George Graham

Lying Like You Mean it



I bet you didn’t watch the Republican debate last night, and you know that’s bad. Where is your sense of civic duty?  You missed the seven dwarfs in all their histrionic glory. So how do you know who to vote for?

OK, so you wouldn’t vote for any of those guys, anyway. You’re wavering between Bernie and Hillary. And that’s totally understandable.

But you could’ve learned a lot if you had taken the trouble to watch last night’s show on ABC.

How to lie like you mean it, for one thing.

Ted Cruz, for example, didn’t bat an eye when  he delivered this scathing indictment of Obamacare:

Socialized medicine is a disaster. It does not work. If you look at the countries that have imposed socialized medicine, that have put the government in charge of providing medicine, what inevitably happens is rationing. You have a scarcity of doctors. … And that means the elderly are told: We’re going to ration a hip replacement; we’re going to ration a knee replacement. We’re going to ration end-of-life care.

As my Canadian relatives and friends would tell you, not one word of that is true. But it sounds dire, and that’s what matters to the right-wing sound machine. Fear is their stock-in-trade.

And vengeful hatred.

They embrace waterboarding terrorism suspects, for example. And if you think waterboarding violates the international ban on torture, they will tell you, as Ted Cruz did, that:

 waterboarding doesn’t meet the generally recognized definition of torture.

Cruz recited a legal sounding definition of torture, and he is a lawyer after all so he should know about such things. But he wasn’t recalling a passage from a Harvard Law School textbook, he was repeating a discredited Bush administration memo.

Ted Cruz may be the best liar of the bunch but he had lots of competition. How about Donald Trump’s declaration that the audience was stacked with donors and that’s why they were booing him? He made it up!  The RNC insists Trump got the same number of tickets as the other debaters.

Chris Christie is also a master of earnest sounding prevarication. He was at his most convincing when he denied Marco Rubio’s charge that his state’s credit rating had been downgraded. But you and I know New Jersey has been downgraded nine times while Christie was governor!

Rubio is no slouch when it comes to making stuff up, though. He confidently assured us that:

Hillary Clinton believes that all abortion should be legal, even on the due date of that unborn child.

Really? Hillary said that? Of course she didn’t.

But Rubio’s confident delivery made it sound true – to right wingers, anyway.

The truth about socialized medicine.

Fact check the debate.

More on the debate.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for