A Truly Great Phony
By Thomas Sowell
Many years ago, I was a member of a committee that was recommending to whom grant money should be awarded. Since I knew one of the applicants, I asked if this meant that I should recuse myself from voting on his application. “No,” the chairman said. “I know him too — and he is one of the truly great phonies of our time.” The man was indeed a very talented phony. He could convince almost anybody of almost anything — provided that they were not already knowledgeable about the subject.
… Like other truly talented phonies, Barack Obama concentrates his skills on the effect of his words on other people — most of whom do not have the time to become knowledgeable about the things he is talking about. Whether what he says bears any relationship to the facts is politically irrelevant. A talented con man, or a slick politician, does not waste his time trying to convince knowledgeable skeptics. His job is to keep the true believers believing. He is not going to convince the others anyway.
… Back during Barack Obama’s first year in office, he kept repeating, with great apparent earnestness, that there were “shovel-ready” projects that would quickly provide many much-needed jobs, if only his spending plans were approved by Congress.
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