Jewish World Review March 22, 2004 / 29 Adar, 5764
Kerry meets his masterhttp://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | John Kerry's exaggerations have been getting him into trouble of late, so operatives within the Democratic party sent him away for a weekend seminar with the master: Bill Clinton.
"All I said was that I've met foreign leaders who want me to be president, and those dirty Republicans had to go and attack me with the facts," said Kerry. "Who cares if the facts show I wasn't in any cities where foreign leaders actually were!"
"I'm with you, Johnny," said Clinton. "You're running for president, not testifying before a judge."
"And so what if I said Republicans are the most crooked, lying group I've ever seen. Hey, I'm trying to win the favor of the people here. I'm trying to win an election. If I don't persuade people to think that Bush is the one telling mistruths, then they'll never elect me to the presidency!"
"You're dead on, Johnny."
"God, how I miss the primaries. I was flawless. I sat back and let Howard Dean make all the gaffes, but now I am on the firing line, Bill. They're coming at me hard now. The only way I can win is if I master the art of the mistruth! Can you teach me?"
"I'll do my best," said Clinton. "But let's just hope you're a better student than Al was."
"I'm all ears," said Kerry.
"OK, in order to master the art of mistruth, you must follow some basic rules. Let me start by posing this question: What is the nature of truth?"
"Truth? I'm a Democrat running for president. What would I know about the truth?"
"Very good, Johnny. You've already mastered our first lesson, which is this: the truth is the very first thing one must abandon to be effective in the art of exaggeration."
"Excellent, Bill. Go on."
"Let me ask you, Johnny. If a man is convicted of a crime he did not commit, wouldn't he proclaim his innocence with great energy and passion?"
"Absolutely, and in the process he would make a convincing case for his innocence!"
"Precisely, Johnny. So for a man to be persuasive, he must have the same vigor when he speaks mistruths as an innocent man would have when he is proclaiming the truth!"
"But what if a man is NOT telling the truth?"
"That is my point," said Clinton. "A man must abandon the truth entirely, so that he doesn't know when he isn't telling it. Only then will he be able to convince himself that all things he utters are truthful."
"That's awfully clever, Bill. Can you now tell me what I need to know to distort Bush's record? The unfortunate fact is that the economy is good and growing. Many companies expect to hire in the second quarter, which will be bad for me. And even though people are divided on Bush's handling of domestic issues, the vast majority think he's an effective and trusted leader."
"Yes, the facts do not bode well for you, Johnny. That is why consistency is one of the most important principles you must master when you attempt to distort Bush's record through exaggeration and mistruth."
"Yes, Johnny. You must not be selective in choosing the mistruths you wish to dwell on. No, you must not tell the truth consistently ALL the time. Here is how consistency works: If you never tell the truth about Bush's record, then how will anyone ever be able to determine when you are lying?"
"Excellent, Bill! But I worry. Even with your sound counsel, how can I ever rise to the level where, when I tell a yarn-spinner, that I am effective and persuasive and my Republican enemies don't mock me with the facts?"
"There is only way answer to that one, Johnny. You can only become as effective as I am in the art of mistruth the same way a person makes his way to Carnegie Hall."
"Practice, practice, practice."
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