Sunday, November 2, 2008


The practice of disseminating lies that are so transparent as to be unequivocally recognizable as falsehoods. Named after the forty-third president of the United States, George W. Bush, under whose presidency Bushit emerged as the most common method of communicating policies of dubious merit to the electorate. What the Bush administration discovered was that a majority of the public attends far less to the content of a political message than to manner in which it is delivered. Provided a leader looks presentable, sounds confident, and is sufficiently partisan, he or she can undermine democratic rights, tamper with electoral procedures, ignore constitutional protections, and give voice to lurid nonsense with impunity.
Some historians view the advent of Bushit as marking a watershed in the development of political demagoguery. Before Bush, politicians thought it necessary to keep their mendacity within the bounds of plausibility. Even tyrants like Hitler and Stalin grounded their deceits in elaborate fictions designed to convince the populace of their honesty and to justify their worst actions. Their mistake, according to Bushit theory, was to assume that people pay attention to facts, to evidence, to rational argument passionately delivered. Bushitters know otherwise. They lie and cheat openly, and deny the rationality, even the humanity, of whoever disagrees. In this they are invariably supported by those large sections of the media whose commitment to truth is in inverse relationship to the intensity of their political affiliation. Anthony J. Blair, prime minister of Great Britain (1997-2007) became the first European political figure to base his leadership on Bushit principles when he employed fabricated evidence to justify military action against Iraq. He went on to obfuscate many other issues, in a manner that seemed to some observers bizarre, if not whimsical.

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