Why There Is So Much Push-Back

Bush Lies

* * *  Special Friday Edition  * * *

Lyndon Johnson had what was termed by the press a “credibility gap”.  You have to factor into your understanding of that term that this was two generations ago when the press was loathe to use the word “liar” and there was still some respect for the office of the President.  Johnson played fast and loose with facts and managed to get us deeply entrenched in a war that was not ours but which eventually killed over 58,000 Americans.  That ignited a profound distrust of government that persists to this day.

Richard Nixon told us that he was not a crook, even as he obstructed justice, another nail in the coffin of trust in government and politicians.

The Gipper played on the strongly held public distrust of government, telling us that government wasn’t the solution to the problem, but that government is the problem.  That was an effective campaign slogan.  During that campaign he also told us that we had to reduce government spending, debt and taxes.  Once he became President, he dramatically increased all three.

Bill Clinton told us that he didn’t have sex with “that woman, Ms. Lewinsky,” but of course he did.

The Big Cahuna of lying to Americans, though, is George W. Bush.  He lied us into two wars, the enormous consequences of which cannot yet be fully calculated and which will be felt in this country for generations.

Look at the chart above – I know it’s too small to read within this post, so click on it to view it with its source material and read the entire piece.  It tells the story of the Bush administration’s lies, deceit and even its internal back stabbing to jam the American military into Iraq under false pretenses.

We know now that Bush didn’t let facts and truth get in the way of what he said and did.  We know that he and his team knew they were presenting lies to congress and the American people.  Thousands of Americans are now dead and eight times that many bear wounds, all of which were sustained because of Bush’s lies.  Our standing in the world, especially the middle-east, is severely damaged due to Bush’s heavy handed dishonesty. This is well beyond the frequent indictments of Bush’s intelligence; this is about entrenched governmental dishonesty and that sorry episode continues to shake our confidence in government and our participation in foreign affairs to this day.

Whatever your belief about action that America should take in response to the repeated use of sarin gas by the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, just understand that your skepticism of governmental claims and projections of outcomes of proposed actions is well founded.  On the other hand, your entrenched distrust of government may well unbalance your thinking.

Copyright 2024 by Jack Altschuler
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One Response to Why There Is So Much Push-Back
  1. John G. Reply

    A quick comment on your article. It is very true but it misses half the argument. The distrust in government comes not only from outright lying but also from an institution that has gotten so big and complex that it is incapable of executing anything effectively no matter how beneficial in concept. One just has to look at the Snowden matter to see a government agency tasked with gathering information secretly not only vastly exceeding its charter but also allowing a low level functionary access to literally its entire data base.

    The answer is not to eliminate government but to make it leaner, more effective and focused only on the areas where it is indispensable. There are countless ways to do this. Those of us who believe in an active government need to also support the smallest government possible to implement policy. Unfortunately, the Democratic Party, partially entangled with the government employee unions, never saw a program that has outlived its usefulness or can even be reduced to make room for more urgent needs (other than the defense department which would be a good place to start).