The recent events happening in the political realm brings a lot of Pied Piper issues to the forefront. On today’s show, Bill Stierle and Tom talk about the new truth and how people can twist themselves to fit the new truth when situations shift. Likening things to the Pied Piper story, they highlight how politicians are turning on their promise and sacrificing integrity for political convenience, situational ethics, and situational truth where the messaging that gets amplified is not helping the country from a collaborative and cooperative place.
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The Pied Piper Of Social Media: Where The Truth Gets Lost, Part 2
Bill, we talked last time about the Pied Piper of social media and truth. There was a little more to talk about that. With events that have occurred, specially the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg among other things, it brings a lot of these Pied Piper issues to the forefront, doesn’t it?
It does. One of the biggest challenges that we’re going to face is how do you have empathy for somebody that changes from one point of view. Lindsey Graham is saying that you can use my words against me. He’s going to be voting for and he’s not going to wait for the next president like he said. He says, “I’m standing.” Sometimes a person can stand for something and say this is the truth and then later they’ll say, “I’m standing for this and I’m standing for the truth.” The person that’s following the person will go, “The situation is different now.” The mental bias, the twisting is what we call it, we could twist ourselves to fit the new truth because the situations are different. The answer is no.
The situation is not being different. We’re not holding integrity where they’re not being held to our word. We’re not being in integrity. We’re using a different situation. It’s very much the way like an 8th or a 9th grader switches their mindset. It’s like, “It was good but I’m a new person now. I’m going into the 9th grade and I’m not the same person as I was in 8th grade. Why are you holding me to what I was saying when I was in 8th grade? I’m in 9th grade. I’m not the same person anymore. I’m in 10th grade now. I’m a different person.” These situational ethics and situational truth play well to a person to deal with the various different complexities that are showing up in their world. They haven’t thought about things like stability, consistency, integrity or trust, because trust is the thing that gets thrown under the bus when you have situational truth.
It should get thrown under the bus you would think.
To other people, it does. Is Iran going to trust a nuclear deal that’s coming out of the United States in the future? No. You guys renege on things. We used to be known as a person that stayed with the agreement until it can mutually benefit both people to change. We’d stay with the agreement, but we couldn’t change it so we need both sides, then we wouldn’t change it. That’s very difficult.
Bill, to me, the word you used before that has been going around in my mind since Ruth Bader Ginsburg died is integrity. Integrity is a word that is not political. It is not partisan. It is about, do you practice what you preach? Do you stand for what you said you were going to stand for? Are you trustworthy? Are you honest? Integrity looks like Lisa Murkowski who’s come out and said, “We should not vote to fill the seat in 2020 until a new president is in office because that’s what we said we were going to do in 2016.” That’s what integrity looks like. Integrity doesn’t look like Mitch McConnell saying, “I’ll tell you exactly why I’m being completely consistent this 2020 with what I said in 2016.” He comes up with some technicality where he looks America into the camera with a straight face, is giving anybody that supports him an offer and say he’s being consistent. That’s the message he’s trying to put out. That’s the Pied Piper right there.
The story of the Pied Piper is important here. They promised him something. They promised the Pied Piper something. The town reneged on the promise and the Pied Piper took all their children away. Tom, the story is real. It’s happening to us. Our children are going to pay for these decisions. You want to do this and you want to switch. It’s like, “I’m taking your kids now.” Our kids are going to not have the same level of freedoms that we had. They’re not going to have a healthy discourse in politics because they’re learning that you don’t have to have integrity with your word. It’s exactly the Pied Piper story. That’s the whole point of the mythical story. They make an agreement and the Pied Piper gets rid of the rats. They renege on their agreement with the other Pied Piper so the Pied Piper takes our kids.
The way I see this is that I personally believe we’ll find out if it’s true. There are enough Americans that are going to be so angry about this. They were angry with this stall tactic in 2016 when Antonin Scalia dies in February of 2016. President Barack Obama nominates Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court and the Senate refuses to even have a hearing about it for the rest of the year saying the people should have a voice in the Supreme Court choice. They make a new precedent. It hadn’t existed before that the Senate should not have hearings and should not hold a vote on a presidential Supreme Court nominee in an election year.
