Alan Keyes
In battle for liberty, lying is the 'WMD'
Sham political process 'a craftily staged, thoroughly fictional melodrama'
By Alan Keyes
August 29, 2016

Remember the slogan Barack Obama used to assuage people's fears that participation in Obamacare would force them to give up their current doctors and other service providers? An article in the Weekly Standard highlights the fact that "Obamacare's flagship website,, no longer even addresses the issue." As the article points out, the Obamacare website's language was never in line with Obama's unequivocal guarantee that "you can keep your doctor." People who took the discrepancy seriously would have realized that Obama's guarantee was "sales puffery" for a product that was never intended to measure up to the accustomed standard of choice for patients under the employment-based provision for access to health care the government takeover aimed to replace.

Call it "bait and switch" or "sales puffery" if you like. It's symptomatic of the viral prevarication characteristic of the sham political process the elitist faction is using to subvert representative government in the United States. To be sure, Americans have never feigned surprise when they discovered that some politician was not exactly telling the truth. It was considered to be a characteristic of the political breed – the way pit bulls are thought to be prone to vicious assaults.

As with pit bulls, however, this cynical expectation didn't mean that most people simply rejected all politicians. But it did mean that they rejected the ones who were caught reverting to what was, rightly or wrongly, assumed to be their type. The fact that all politicians were likely to be liars didn't mean that voters let them off the hook when they were inextricably netted in a lie.

Times have obviously changed. No longer a trait that common sense associates with politicians, lying has become almost a job requirement for political office. Of course, we're not talking about particular lies about this or that. We're talking about the ability to lie with one's whole person, the way actors do when they throw themselves into a character. All their experiences, their emotions, and their whole repertoire of body language are called upon to produce the character that, in view of their audience, they are determined to become. It's not just a question of what the character is like, but what the audience expects them to be like.

Instead of conveying their stances on various issues, and of the thinking and life experience from which these stances derive, the contemporary politician's aim is to create a true impression of the character the voting audience is most likely to applaud. A candidate's mission is to represent that character on the political stage. The mission of his campaign is to make sure the stage is set up with props and dramatis personae consistent with the character the candidate is supposed to be playing.

This may seem acceptable to many Americans. After all, many constantly choose to be subjected to such deceptions. In return for the entertainment they unwittingly provide, they gratefully supply the suspension of disbelief that allows skillful producers, writers, and actors to transport them to times and places they could otherwise never experience; and even to galaxies and worlds no one could experience except in their unbridled imaginings.

This may be well and good for passing the time with pleasantries that seem inconsequential – but when statecraft becomes stagecraft (with apologies to George Will), potentially dire consequences follow from the incompetent or wrongful use of government power. In respect to our constitutional, republican form of government, the most dire consequence for the people of the United States is that, albeit stealthily, they may entirely lose their sovereign role in our government. Our much vaunted liberty as a people consists mainly in the opportunity to choose, from time to time, the people who are to wield the powers that, by our common and mutual consent, our Constitution vests in the institutions we constitute to govern our communities. But if and when the elections in which we participate are predicated upon systematically staged deception, as we suspend disbelief we surrender all but the semblance of choice.

In effect, we end up voting for or against candidates that don't really exist. But in the aftermath of that pseudo-election, the individuals we have thus falsely selected are, by our arrangement and consent, vested with real, sometimes enormous power. This includes the power of life and death; the power, for better or worse, to affect the education our children receive; the power to despoil, or else help us to secure, all our belongings, including the individual rights and families we derive directly from the obligation to observe the laws of nature and of Nature's God.

Clearly, choices based on fictional representations are not free except in the sense that water is free to run downhill. Instead, they are channeled according to the will of those responsible for the misrepresentations they offer to us. This is a form of coercion as constraining as any physical threat. But since it leaves us with the impression that we are responsible for the outcome, it avoids the anger and resentment inevitably fomented by physical duress. In this sense, lying is like a mind-altering drug formulated to make us docile subjects of lying masters, whose servile subjects we thus become.

As long as we tolerate an electoral process predicated on deceitful stagecraft, we will continue to be the matter and makers of our own subjection. Given the choice between the blatantly deceitful character Hilary Clinton is playing and the professionally deceitful con artist Donald Trump has always studied to be, it is harder than ever to pretend that the elitist faction's electoral sham is something other than a craftily staged, thoroughly fictional melodrama. According to the plot, the victory that passes for a happy ending for either candidate is, in any case, the tragic demise of liberty for all.

But when the curtain rings down, the audience will find itself in the main theater of a physically non-violent but nonetheless destructive war, a war in which they stand defeated. It is a theater from which the exit signs are no more real than the characters deployed to beguile us into wasting our time until, with our land of liberty in ruins, we are told we have no choice but to be happy with the political detention center that has replaced it – with the ironclad promise that, since our elections prove we're happy with the wardens we're offered, we can keep them.

To see more articles by Dr. Keyes, visit his blog at and his commentary at and

© Alan Keyes


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Alan Keyes

Dr. Keyes holds the distinction of being the only person ever to run against Barack Obama in a truly contested election – featuring authentic moral conservatism vs. progressive liberalism – when they challenged each other for the open U.S. Senate seat from Illinois in 2004... (more)


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