I spoke with Dr. R.H Flutes again, who heads up the Lying Institute of America. For those not familiar with the good doctor, he has schooled hundreds of politicians both on the local and the national level to help them refine their lying skills. Paul Ryan got a personal gold star from the institute after he was named Liar of the Year 2012. Governor Rick Perry was a good student for a while, but suddenly he developed memory loss and couldn't remember all his lies. Anyway, the following is a transcript of my conversation with Dr. R.H. Flutes.
Q: How do you evaluate the political lying these days?
Dr. RH Flutes: Well, lying has entered a new phase.
Q: I don't understand, are you saying lying is evolving?
Dr. RH Flutes: Well, the new age tactic is to devalue the English language. It's more sophisticated.
Q: Can you be more specific?
Dr. RH Flutes: Well, an example: Grover Norquist, who was the forerunner of devalued English, continues to lead the charge in the 21st century. He continues to say his goal is to shrink government and then drown it in the bathtub. But what he is really saying is I want a revolution, I want to overturn this democracy and create a new government.
Q: Isn't he just using that term as a metaphor?
Dr. RH Flutes: What is the metaphor? He said he wants to kill the government in a bathtub. The only substitute is overturn the government. He is a revolutionary like Lenin or Mao. He doesn't believe in the system. He just doesn't want to say it with as much clarity as they did.
Q: What's the reason for that?
Dr. RH Flutes: Because you can't get on talk shows if you're a self-proclaimed revolutionary. You have to devalue the language. Make what you say confusing. Because sometimes people think that confusing language is a sign of intelligence.
Q: But Doctor, he just wants to lower taxes.
Dr. RH Flutes: If you just want to lower taxes is it necessary to drown the government in a bathtub? Simply say you want a lower tax code. Period. Drown the tax code, if you will. But he wants to drown the government of the United States. Kill what the founding fathers fought for.
Q: Don't you think you're over stating his goals?
Dr. RH Flutes: No. He states his goals in devalued English. That way he remains respectable. Let me ask you a question: Norquist says he is trying to change the tone in the state capitals and turn them toward bitterness and partisanship. How do you interpret that? I'll tell you. He doesn't believe in a democracy because it's obvious that he does not believe in an exchange of ideas. A democracy is based on the power of the people. He doesn't believe in the people. What he is saying in using devalued English is I want absolute power and I have contempt for those who don't agree. He uses the idea of state legislators as the shield for what he really wants. He wants power, control. Devalue the language, my friend. Make it murky. Remove clarity. Get attention. It's the new form of lying.
Q: But he is respected for the most part.
Dr. RH Flutes: Here is another quote from him: "Bipartisanship is another name for date rape." Actually, he took that from Dick Armey.
Q: Well that doesn't make any sense.
Dr. RH Flutes: No kidding. But it is a flavorable use of words. Let me put it to you another way -- let's say his name is not Grover Norquist. He is a black man, or a Latino, or for that matter any minority and he says (as Norquist did), "Our goal is to inflict pain. It is not enough to win. It has to be a painful, devastating defeat. Like when the king would take his opponents head and spike it on a pole for everyone to see." If you were any of those minorities, they would lock you up and throw away the key. Devalued language requires white respectability.
Q: All these vitriolic statements because he is opposed to taxes?
Dr. RH Flutes: No, you keep missing the point. It is not only about taxes. He is opposed to this government. The U.S. government. He is a new kind of revolutionary. A 21st-century revolutionary.
Q: And he didn't attend the Lying Institute of America?
Dr. RH Flutes: No, he was tutored by a great nephew of P.T. Barnum.
Q: You mean, "There's a sucker born every minute" type of concept?
Dr. RH Flutes: I met with the great nephew. He was an old man. And he was depressed by the direction Grover took. And that he had become so unpatriotic.
Q: Well, what did he think he was going to be?
Dr. RH Flutes: He thought he could have been the greatest snake oil salesman that ever was.
Q: So if you drown the government in the bathtub, what do we have?
Dr. RH Flutes: The Kingdom of Grover Norquist.