This article is about winning and losing; loyalty and lying. In nature, among living things, to win is to survive. You lose, you die. Farther up the curve, among “civilized” beings, if we call ourselves that, the taste for winning does not fade, even though there’s no longer much literal danger of death. Go to a pro football or soccer stadium where 40,000 fans have assembled, and ask them why they’re there. You’ll find less than a hundred who don’t really care who wins.
In courts of law, the point is to succeed. At times, one has to shade the truth to win. I know this comes as a surprise, but lawyers sometimes lie. When I was young, me mither said, while milking the one goat we could afford, “Too bad our bloody legal system’s flawed. All witnesses must swear to tell the truth, but lawyers don’t.” The goat agreed. It chimed in “Baaa.”
We all love creativity, but there are times when it makes life a drag. There are people for whom “true” simply means, “can’t immediately be proven false.” They don’t embrace the normal view that true and false can be rooted in actual fact. They’ll even, when desperate, come up with “alternative facts.” (Fanciful “truths” – as good as any others if you have no particular allegiance to reality.)
One colorful character on the world stage, these days, is Kayleigh McEnany, Trump’s current (4th) press secretary. We will be seeing more of her, methinks. Ms. M. is improbably pretty in a cover-girl / cheerleader way. A cheerleader she clearly is, but she’s not limited to that. She deftly wields authority while acting out her current boss’s deep disdain for mainstream media. Kayleigh routinely ignores, cuts off, and rebukes reporters who challenge or censure her boss. A Georgetown grad who studied law and also spent some time at Oxford U., she’s bright and quick, and ballsy, too. Like her pugnacious predecessor, Sarah Mastiff Huckabee, McEnany doesn’t lose much sleep about facticity. Confident, brusque, and dramatically rude . . . she’ll twist, deny, deflate or just abruptly slam the door on a reporter’s point-of-view. She’s out to win. Hers is a lawyer’s sophistry at both its best and worst – depending which you value more – skilled gamesmanship or honesty.
McE’s been taught to emulate her boss, D. Trump. She never mentions anyone who wears a uniform without robustly praising him or her. She also always adds a lump of schmaltz whenever she alludes to the U.S. or any state. It’s always “This great country. That great state!“ (The bumpkins think we mean it if we say that Georgia’s great. They’ll vote for us!)
To complement her machinations, Kayleigh wears a uniform as well: a pretty little sundress leaving both her pretty shoulders bare, as well as a small silver cross on a slim chain around her neck. I wonder what the devil wears to work.
Press secretaries are a tainted breed no matter which side they are on. You know what they are gonna say before they open up their paid-for mouths. Which is to say they’re horz. Their job is to be loyal and to toe the party lie. Oops, party line. They will not doubt or question what The Alpha Dog declares, including when he’s wrong or full of shit. Such sycophants have never learned the word integrity. They’re moral dwarves and moral amputees. They say whatever benefits the bigshot whom they serve. Let’s hope that someday, at The Hague, they get what they deserve.
(Don’t count on it.)