An interesting observation from Georges Simenon in his novel, Maigret and the Dosser:
Maigret had known that from the start it would be a lengthy, difficult business, because Van Houtte was not intelligent. Invariably, it was stupid people that gave him the most trouble, because they stubbornly refused to answer, and have no hesitation about denying what they have asserted an hour before, without worrying when their contradictions are pointed out.
Often, with an intelligent suspect, one merely has to disclose a flaw in his line of argument, in his system, and before long everything collapses.
This strikes me as being so true. The subject behind Maigret’s (Simenon’s) observation was a criminal investigation, but doesn’t the same observation apply equally to the modern Republican Party in the United States, especially as has been taken over by the likes of Karl Rove and the ultra-right epitomized by the Tea Party.
Despite now being pushed to the side, Rove has been instrumental in spreading the theories of people like Joseph Goebbels to the American political process and instilling the efficacy of out and out lying into the Republican Party:
If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State. — Joseph Goebbels
Or in its simplest form:
The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly…it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.— Joseph Goebbels
And, of course, people who do not think for themselves are perfect for spreading and maintaining the Big Lie.
Let’s be clear: it’s the government in power and also the government that wants to be in power. Today the scoundrels may be the Republican Party but greed and power can warp any political group into believing that lying and corruption bending a bleeding nation over the backseat will bring them glory and riches. Remember, Ronald Reagan was originally a Democrat.