Friday, April 14, 2006

Jesus Churchill

I've been wondering seemingly forever which it the worse case scenario: Does George Bush know he's lying or does he honestly believe what he's saying when he lies? I used to fear the latter, but it's not what scares me now.

From early childhood through adult years we all employ the white lie, sometimes because we try to spare someone unnecessary discomfort, sometimes because we believe a greater good is served by this minor sinning. All leaders, all presidents, at their discretion, must withhold, distort, ignore, or invent the "truth" in the service of some larger goal. We expect presidents, dealing in global and domestic and economic complexities, to judiciously select when and how to dissemble, and the trust we place in presidents is in no small part our faith that when he deceives us he does so for the greater good. My concern with this administration is not primarily in its means but in its ends. When I criticize the means it's to illuminate the ends. That this president is particularly dishonest in his methods demonstrates how venal are his goals.

But what if this president, hand-picked by Oligarchy Inc because his mediocrity and inflated self-opinion made him, they thought, particularly malleable, has morphed into Jesus Churchill? What if he views his failures of policy and execution as proof of the righteousness of his policies and execution? Views the death of each soldier as testament to his strength? Views all dissenting opinions as proof of his wisdom and views all laudatory opinions as simply his due? Views every apostasy as validation of his steadfastness? Dismisses all evidence against him as dinosaur bones planted by the very devil?

He already thinks that as president he's above the law, that he's permitted anything. What if this president has passed beyond knowingly lying for what he perceives to be a greater good? What if this president now believes, by his mere utterance, he can transubstantiate falsity into truth and truth into falsity? What if the President of the United States now believes that when he says anything it must necessarily be true?


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