U.S. Public Don’t Care if Politicians Lie

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org

Everybody knows that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are inveterate liars; but, do Americans really care? The vast majority of us care only as partisans in politics, not as partisans for truth and against lies. And that’s why democracy has died in America. (Please click on the link here, wherever you question this, or any other given assertion’s veracity: questioning the factuality, the veracity, of any assertion is good, not bad — such as people of faith are systematically misled to believe, to view doubt as being a weakness, or even a sin.)

To say that a voter cares whether or not a particular politician is a liar, is to say that even if the politician is of that voter’s own political party, the voter will reject the politician for being a liar. In the United States, most voters are either Democratic or Republican; and, for example, Republicans accept George W. Bush (he left office in 2009 with a Republican approval rating of 75%, but a Democratic approval rating of 6%) even though he lied us into invading Iraq, and Democrats accept Barack Obama (his latest approval rating is 90% from Democrats but 11% from Republicans) even though he tried to lie us into invading Syria and was stopped only when British intelligence warned David Cameron and leaked to Seymour Hersh that the 21 August 2013 Syrian sarin attack which Obama was using as a pretext for his planned invasion had been done by the jihadists that Obama was arming, not by Assad as Obama was falsely claiming. (An independent American investigation found exactly he same thing.) (And, Obama knew that if he couldn’t get Britain in on the invasion, the invasion would need to be cancelled. And, as things turned out, he couldn’t get Britain in on it. Cameron didn’t want to become another Tony Blair.) All of the U.S. ‘news’ media hid all of this from the U.S. public, but Americans nonetheless trust U.S. ‘news’ media enough to subscribe to them and to buy what they advertise. And Republicans still trust George W. Bush, and Democrats still trust Barack Obama — despite their proven lies (which U.S. ‘news’ media hide and have hidden: the most crucial lies are the ones that the ‘news’ media, of both political Parties, refuse ever to expose; so, the ‘news’ media are locked into continuing their previous lies about those matters — lies such as the official story about 9/11, which are the government’s lies that the nation’s press still accepts as being truths).

On September 14th, Gallup bannered “Americans’ Trust in Mass Media Sinks to New Low” and reported: “Americans’ trust and confidence in the mass media ‘to report the news fully, accurately and fairly’ has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history, with 32% saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media. This is down eight percentage points from [the 40%] last year [and this plunge, from that 40% down to the present 32%, is actually a 20% plunge, not merely ‘down eight percentage points’, but 20% down from the prior year — the steepest plunge in the poll’s entire 19-year history, even steeper than the 18.52% plunge in 2004 after no WMD were found in Iraq].” However, Americans continued to trust those ‘news’ media enough to subscribe to them and to buy what’s advertised on them; so, evidently, that 32% figure still isn’t yet low enough to affect matters in any fundamental way.

Consequently, Americans actually distrust only foreign news-sources (especially in ‘enemy’ nations — such as Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Russia, and China — that America’s aristocracy want to conquer so as to extend their empire yet further, and that therefore commonly contradict key lies that are spread unanimously in the U.S. ‘news’ media) — and Americans distrust only politicians of, and news-reports by media that lie for, the opposite political party from their own. Americans trust domestic ‘news’ sources, and their own political party (though both are full of lies — and both are controlled by and serve the U.S. aristocracy). However, believing in lies, produces self-contradictions, which unfortunately few people even notice, much less comment upon; and this widespread acceptance of self-contradictions enables the public to be, and to remain, deceived by, and thus suckers of, their own country’s aristocratically controlled national ‘news’ media, and not to seek out news that contradicts it, especially from ‘enemy’ countries, so as to expose themselves to a partisanship that extends beyond their own borders — and maybe thereby, to the actual truth. This widespread public acceptance of self-contradiction enables the public to become (and remain) controlled by the domestic aristocracy. Signs of this widespread public acceptance of self-contradiction are abundant:

For example, a poll by Monmouth University during 4-7 August found that 63% of Americans said they were “tired of hearing about” Hillary Clinton’s emails, and only 34% said “this is something the media should continue to cover.” (As if the FBI’s ‘investigation’ of that matter had been authentic instead of fake — but it was fake, and the public really don’t care: they trust their government, and they trust their national press to be watchdogs to expose any rot that might exist in it; this trust continues even after the 2003 invasion of Iraq to ‘destroy Saddam’s WMD’.)

