BOGUE, Kan. -- In his autobiography, Mark Twain lampooned Thomas Carlyle (1795 - 1881), Scottish historian and popular essayist: "Carlyle said 'a lie cannot live.' It shows that he did not know how to tell them."
Twain is credited with a similar quip: "A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes." Likelier that is from steam engine inventor James Watt, who died 16 years before Twain's birth. However, in this case, who said what when is not critical. The larger point, however, is.
Lies often survive in spite of determined facts available to kill them. It's not that people are stupid. Some are, most aren't. But after 74 years, it seems to me that humans more often accept as true not what they can factually verify, but what appeals to their existing biases. And those biases are often sown and cultivated by very smart propagandists.
Tuesday is election day. More money has gone into political campaigns than ever before in our history. The turnout is expected to be big. All patriotic Americans should vote, shouldn't they? I confess I'm not absolutely sure.
Political disinformation, half-truths, and calculated lies are nothing new. But today the viral persistence of such stuff has never been better funded nor more successfully spread. It is a deluge. Were it rain instead of BS, Noah's ark would be our only hope.
Here are just two stinky examples ...