Honesty is a scarce virtue in the public sphere.

I wish it were not so, but consider:

  • political campaigns, where outright factual falsehoods are flung unpunished
  • news broadcasts, which make routine the amplification of the trivial and banal
  • advertising, which treats as acceptable the deliberate implantation of absurd love/fear associations
  • law enforcement, which dedicates manpower to the selective enforcement of financially lucrative anti-sensical laws, while pretending to be motivated just by safety

Strangers who want something from you (vote / eyeballs / dollars / capitulation) have normalized the act of lying in order to get their way. It is no wonder that the “spot the hypocrite!” game has become so easy, that cynicism is everywhere. This is a cultural tragedy.