That was all they said. Mitch McConnell tries to say there was more to it than that and that’s a bunch of garbage. That’s the precedent they said. The shoe is on the other foot. Lindsey Graham came out in 2018 during the Donald Trump administration and he’s recorded as he says on tape, “Save the recording for the future.” He was even talking about, because he’s trying to remain in integrity with what they did in 2016 that once the primary season starts, if there’s an opening on the Supreme Court, we should not fill it in that election year. We should wait until the next president is seated, come back, and hold this against me. He’s in a very tight election battle.
He’s in a toss-up now in South Carolina, which is shocking to begin with against his Democratic opponent. It’s a double-edged sword. He’s given his Democratic opponent all this ammunition, these sound bites that I’m sure they’ve already cut the commercials, running the recordings, showing what Lindsey Graham said, and now how he’s completely turned his back on his own word. How can you trust this person? At the same time, Lindsey Graham is using, “We got to fill this seat,” as a rallying cry for his base in South Carolina. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens. Is there a danger of such a backlash to this? More Americans are going to be upset about the integrity issue than what’s politically convenient or as you said, the situational ethics, the situational truth.
If I get polluted in my mind that voting for a Democrat means that the Democrat is going to do this and this, they’re going to do communism, socialism, more pedophiles in the office. Whatever they’re polluting in the environment, whatever the thing is, it doesn’t matter if it’s true. I got to vote for the other person because there’s too many strawmen, too much belief and ideas on that, and the same thing in regard to Republicans. A Democratic candidate can bring about falsehoods regarding a Republican that might not fully be true too. This is not a partisan thing. This is a bipartisan discussion about how truth gets laid on the feet of the opposite party to get the little pieces of rice to go on the scale of the person’s mindset.
I want that one or that next belief structure to land on top of the person’s thinking so they stop thinking about who’s the best person for America or who’s the best person for my state. It’s who’s the worst person because of the negative messaging that has been placed on the situation. The Pied Piper, the rats getting out of the town were the function. I need these rats gone. I’ll make any deal I can make to get the rats gone. As soon as the rats go, the rats are gone. I don’t have to honor my deal that I made with the Pied Piper. The Pied Piper walks through the town and pipes all the children to be gone.
He has them all taken away. The town learns the emptiness of not having a future because you don’t have it in the future if you don’t have integrity with your word. Your future disappears quick because people can’t trust you. People can’t believe you anymore because you don’t have a future. If somebody wants to do a meme about the Pied Piper, they can. Here’s the things that they promise but they didn’t deliver on draining the swamp. They delivered on increasing the swamp. There are more rats that showed up there. This is what they promised, but they didn’t deliver that fully.We can’t twist ourselves to fit the new truth when the situations are different. Click To Tweet
What’s interesting is, are they going to fill the Supreme Court seat or not? It’s bringing something to the forefront of at least my consciousness. Many people who vote for Donald Trump voted for him for this precise reason, for the court. Everything else, they’re turning a blind eye to. They’re putting their blinders on. I don’t want to see what Donald Trump is doing elsewhere because I want a conservative court. Mitch McConnell knows that and he knows he’s not going to be in control of the Senate. He may not even be in the Senate in January of 2021. He’s going to do as much as he can for his side in the meantime.
The same thing with William Barr. All those different people are going like, “Everybody dies sometime. I’m standing for what I’m standing for and I’m doing what I can to protect my guy, to get my situations and my belief structures. Somehow I got here and I’m in a position of leadership, therefore I’m right. I’m going to choose those things.” Donald Trump says it himself, “I won. I beat that person, therefore I get to make the decision.” People say, “You’re right. We’re going to live with your decision.” We will live with the decision and that decision will have certain consequences that move forward in the field of time where people are going to go like, “They’re holding us to a rule that they’ve overturned but they’re not looking at the consequences of overturning that. Do we need to return to a place where women who want to have an abortion have to go to backroom alleys and doctors to do that? Is that where we want to go, to go to other countries, or to have a child?”
