To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Observercast

Three Lies Equal One Truth

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BY SHARON MARTIN

How many times must a lie be repeated before it is perceived as truth?

In January, returning from an art show in Florida, my husband and his assistant stopped at a motel in Wheatley, AR. About three in the morning, they were awakened by someone banging on the door shouting, “Fire. Get out of your room.”

Dale thought it was some late arriving pranksters until he saw the billowing smoke. It appears that a passing trucker saw the fire and alerted the motel guests. The guests watched the motel burn to the ground. No one checked on them, asked them their names, or gave them instructions. As far as we know, no lives were lost, thanks to that trucker.

A newspaper article the following day said no lives were lost thanks to the “fire alarms, hotel staff, and the volunteer firefighters.” That line was repeated three times in the article, deliberately, although guests never heard an alarm nor saw any motel staff.

So, three lies equal one truth.

When health care reform was in debate, someone gave end-of-life counseling a misleading name. Opponents of the bill took up the chant. Fearful citizens fell for the misnomer. How many times did they have to hear the dirty words? My guess is about three.

So now, opponents of this same reform are chanting a new phrase. They want you to believe that your job is at stake. How many lives will be lost because of this crafty piece of politics?

You can call health care reform whatever you choose, but reform is necessary. Those who are uninsured know this. Those with pre-existing conditions know this. And those who have had to choose between a low-wage job and coverage for their children know this. Saying three times that the United States has the best health care system in the world doesn’t make it so.

Meanwhile, those who favor the health of the insurance industry over the health of the citizens will continue to lie. And if they tell the lies often enough, citizens will fight their battle for them.

It is up to each of us to ask questions and seek the truth. Don’t just buy the words you hear thrown about in triplicate. Do research from a variety of sources, form your own opinions, and ask those who represent us to seek what is best for the citizens. And while you’re at it, tell them that liars need not apply for a second term in office.

Sharon Martin lives in Oilton, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer

2 COMMENTS

  1. I learned during my career in sales that a person generally needs to hear an idea 7 times before they will buy. I’m sure the lies that have been told about what has been whittled down to health insurance reform have been repeated many more times than 7

  2. Not to get into typical “Nazi” accusations, but Hitler was an expert on the Big Lie. In Mein Kampf he reasoned that people often tell small lies so they know others would too. But they would never tell a “colossal lie” knowing they would be too ashamed to be caught. Therefore, a Big Lie is more likely to be accepted because they reason that, like themselves, no one would say something so outrageous unless it were true. I have also heard that the “magic number” according to Hitler or Goebbels was three! People hear the Big Lie three times and it becomes a fact. Again, I am not intending to be cliche’ – I’m not calling Republicans Nazis – but they have used this technique very well and have no compunction about it.

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.