Americans like to be lied to. Not only can we not handle the truth, we don't even want to get wind of it. We want virgin births and squeaky clean politicians and undefeated fighters and evangelists who have a direct path to God and can heal with a touch. We don't want to know that "virgin" was just a mistranslation of the Hebrew word for "maiden". We don't want to know that politicians cheat on their wives just like any other man, that that undefeated fighter has been spoon-fed hand-picked opponents to pad his record, that the televangelist is embezzling millions from the congregation and is no closer to God than Amy Winehouse is to sobriety. We want fantasies. We want absolutes. Americans cannot deal with the grey. We want Black and White. We want good guys and bad guys. Even if it takes a little willful blindness not to see the horns peeking out from beneath the halo of our saints or the humanity shining through the masks of our demons.
Into this blissful ignorance has walked Barrack Obama. As tactful and as diplomatic as he has tried to be, his instincts still compel him to tell the truth. And as much as he tries to sugar coat it and spin it, Americans have recognized it for what it is, dreaded honesty, and we hate it! How dare he shatter our illusions!
Politicians are supposed to lie to us. When we talk about a politician's honesty we are accustomed to speaking about it in the negative. We don't want to hear Obama tell us that the President doesn't need to know everything and be the world's most experienced politician because he will ultimately have a cabinet that is far more knowledgeable than him on their various areas of expertise. We don't want to hear him tell us that there are Black people out there that are still pissed off about slavery and colored bathrooms and lynchings and police brutality and the unequal political, social, and economic situations that still exist in this country. We want the Cosby Show. Americans want to believe that their Black best-friends aren't pissed off because they can't catch a cab or get a loan or drive through a nice neighborhood without getting stopped by the cops. They want to believe that their Black best-friends aren't annoyed at the negative portrayals of them in the media. We want to believe that they aren't pissed-off at the lack of Black board members, CEOs, and Corporate managers at the companies they work at. That it doesn't grate on them that statistically they have more of a chance of winning the lottery than running the company.
Americans don't want Obama telling us that you can sit in a church for twenty years and not believe and endorse everything the pastor says. We don't want him calling attention to all the women sitting in church pews while the pastor preaches about how women were made to serve man and how they should be submissive to their husbands. We want to believe that only those weak passive women who go along with those views sit in churches like that and any strong self-assured woman would turn her back on her friends and possibly even her family and storm out of those churches in a huff. We want to believe that there are no homosexuals sitting in the church while their priests or ministers tell the congregation that homosexuality is a sin and that all gays are doomed to hell. We want to believe that everyone sitting in the church believes that pre-marital sex is wrong. That they all believe that you should turn the other cheek. We want to believe that all Catholics agree with the Pope about abortion. We don't want Obama exposing our own hypocrisy. It is easier to believe that he has to agree with everything his pastor says just like we all do.
Americans certainly don't want anyone telling us the truth about ourselves. Don't tell us that we flock to the church when we are pissed off at how the country is going no matter how many statistics prove that this is exactly how we behave. Don't tell us that people in small towns have more faith in their guns then their political leaders. Don't tell us that when we start losing our jobs we start voting against immigration or that the membership in separatist groups increases no matter how many surveys tell us that this is exactly what happens. We don't like to think of ourselves this way and we don't want some politician holding a mirror up to our faces. Doesn't he know that his job is to lie to us?
We Americans like gimmicks like gas tax reductions no matter how little sense it makes or how bad it will be for us in the long run. Any time you say tax reduction to us we will salivate like the Pavlovian dog. We don't want to hear that cutting the 18 cent tax will probably not result in an 18 cent reduction in gas prices. In fact, if the price drops 2 cents I'd be surprised. The gas refineries like Exxon have had to cut their profits in response to the high cost of oil in order to avoid raising the price of gas so high that no one would buy it. Cut the gas tax and they will increase their profits and not pass a dime of that savings on to the consumers. But we don't want to hear that. We want to believe that the refineries will do the right thing and pass those savings on to us out of the kindness of their hearts. We don't want to know that If they do drop the cost by ten of fifteen cents, then once consumers start driving more again, taking advantage of the lower prices, they will slowly creep the prices up again. Then, at the end of the summer, when the gas tax is put back into effect, the refineries will raise their gas prices the 18 cents that they never cut out of it in the first place and you will wind up paying far more for that gas at the end of the summer than you would have if they had never suspended the gas tax in the first place. Meanwhile, that 80+ billion dollars that we will lose from the gas tax over those three months that would have gone to repair roads and highways will be forever lost and incidents like that bridge collapse in Minneapolis will be more and more commonplace.
But that's all too complicated. The way Americans think, if we eliminate that 18 cent gas tax than gas prices will be 18 cents lower and the only one saying any different are those egghead economists and that inexperienced Obama fellow and what do they know? Clinton and McCain are experienced politicians and they say it will work.
Barrack Obama was naive to think that he could tell Americans the truth. His rookie innocence and inexperience shows through every time he demonstrates that he truly believes that Americans are smart enough to understand and accept simple facts. But don't worry America. Take heart. Every time Barrack Obama slips in the polls when he speaks a hard and honest fact that may be unpopular, you are teaching him to lie. He's just new to all this. You just keep making him pay for his honesty and pretty soon you'll have him in line. By the time he gets to the White House he'll be just like all those other politicians we have come to know and love. Just keep making it hard on him whenever he speaks from the heart and he'll learn to lie. In fact, you'll teach every other politician and future politician out there who might be thinking about being honest with us to keep his damned mouth shut and maybe those who can't learn to lie, who are honest through and through, will get the message and just stay the hell out of politics. Don't worry, nobody will ever tell Americans the truth again.