All of a sudden, we’re going to open up orphanages again. We’re going to put more pressure on the social service group. We’re going to deal with more abandoned kids. That’s what we’re going to do because, “This person did this and I’m not able to care for this child. I was forced to have it. Here it is but it’s unwanted.” Once we take the choice away from an individual about their body, then society has got to say, “We are going to deal with it.” There’s no evidence that anybody wants to take care of anybody else’s child. We’re not demonstrating that as an integral part of our country anymore because we don’t want to welcome immigrants.
We most certainly want to punish them and their children for coming here. It’s a head-scratcher. Let alone Christian values, human values. How do you care for children with society? We need to have a reconciliation about how adults are going to face difficult things in an accountable way. Our accountability has to move up about how to deal with difficult things. We’re not facing difficult problems. We’re picking an answer the way a voter would like it. That is voting a very black and white mindset, going all or none. It’s not healthy to go backwards in the field of time. You have a young kid. You want her to make the decisions on how you’re paying your mortgage.
It’s certainly not. This is the thing, Bill. We have a very polarized country right now where people in large part are deciding to vote for someone, for a president not because they like that person, believe in their vision or think they’re a good person. Not because they’re a person of integrity or they trust that person but because they’re going to continue to pack not only the Supreme Court but all federal courts with conservative judges. That’s your one issue. It would make a lot more sense for the opposition to do that. I’m not saying Democrats because there’s an awful lot of Republicans against Donald Trump, the Lincoln Project, and all sorts of different groups.
I would argue people of integrity who do not believe Donald Trump is best for their party and for America but to eliminate all these other things about Donald Trump, stand up for that and say, “Everybody, vote for the guy that called my wife ugly.” If we eliminate all these things that Donald Trump has said and done, put the focus a little more on that, the one sacred issue that people are claiming that might help make them think differently about following the Pied Piper here.
The messaging that is getting amplified is not a messaging that helps the country from a collaborative and cooperative place. Tom, you and I both know as business owners, if we’re not collaborative and cooperative with our clients and our vendors, they’re not going to work with us. It’s the same thing in politics. If there’s not collaboration and cooperation to work towards something, what happens is people stop cooperating and collaborating. That’s a big part of the stalemate that we’re facing. The adding money into the situation through Citizens United and having these multimillion-dollar donors being able to have more of a say through their dollars has cost the collaboration and the cooperation to take place between parties.
They used to vote back and forth with each other. They used to have to say, “Here’s how we’re going to get this thing done.” They had to say, “Who’s going to be able to vote with this person in order to get this other thing to take place?” They used to do better looking at mutual agreements that could show up in a more cooperative way. It doesn’t necessarily mean it was the best but at least it had an interchange to it. It doesn’t have an interchange to it. It’s my way because that’s what my donor/voter wants and I have learned that stonewalling and saying, “Merrick Colin is not going to get the vote,” or “I’m going to shut the government down.” That works.
You’re punishing the people that work for the government and then stall public services. That’s the 8th grader winning the fight with their parents about this and then having no consequence on the backend of it going like, “There’s a consequence in my future but quite frankly, I don’t see that future is very valuable. I can’t see the future because I’m an 8th grader.” It’s hard to see the future as an 8th grader. Did you know what you were going to study in college as an 8th grader? No. Did you know what kind of work that you were going to get into? No.
Did you know that you needed to make changes? There some something that in the value of pushing through and the value of getting to that next place where you learn something about resilience, tenacity, and breaking through. It wasn’t about the subject. It was about how you challenge your brain to break through something you don’t like. You and I have to fight that battle of breaking through and doing things we don’t like in order to create progress. Our government doesn’t have progress right now. We’re not getting anywhere. We’re backsliding a bit into things that we’re not a primary value. We have a republic if we can keep it.
That is looking bolder and large a lot lately. What people are focused on with those blinders on is such a narrow view of America. If I were the opposition, Joe Biden campaign, Lincoln Project, or any of these other organizations that are advocating to restore some integrity to the office, some dignity and to make progress work together as a country, they could eliminate all these additional things. They could eliminate him saying, “Vote for the guy that read my personal cell phone number on live television.” Marco Rubio say, “Vote for the guy that said my parents should go back to the country that they came from as an immigrant.” Many things that eliminate who this person is that they’re going to vote for, it’s much more than. He’s going to make the court more conservative than I’m willing to throw everything out to get that. More to the point, I’m willing to live with all other consequences of his actions to get that one thing. Is that the kind of America that you want to live in?