A month earlier, a poll by Rasmussen, taken on the same day (July 5th) when the FBI announced there would be no prosecution of Clinton’s email operation, found that “37% of likely U.S. voters agree with the FBI’s decision. But 54% disagree and believe the FBI should have sought a criminal indictment of Clinton. Ten percent (10%) are undecided.” Then, on July 6-7, “The Post-ABC poll found 56 percent disapprove of [FBI Director] Comey’s recommendation against charging Clinton while 35 percent approve.” So, clearly, Americans overwhelmingly rejected the FBI’s decision (even while continuing to believe in the legitimacy of their government’s decisions and actions in the matter).

In other words, though Americans overwhelmingly (by 54% to 37%, or 56% to 35%) believed that the FBI was covering up for Clinton, Americans even more overwhelmingly (by 63% to 34%) didn’t want there to be any further investigation into the matter. Deep down, most Americans are authoritarian, and are willing to accept a dictatorial government — one in which the top people stand above and beyond the reach of the law; they are immune from the law: not a nation “of laws, not of men”; but a nation “of men, not of laws.” That type of nation is a classical aristocracy, now commonly called an “oligarchy,” in order to enable aristocrats to deny that there still is an aristocracy — to fool the public into believing that they’re being ruled by the public, instead of by an aristocracy (otherwise known as a “dictatorship”).

Furthermore, Rasmussen found extreme partisanship in the public’s beliefs regarding whether Clinton should have been prosecuted: Though 54% of the total public thought the FBI ought to have prosecuted her email operation, only 25% of Democrats did; but 79% of Republicans did. Democrats overwhelmingly wanted her to be immune from prosecution — which is what the FBI did in her case (held her immune from prosecution for crimes that they had prosecuted and convicted lesser people for). This is truly an aristocracy. Not only George W. Bush stands above the law for his crimes; but so do Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton, and all the rest of the aristocracy, stand above the law for theirs; and so do the billionaires and centi-millionaires — the aristocrats who hired them — who financed their (and the other top) political careers.

The only difference is that, whereas Democrats don’t want Democratic politicians to be imprisoned for violating their oaths of office, Republicans don’t want Republican politicians to be imprisoned for violating their oaths of office. Regardless of whether a politician is serving mainly Democratic aristocrats or Republican aristocrats, the ‘public’ official serves actually the aristocracy, and therefore is above the law, just as are the people that the ‘public’ official is serving. But the reason why it can be so, is that the public are deceived to think that the great conflict is between Democrats and Republicans, when, in fact, it’s between the aristocracy, and the public (regardless of Party).

On 15 February 2015, CNN bannered “Study: ‘U.S. Army Officers Lie’ Routinely”, and announced that “The 33-page report, compiled following interviews with officers across the Army, concluded that the Army’s culture is rife with ‘dishonesty and deception’ at all levels of the institution — from the most junior members to senior Army officials.” The U.S. Department of ‘Defense’ is the only branch of the federal government that is so dishonest it simply cannot be audited: the only way it ever managed to get even a portion of it (the Marine Corps) to have its books approved by an auditing firm was one year when “IG [Inspector General] leadership had pressured its auditors to support an outside accounting firm’s clean audit opinion, despite the auditors believing that the Marine Corps had actually not been qualified to receive it. A subsequent review by the GAO also found the IG’s process for issuing that opinion [approving the audit it had coerced] was deeply flawed.” Robbery of U.S. taxpayers by means of the military, is consequently the easiest way. It’s now also the most trusted way:

Ever since the 2001 9/11 attacks, the annual “Confidence in Institutions” report from Gallup, has shown the U.S. military to be (and by far) the most trusted institution, above churches, courts, the Presidency, Congress, police, the criminal justice system, schools,  the medical system, banks, newspapers, labor unions, and business. 

