I don’t get it. As children and adults we’re told to speak honestly and not be deceitful. In the workplace, dishonesty is not tolerated and can even be grounds for dismissal, lawsuits, and even criminal penalty. And don’t even think about being deceitful when you’re in court.
But when it comes to the people that run our country, or are trying for it, somehow we throw out the need for honesty in favor of “spin”. What’s spin? Spin is the art of taking something that’s unfavorable and making it seem favorable, or something that’s favorable and making it seem unfavorable, or even worse, taking a fact and making it somehow seem untrue, or a deception and making it seem somehow factually accurate. In the art of spin, there’s no real definition of truth. Spin is the art of turning the black and white into shades of gray. This focus on the relativism of truth brought the concept of “truthiness” to the fore.
What bothers me more than politicos treating deception as truth and vice-versa (which is to be expected in politics) is the issue that the mainstream media is either complicit in truthiness or is somehow unaware of the falseness of the information being conveyed.
Case in point, both the Clinton campaign and the media seem to believe that Hillary won Nevada. While this might be correct by a count of popular votes, it’s not correct by the real measure of “winning”: the delegate count. There is an undisputable fact that Obama won 13 delegates in Nevada to Clinton’s 12. This is undisputed. By this measure, Obama won Nevada. Yet, the media and the spinsters position this as a loss. Check out the figure taken from the front page of cnn.com just prior to the South Carolina primary:
So, Hillary only got a few hundred more votes in a few counties in Nevada, losing the total delegate count, and somehow she won? Wrong. Obama won Nevada by the only count that matters – delegates. Hillary is trying to play it both ways, and in the end, screw over the population. Is this the 2000 election-stealing scenario all over again with the tables reversed? Obama is ahead. Fair and square.
To say Clinton won Nevada would be akin to saying that Gore won the general election in 2000. He didn’t win the election even though he won the popular vote… and by a wider margin than Hillary over Obama in Nevada. Gore didn’t win the general election by the one measure that mattered: electoral college votes. Now, if we want to throw away all these delegate shenanigans and get rid of the electoral college altogether (maybe not such a bad idea), then we can go with straight popular votes. But by the one measure that matters — delegates — Clinton is behind, and has never really been that much ahead of Obama.
I really hope this scourge of truthiness doesn’t infect the world beyond the slimy and inherently disingenuous world of politics. In the world of business, inter-personal relations, and social interaction, we should always strive for truth. Measure things as they are, not as you want them to be, and always be aware of the truth of that measure. In that way, you can never go wrong.