any motivation to be good, they intensely desire to appear good. Their “goodness” is all on a level of pretense. It is, in effect, a lie. That is why they are the “people of the lie.” The wickedness of the evil is not committed directly, but indirectly as a part of this cover-up process.
To try to explain such people’s deepest motivations, Peck talks about “malignant narcissism” – a personality disorder one veteran forensic psychiatrist recently told me very likely applies to Barack Obama:
Malignant narcissism is characterized by an unsubmitted will. All adults who are mentally healthy submit themselves one way or another to something higher than themselves, be it God or truth or love or some other ideal. … They believe in what is true rather than what they would like to be true.
In summary, to a greater or lesser degree, all mentally healthy individuals submit themselves to the demands of their own conscience. Not so the evil, however. … They are men and women of obviously strong will, determined to have their own way.
In one respect, the reason for Obama’s constant deception is obvious and understandable. He’s committed to leading a center-right country far to the left. How could he possibly succeed if he were honest about where he really is heading? Only a small percentage of Americans would follow. So he lies.
Unfortunately, there’s an even uglier aspect to this. You’ve heard about Obama’s notoriously “thin skin” – his near-total inability to handle criticism, to graciously deal with opposition? I’ll paraphrase Peck’s explanation of such extreme narcissism:
To maintain the illusion that you’re right all the time, even though you’re profoundly wrong, not only do you have to lie, confuse other people and tempt them to doubt the truth about you and your intentions; you also have to scapegoat the innocent.
And just look at our beloved country today. Led by Obama, the liberal-left media-fed culture scapegoats and demonizes everything good and normal. Tea partiers are racist. Fox News Channel is not a real news organization. Republicans want to kill old people. Sarah Palin is responsible for the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. American conservatives are complicit in
the mass murder spree in Norway of Anders Breivik. It never ends. To the left, scapegoating is like breathing. It’s a very nasty form of lying.
Most of us, when we hear the word “evil,” tend to think of great crimes, wars of aggression, genocides, terror attacks, Satanic cults and so on. But the building block of evil is much more “humble.” It is the lie. The lie is the cellular structure of what makes up all of the most horrendous evil in this world. We can fight it by calmly exposing lies as lies.