There was a politician – wait, this is no joke!
It’s history. Well, it’s history from a galaxy far, far away. And what with the speed of light near large gravity wells, probably a long, long time ago, too.
You understand that there’s more than one way to lie, right?
Good! You, too, have a future in politics.
There was this politician who knew they couldn’t stop the plague. A big chunk of the population was gonna die.
Dead voters. Not good in an election year. Without a vaccine, herd immunity was the only choice. Herd immunity is the name for doing nothing, letting those who were bound to die, die. Dead. The survivors would pass an immunity down to their kids. After several bouts of the plague, maybe several generations, the “herd” would be immune.
Not a popular choice and the voters did not want to believe that nothing could be done.
Instead, they shouted that “Nothing was being done.” As if the solution was being withheld for nefarious reasons. Conspiracy theory.
Voters invent and pass on and believe conspiracy theories. Politicians extemporize. Adapt. Overcome.
Truth, always a dangerous tactic for politicians, was out. Nothing could be done. Maybe, some day, a vaccine. But, without a vaccine, herd immunity.
Remember, Herd immunity is the same as doing nothing, letting nature take its course. Letting people die. Hopefully, only some people die.
The politician knew, heck every politician in the country knew, that no one backing herd immunity was going to be elected.
Voters want what they want when they want it. (I made that up. Not!)
(One way to lie is by proving you are so very honest that you can joke about telling lies. Then let ‘er rip! The rest of this is lies.)
Back to our politician, who tried the other ways to lie: defying his scientists by denying the danger of the virus. Next he blamed the reporters who knew a good story when they heard one. Then he offered to change the subject –not a lie, but always useful. He threw his enemies and next, his friends, under the bus. Followed by another ruse to change the subject. At last the politician stood silent.
The politician admitted to himself that he had committed to a winning strategy. A strategy too dangerous to discuss.
He abruptly shoved responsibility for the virus onto the schmucks below him who wanted fame, lived for power, dreamed of glory.
Foisted it onto eager suckers who believed that they would be the lucky one who found a fix. Who would try something – Anything! Who just knew that they would save the day! Who could not accept that nothing could be done.
Handed it off to losers who, accepting that nothing could be done, would comfort the grieving, keep everyone fed and warm, and put them to work rebuilding what had been lost.
Now the politician began to say the truth. (A clever way of lying is to say the truth. Not tell the truth.)
“We have a handle on this virus! This is nearly over!” the politician boasted on Day 1. What they, the voters and – more importantly, his enemies - heard was lunacy. None figured out that he had changed the subject. They knew that deaths were piling up. Knew that there was no magic bullet for the virus. Knew that no one fixing the virus had a handle on it. Liar!