America used to be a democracy, when Franklin Delano Roosevelt ruled, and to a decreasing extent afterwards, until around 1980, when inequality of wealth soared in America, and the billionaires increasingly took over (in accord with Reagan’s faith that economic class won’t determine economic opportunity in America — such as his policies helped to exacerbate developing here: the emergent aristocracy). But now it’s so much a dictatorship, that even the last of the democratic U.S. Presidents, Jimmy Carter, recently blurted out that “it’s just an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery.” (Of course, that “bribery” reigns especially over the military, which is why lies also reign there.) The American public don’t yet recognize what that means, because their ‘news’ media pretend, even today, that there still remains a big Democratic-Republican Party split (and little to no split between the aristocrats and the public — after all: ‘America is [still] a democracy’). Americans thus are now choosing between one criminal gang and another, and still think that they’re choosing ‘their’ government. It still is a government over them, but no longer a government by them. And they accept it because they’ve been deceived (by the aforementioned aristocracy and its hired politicians and ‘news’ media).

For example, even after 15 years, the American public still haven’t yet been informed that 9/11 was a joint project between the Saudi royal family and George W. Bush, among others (including, but not limited to, the top level of Al Qaeda). Even after 15 years. In 2007, a Zogby poll found that “Only 4.8 percent of the respondents agreed that members of the U.S. government ‘actively planned or assisted some aspects of the attack.’” After Obama became President, there has been almost no polling on this sensitive matter; but, on 21 March 2010, Canada’s Angus Reid polling organization randomly polled 1,007 Americans, and found that the proposition that “The collapse of the World Trade Center was the result of a controlled demolition” (i.e., entailed American participation) was believed by only 15% of Americans, and was rejected by 74%, though it is actually true regarding WTC7, and almost certainly true also for WTC1 and WTC2. (And this U.S. participation in 9/11 couldn’t have happened extemporaneously; it required lengthy advance-preparation.) The cover-ups started in the government, and were completed by its stenographic press. (Both the government and the press are owned by the same aristocracy: this is the libertarian heaven — the government is owned/controlled by the same people who own/control the private sector and the ‘news’ media; the public are merely those people’s serfs, subjects instead of citizens; the government itself is, fundamentally, privatized — the libertarian ideal.)

So, one can reasonably wonder how much longer truth, and truthfulness, will continue to remain matters of only partisan interest in the United States, or whether democracy (in which truthfulness rises above partisanship) here will simply never be able to be restored (and politics will therefore continue to be based upon lies, and the public will continue to vote upon that fraudulent basis).

The rot in America goes very deep. It goes to the casual attitude toward truth-falsity, and thus toward truth-tellers versus liars. It goes to the very foundation of what democracy is all about. And that’s why democracy has been lost here, and the question at the present stage of our national history is: How can it be regrown, or has America become now a desert for democracy?


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • J_Bookly

    Journalism didn’t change into propaganda/infotainment overnight. It took a couple of decades. People became uninformed and inactive by the boiling frog method.

    I understand why the self-appointed lords want the serfs to be quiet and cooperative. What I don’t understand is why the truth-tellers have also picked up the bad habit of scolding people who have lost hope and feel powerless.

    When people stop believing they can do something about X, they put X in the “no point in trying” category. Instead of insulting these people, why not tell them, yes, it is possible to register a concern/complaint/question/ feeling of outrage? Why not let them know that if 20,000 people tell Senator Y he’s not worth demoting to dogcatcher, even Senator Y—however self-absored and embedded in groupthink he may be—would probably notice.

    Of course this is only a first step. Once a person gets back into the habit of believing he deserves decent treatment as a citizen, he might carry that further and become politically active. He might even join a third party and help make it more effective.

