Before reading any further, please leave all political party affiliations at the door.
Many people have said this song is about the current administration. Regardless of their party affiliation or perspective, they all could point to numerous examples of “well-documented” lies, broken campaign promises, or other perceived deceptions as evidence. The validity of such analysis notwithstanding, this is not the subject of “Don’t Let a Liar Lead You”.
The song was inspired by a book written by the best-selling author Andy Andrews. A New York Times reporter hailed Andrews as “someone who has quietly become one of the most influential people in America.” Andrews has spoken at the request of four different United States presidents. His book, which is titled “How Do You Kill Eleven Million People? – Why the Truth Matters More Than You Think”, issues a wakeup call: “become informed citizens who demand honesty and integrity from our leaders, or suffer the consequences of our own ignorance and apathy. We can no longer measure a leader’s worth by the yardsticks provided by the left or the right. Instead, we must use an unchanging standard: the pure, unvarnished truth.”
In his book, Andrews explores a number of questions supremely relevant to us all:
- Does it matter that millions of ordinary citizens have checked out of participating in the decisions that shape the future of our country?
- Which is more dangerous: politicians with ill intent, or the too-trusting population that allows such people to lead them?
- How are we supposed to tell the difference between the “good guys” and the “bad guys”?
- How does the answer to this question affect not only our country but our families, our faith, and our values?
- What happens to a society in which truth is absent?
On the inside flap Andrews writes, “Several years ago I asked myself three questions: Where do we begin to find common ground in regard to what we want (or don’t want) for the future of America? Is it possible to write something that doesn’t use the words Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative, yet conveys a message with which everyone could agree? Can it be written in a concise fashion allowing anyone to read it, clearly understand the message, and be empowered in less than fifteen minutes?”
The message is that the American public cannot continue to support political leadership that sustains its existence by lies and deception.
People are often hypocrites when it comes to deception. Why is it a felony to lie to Congress, but the members of Congress are permitted to lie to us with impunity? When details are left out which are important to your decision-making process, someone is misleading you. But when you do the same, it’s ok, or so too many of us seem to believe. At some level, deception is everywhere, and we are all exposed to it. To avoid unfortunate consequences, everyone naturally tries to detect lies and deception. Surprisingly, however, most people are unsuccessful at consistently detecting deception.
A liar often conveniently rationalizes away his lie. If the liar thinks about his own deceptive behavior, he thinks of it in a very narrow, restrictive definition that allows his deception to escape classification as a lie. It is comforting to think this way; it makes the liar feel both less guilty and less accountable for his own behavior because his deceptive behavior didn’t meet his own internal definition of a lie.
Such a restrictive definition of lying allows the liar to maintain a positive self-image, which actually makes it easier for him to mislead others. It is easier to deceive someone when the liar doesn’t think of his behavior as being deceptive.
Most organized political deception occurs through means other than telling outright lies. In fact, political deception is often best accomplished by what is left unsaid. Politicians similarly use conceptual or abstract language to deceive or conceal the truth. These techniques of both divisive use of conceptual or abstract language, and intentional omission of critical facts, are often referred to collectively as “intellectual dishonesty”.
The best way to encourage the truth and discourage “intellectual dishonesty” is to create an environment where people are comfortable being honest with each other. This works well in a family or other small social unit. Our government is a larger, well-established social structure, and the societal norm has regrettably become more tolerant of a high degree of deception. Consequently, there is less accountability for deceptive behavior.
To achieve a change in the integrity of our government, we must change the risk/reward ratio. Currently our political system does not sanction or punish political liars or deceivers even at the highest levels of government and even in the most public forums. Deception has thus become too commonplace. Indeed, the media shrugs and is often complacent.
Our economy, debt, and deficit are inextricably linked to decades of government waste. The centerpiece of both our government’s waste and overregulation is a throne of political corruption institutionalized by skilled liars and deceivers educated at our best schools. Special interest groups provide the mechanism and the direction. Taxpayers provide the economic fuel.
Why do we allow this to happen? Andrew’s book analyzes why people would allow themselves to be deceived by an institutionalized web of lies. In Andrew’s example those lies resulted in massacre. How can millions of people condemned to the gas chamber be compelled to act in a docile manner?
The simple answer to that question is that they were lied to. It’s the same technique used by today’s leaders to get elected, to stay in office, and to accomplish their goals. While this may not be in the best interest of the citizens who elected them, it surely benefits our leaders’ own financial interests.
So is it a stretch to think that elected officials may disadvantage you and your children or your children’s children to benefit themselves financially? Would they lie for their own benefit and economically subjugate generations that won’t ever confront them? The reprehensible answer is this: They will look the media straight in the eye, and they will lie. The media knows they are lying and they know the media knows they are lying, but they steadfastly sustain their resolve without the slightest flinching or wincing. The media will dutifully report their words as the truth without digging any deeper or causing much uncomfortable stirring. Then the media will continue on, chasing another non-substantive “news story”.
The electorate will fall asleep on their couches in front of their TVs, exhausted from working to pay for food, energy and virtually all of life’s necessities, the costs of which are inflated by the multitude of government subsidies and industry interactions that serve mainly to financially benefit the political elite and their associates. Every plan they work on to improve your situation certainly improves theirs and ultimately further financially burdens or enslaves your children to pay for their corporate welfare scheme that is often disguised as social welfare. Maybe “enslave” is too strong of a word. After all, it’s really only economic freedoms they’re stealing from you. For now anyway, until they effectively eliminate your ability to change your station in life.
“Don’t Let A Liar Lead You” is a fearless, hard hitting, fast paced, wake-up call which emphatically pleads the title and mirrors the concepts explored in a little grey book offered by the best-selling author, Andy Andrews.
The hard rumbling, enthusiastic drum work, active bass line and guitar interactions never smother the singer’s insistent vocal explanation. The second verse describes the simple steps leading to the most well-known tragedy in human history which was the result of a government sponsored strategy of lies. And that verse’s imagery puts you there to “remember, but it’s too late”. This epic rock anthem shines light on subjects that are not discussed often enough in an effort to get the American idea back.
We should all buy the book and play the song!