Friday, August 21, 2020

“Goes To Credibility”

     “A thousand truths do not mark a man as a truth-teller, but a single lie marks him as a damned liar....Lying to other people is your business, but I tell you this: once a man gets a reputation as a liar, he might as well be struck dumb, for people do not listen to the wind.” -- Robert A. Heinlein
     “What do we really know of the time of our greatness? A few names of worlds and heroes, a ragtag of facts we’ve tried to patch into a history. The Shing law forbids killing, but they killed knowledge, they burned books, and what may be worse, they falsified what was left. They slipped in the Lie, as always.” -- Ursula LeGuin
     There is no need in human life so great as that men should trust one another and should trust their government, should believe in promises, and should keep promises in order that future promises may be believed in and in order that confident cooperation may be possible. Good faith -- personal, national, and international -- is the first prerequisite of decent living, of the steady going on of industry, of governmental financial strength, and of international peace. -- Benjamin M. Anderson
     “Never believe anything political until it is officially denied.” – old adage

     (I figured I’d get the quotes out of the way first, for the convenience of those who, like Ralph Waldo Emerson, “hate quotations.”)

     Now and then, if you watch the occasional “courtroom drama,” you’ll hear an exchange between a judge and a cross-examining attorney in which the attorney defends the legitimacy of a question he’s just asked by saying that it “goes to credibility.” There’s verisimilitude in such scenes, as whether a witness has a history of untrustworthy statements should affect what the jury makes of his testimony.

     Credibility in statement is one aspect of the condition we call trust. Can Smith trust Jones? What if Jones is known to have been dishonest in his past statements? If that’s the case, Smith would be well advised not to regard Jones as a source of reliable information. Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it?

     Credibility is a characteristic we demand from institutions as well as from individuals. Indeed, it might be the most important trait an institution can have...especially a political one:

     If an evildoer should desire the destruction of an institution, probably his most profitable course is to attack its credibility. If he is successful in damaging it thus, thereafter nothing else about it will matter. Whatever assets it still possesses will steadily dribble away. But what method is most likely to avail him?

     Why, infiltrating and corrupting its communications, of course!

     How much of what any level of government emits today is believed by Us the People? How badly have politicians’ prior lies, distortions, and omissions of context undermined their credibility, and by implication the credibility of all government representations? Indeed, how much confidence can we repose in the simplest of political mechanisms: the validation and counting of our votes?

     The question is becoming ever more critical as we approach November 3.

     We’ve had a number of recent elections whose results were deemed questionable for some reason. Vote fraud, illegal voting, voter intimidation, and other felonies have had their place. On occasion, the reason was simple incredulity: “How could he have beaten her?” The cumulative effect of such questioning has been to undermine the reliability of election results generally.

     The Left has shrieked mightily over election results that disfavored their preferred candidates. The Right has occasionally protested a result that struck us as corrupt – the election of Al Franken as a U.S. Senator, for example – but we haven’t raised nearly the stink the Left has produced, for a simple reason: We want Americans to trust the results of American elections. The alternative to transitions of authority by ballot is the removal of incumbents by bullet: violent coups, as in various less-than-respectable nations.

     The Left has no great love for elections. Too many of the “wrong” Americans are voting. The upcoming contest on November 3 is likely to disappoint the Left yet again. That makes it the Left’s goal to discredit the result in advance, by spreading a cloud of uncertainty and distrust over the election procedures regardless of what they may prove to be.

     Wes Rhinier lays out the stakes in his most recent essay:

     I’m convinced there will be no consensus regarding an agreed upon presidential victor on November 4th, or possibly weeks after, or possibly ever. The amount of incompetence in handling mail-in-ballots by the USPO and those tasked with counting them will be off the charts. The level of fraud in attempting to win this election will be on a level never seen before, making Daley’s shenanigans to get Kennedy the necessary votes in 1960 seem like child’s play.

     When a system is specifically designed in such a way that cheating is easy, there will be a significant amount of cheating. The stakes in this election have never been higher. The future path of the nation will be set in motion by the outcome of this election. But the truth is, no matter the outcome, the losers will not accept the verdict. That is when this Fourth Turning moves into its truly violent stage, making these urban riots in Democrat stronghold cities seem like minor league play acting.

     If Wes’s prediction doesn’t send a chill down your spine, check your pulse: you may have died and not noticed.

     There is no Last Graf. While I believe that President Trump would win an honest election handily, I can’t imagine a way to ensure the credibility of the election to come. Should he be declared the winner, the Left will accelerate the existing violence in a last-ditch attempt to cow us into submitting to its agenda. I expect only discord and feel only fear. That’s all that’s left after trust is gone.

     Have a nice day.



I feel like we've been painted into a corner.

If Biden wins... we're f*cked.

If Trump wins, but by a thin margin, the Left will scream, file suits, riot, etc, and... we're f*cked.

If Trump wins, but by a big margin, the Left will scream that Trump must have cheated; they'll scream, file suits, riot, etc, and... we're f*cked.

I don't see a scenario where there isn't some level of bloodshed.

Unknown said...

Good. Right now I believe the only way we can save this Republic is with bloodshed. We cannot vote our way out of a corrupt communist infested government. Can't happen.

So if blood is needed to dispel these traitors then I should hope mine is. I killed communists in Vietnam and have no qualms about doing the same on Pennsylvania Ave. I really can't think of anything I'd rather die for.

Linda Fox said...

Unfortunately, we really do have to accept that - where the political alliances and rabid voters are concerned - we do NOT trust the other side.

Because of that high level of mistrust, mail in voting (not provision for occasional absentee ballots) is a recipe for enabling fraud. Which is the ONLY way that the Dems can win.

About the only thing that will save us is refusal to accept clear abuse of the voting privilege, and be prepared to back it up with "our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor".

May I suggest that ALL GOP voters were RED when casting votes in person, or mailing in/dropping off their ballots? Take a picture, and put it on social media, with the tag #RedForTrumpVoter. If someone has the bandwidth, post the pictures of that sea of red clothing, and count the ones that declared their vote. My prediction is that the YUGE number of 'red-shirts' will dwarf the Blues. Kinda makes it harder to claim a Dem landslide if that happens.

Paul Bonneau said...

“A thousand truths do not mark a man as a truth-teller, but a single lie marks him as a damned liar....Lying to other people is your business, but I tell you this: once a man gets a reputation as a liar, he might as well be struck dumb, for people do not listen to the wind.” -- Robert A. Heinlein

Heinlein seems to be wrong here. The TV is overflowing with known liars, yet people still listen to them. Every politician lies constantly, yet re-election is the norm.

I suppose trust in election results is a good thing - at least when the train is still on the tracks. But when it is plunging off the trestle, maybe skepticism is a lot more useful. Skepticism about "legitimacy" leads to disobedience, and when things like gun confiscation and forced covid vaccination are on the menu, disobedience is what is needed.

"Defiance, not obedience, is the American's answer to overbearing authority."
-- Ayn Rand

squeeky's mom said...

By accident I stumbled onto a video on fb. Black man in a car - title said Dr. Somebody - Talking about how Black people have to vote for Trump and he's had a dream, revelation but Trump for the good of Black people they must elect Trump. Went on in the same vein for 9 minutes. What surprised me was the heart and all those thing you can send as they speak. It was flooded with heart and emojis but it had 748,000 Likes. One person, almost 800 thousand. That's when I quit worrying about Trump winning. This man can't be the only one but he did say that the Face had taken this down once before. My hope when he wins is Nancy and Maxine both have heart attacks and have to retire.



I personally hope they have heart attacks and go to that flaming place. But then, I'm nasty and vindictive towards open traitors of America.