“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of “the bamboozle”. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. “The bamboozle” has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”
― Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
This man stared into the face of God. But, he didn’t acknowledge God as extant because he had no quantifiable, specific facts or truth to support the belief in God; his statement was: “My view is that if there is no evidence for it, then forget about it. An agnostic is somebody who doesn’t believe in something until there is evidence for it, so I’m agnostic.”) To small minds such as mine, when standing in the presence of minds as great as his, it’s a matter of being flat-footed in the presence of the most fleet of runners. But then I become the fabled tortoise; slow, steady, impossible to stop because purpose drives me. If this life requires all things must be in balance; that it must maintain a sense of stasis where all things are countered by the reality of difference then black must be balance with white; weight with the ethereal, evidence presented doesn’t do away with the fact evidence may be as yet undiscovered. It doesn’t mean because we can’t see it that it isn’t there. But in the sense of men, we must understand that what we see is possibly the totality of what they are. If they appear soiled they may be dirty and just because they openly offer an apology, if they’re opportunistic political hacks, the apology is no more than a balm to be applied to the wounds he caused because his pain isn’t yours. The wound he sees as a mere scratch actually bleeds deeply into the core tissues weakening your health’s integrity and threatening your safety. This threat left unattended and untreated leads to protracted morbidity and illness. Because of this we lose our faith in the
The Sagan quote at the lede is an apropos statement from a man known to delve into the greatest truths he’s come to know and recognize his discoveries in one field, astronomy has given him a specific right to acknowledge the discoveries he’s found in man’s ethics.
Professor Sagan could have described our acceptance of politics and the politicians seeking gains through the usage of the “bamboozle”. They live the lie and spread the lie and finally come undone because of the lie.
The voters accepting the infamy alleged and apparently attested to in video presentation are living the “bamboozle”. They are truly captured in the snare set for them by generations of “bamboozlers” before this latest clown to come along. We all know the internal shame we experience when we find we’ve been “taken for a ride”, a ride designed to distract us until we can be abandoned on the road-side after the driver’s sullied the relationship with lies and acts of rapine nature. In that rapine nature power is the goal, not the sharing of a mutually beneficial intimacy. The lie forced upon the people is one they minimize to diminish their culpability and shame for having accepted the lie one more time. Einstein said: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
We as voters have come to suffer our shame in silence. We turn our heads and walk away from our responsibility to express our outrage as victims because it hurts to be a part of the equation. It hurts to admit by silently refusing to condemn the bad behaviors of our violators we are in fact complicit in the acts causing us a grievous damage and an outrageous wrong. We see this in the “Stockholm Syndrome” where we come to sympathize with our assailants; we almost empathize with their alleged sorrow and sadness for their duplicity. We know our shame and don’t want them to feel badly for too long lest we be seen as cruel in our demands for justice.
One thing learned long ago at the hands of people teaching me how to lie and then hypocritically chastised me and sanctioned me for having learned too well how to dispense the venom they’d injected me with; I learned that it only takes once for you to gain a reputation as a liar: “Once a liar, always a liar”.
No matter the protestation or the stridency of the defense: you lied once and are held suspect by those in the know: forever.
Vance McAllister need not resign now. It would place an unnecessary burden on the people in his district to replace him by holding another special election. No. What they need to do now is treat this wound with the fact THEY DID NOTHING WRONG IN THE FIRST PLACE! The people were LIED to. They believed a LIE. They can vote him back into office. They’ll prove they feel complicit and sullied because they were bamboozled and suffer the shame of their going back to this actor. They can hide their shame behind their forgiveness. But they can never hide the fact their timidity, temerity and refusal to demand justice gives license to the lack of ethical strengths NOT displayed by McAllister. Now McAllister hides behind the his children (whose mother he cheated on)and asks we not judge him lest it have a bad effect on his children’s privacy.
That’s rich. He should have thought about his acts threatening their privacy when he was found out.
In this case we could paraphrase H.L. Mencken who said: “People deserve the government they get…” In this case, if they accept the lie offered in a faux apology: “…they deserve to get it good and hard!”
Thanks for listening.