    Instead of feeding the epidemic of hopelessness, you should put at least one “go do something” bit of contact information in each article. If you think this is really hopeless, then maybe we should just have a Happy Serf Day and forget about it.

    • Eric Zuesse

      This article isn’t about how to restore democracy. It’s about a deeper and truer understanding of how democracy was lost.

      • Bob

        Yes, but it’s also a warning about how much more democracy can and will be lost.

        • J_Bookly

          Thanks, Bob. I’ve read the rest of these comments this morning and am blown away by their lack of empathy for our beleaguered fellow citizens. Nothing but disdain. I grew up with people who had been through the Great Depression and they frequently mentioned a sense of “we’re all in this together.” There’s not a tiny bit of that flavor in these comments. Wow.

  • cstahnke

    Completely agree. most Americans no longer have any interest in democracy or Constitutional rule. That time has passed. But it goes beyond that. Americans also have little interest in virtue particularly courage and honor along with an alarming disregard for truth. This is something that goes across the cultural and political spectrum. In many ways the historical moment for democracy has passed and, around the world, this trend is growing–the U.S. Is just further along.

    • Folks simply cannot know what they do not seek like this fine article from here at Washington’s blog.

      May 6, 2016 How Much Liberty Do Americans Have Left?

      This post explains the liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights – the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution – and provides a scorecard on the extent of the loss of each right.


  • Army of Addicts

    People go-along-to-get-along, but somehow fool themselves into the belief that they are actually “taking a stand”.

    There’s no need to face-your-enemy toe-to-toe. It’s much easier to pay someone to do it for you. If “mistakes” are made by those employed to watch over you and yours, well, is all good.

    People want a life where they need have no fear of the unknown, and they will pay any price to acquire it, even at the expense of the truth.

    Truth becomes relative in the pursuit American Dream. If I look good to those around me, my legacy will be free from scrutiny.

  • Charlie Primero

    The United States has more Democracy than ever; far more than the Founding Fathers ever intended.

    Witness the Result: Mob Warfare. Today voting is nothing more than a contest to seize the weapon of government for looting some ‘other’ group.

    Mr. Zeus is correct that such mobs care little for Truth, Reason, and Logic. America today is Law of the Jungle, “What can I seize with this upcoming weapon/congressional vote”?

    The future result of this animalistic Jungle thinking is well-known and predictable. Great-grandchildren be damned. Institutions like marriage, frugality, and long-range planning be damned.

  • August 2, 2016 If Voting Made A Difference, They Wouldn’t Let Us Do It

    “The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.”—Joseph Stalin, dictator of the Soviet Union.


  • The Uninvited Guest

    The public doesn’t care that their politicians lie because the public themselves are liars, so inured to the myriad little lies their sandcastle selves are built on that were our society to demand an actual accounting of the lies piled atop crimes and the crimes piled atop lies it would generate such a maelstrom as to utterly erase everything that we think we know about who we are and why we do what we do.

    As Zuesse says, deep down most Americans are authoritarian. That’s one way of putting it. Though they would deny it to the end and have many ideological justifications for distinguishing themselves from the common rabble, the fact is our elites are simply a reflection of us and vice versa. Appealing to democracy or republicanism or monarchy or anarcho syndicalism or whatever is utterly fruitless because any temples we build will only ever be reflections of the minds that constructed them. And our minds are sick.

    So what’s the solution, assuming that there is one? An unforeseen natural cataclysm that rips this planet in two and puts it back together upside down so that everything will be right side up again. Unforetold suffering the likes of which reduces human beings to grateful humility before the works and mysteries of nature. Until such time, do the best you can do but don’t think this tango is going to end without a tremendous amount of blood on the dance floor.

  • MrLiberty

    You will know that people finally care about what their politicians support, the lies they tell, etc. when the voter turnout drops below 20% or so. People are just too tied to the ridiculous belief that political solutions will solve the problems that politicians have caused. Nothing could be further from the truth.