We’re going to burn these seven values to get this one value that we hold true. The only one that they’ve got, the only legislative one is the tax cut for the wealthiest 1% and they were one vote away from that. If John McCain would have voted that one down, they wouldn’t have gotten that one. They wouldn’t have had any significant legislation. They voted thumbs down on the health care piece. They’ve been fighting that ever since to try to get that to refill.If you don't have integrity with your word, your future disappears quickly because people can't trust you. Click To Tweet
They continue to fight it. There’s a highlight reel out there of Donald Trump saying, “We’re going to have a plan within two weeks. We’re going to have a plan next month. We’re going to have a plan by this date.” For their own healthcare plan, he keeps moving the goal post because he doesn’t care about coming up with a plan for healthcare. His administration has not done it. They keep getting beat up on this in the media, not enough because there is no plan. He doesn’t care. All he does care about is getting rid of Obamacare because his base thinks it’s bad.
The propaganda/messaging about it being bad has been so prevalent. It’s bad because it’s socialism. Meanwhile, Obamacare would be or a single payer would go. It would completely pass through everything if two things would happen. It was profitable to have people be healthy. If the profit was not centered around elective surgeries and emergency care, if the profit was gone there and distributed throughout healthcare, they wouldn’t care. All the powers that be in healthcare would go like, “We’re still going to get the same amount of money. No problem. We don’t have to fight this anymore. The revenue is not going to move at all. In fact, there’s more opportunity to get revenue.”
Looking at the Obamacare numbers, it made the insurance companies more money in the long run. It was a long-term integrity piece instead of a short-term. Let’s keep things the way they are because we’re getting all the money out of the emergency rooms and the elective care. We got tons and tons of money about that instead of stabilizing the nation regarding our health, not create insecurities around things like health care and food. The various different insecurities that get propagated because it causes that tension to take place that doesn’t necessarily need to be there.
You’re right in terms of what you said earlier. The 8th grader doesn’t make decisions thinking about the future. They don’t know what they want to study in college and do for a career. Unfortunately, we’re seeing the behavior of the President of the United States to be very much in alignment with an 8th grader because he’s fighting to get rid of Obamacare because it’s labeled as bad by his base but then he’s doing nothing to replace it. He’s not proposing any solution which is what we look to our government for. For vision and solutions to problems that we have. If Obamacare is such a big problem and you want to get rid of it, that might be fine if you were proposing an alternative. If you don’t, there’s going to be this big vacuum. We’re going to go back to 20 million to 30 million more people not having health insurance, continuing to flood our emergency rooms when they get sick. It’s going to be a big step backwards.
A bankruptcy because of medical issues. It’s like taking the person’s house because they had a medical issue come up in their family, creating instability. Society is a good thing not for profit, not for any reason. People buy more when they’re stable. It’s like a good economy, not one sector gets the money and then the rest of the economy gets the tank because it’s not stable. It’s very short-term thinking. Regrettably, that part is sad because we’re stuck on these kinds of mindsets. There’s more to come on this. The stuff regarding the justices and things are going to come up. There’s a lot for us to talk about.
We’ve got to be able to roll up our sleeves and start honoring expertise instead of trying to tear down expertise. That’s where truth has got to take a foothold again, going like, “This person is an expert at this.” Not this person has said their opinion about it. Therefore, we get to attack the person that is giving their opinion. This is what the person said and you can get another doctor over here saying something different, but that person hasn’t studied. As long as this person has, they can have a discussion about it which is fine, but that person still gets the weight because of their expertise.
They’re the new person in here. They don’t get the same level. We are in a very interesting time and we are going to be dealing with truth having a little bit of a struggle. It’s getting beat up so we’ve got to figure out how to purchase truth and get it back up to the front of the list with integrity behind it and start re-establishing trust in expertise and leadership. We got to bring the bad news to the American public and start treating the American public like they’re having an adult discussion about this. That’s where truth has got to go back to. There’s more to come on it. That’s for sure.
Thanks so much. I look forward to that.
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