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President Obama’s “Noble Lie”

Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE

The Obama administration has been riddled with multiple scandals such as Fast and Furious, IRS, Benghazi, the red line on Syria, saying he is protecting Israel’s back, NSA and now the Obamacare roll out.

Bob Woodward on the Chris Wallace Show on November 18th said he was not impressed with President Obama’s lie about Americans keeping their own insurance and their doctor if they like him. 

To paraphrase Bob Woodward’s comment he said President Obama’s goal was to do something Noble for the American people. He wanted to provide insurance for the 30 million uninsured Americans.

My impression is Bob Woodward was forgiving President Obama’s  “Noble Lie.” He moved on to the disastrous rollout of the Obamacare  web site.

I was floored.

I thought about Bob Woodward’s statement for a long time. His statement reminded me of Plato’s Philosopher King.

My humanities teacher at Columbia College, Gilbert Highet ,was obsessed with Plato’s concept of the “Noble Lie.”

Gilbert Highet believed it is the duty of the intellectual to support freedom and defend pluralism.

He emphasized that the concept of the “Noble Lie” was exactly what the American founders rejected in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The very next day one of my readers sent me an article by historian and author Arthur Herman ("The Cave and the Light: Plato Versus Aristotle, and the Struggle for the Soul of Western Civilization) concerning Plato’s “Noble Lie.”


He wrote,

Thomas Jefferson once confessed to John Adams that he had been rereading Plato’s "Republic" and “laid it down often to ask myself how it could have been that the world should have so long consented to give reputation to such nonsense as this,” including the notion of the Noble Lie.

They knew rulers, no matter how well educated or experienced, actually have no superior knowledge to ordinary people, because they all understand and judge reality at the same level.

That’s why Noble Lies aren’t just wrong. They also don’t work very long because citizens can see what’s real and true just as clearly as any of Plato’s Philosopher Kings, and sooner or later will catch them out.

President Obama has a knack of moving the traditional media quickly off one “Noble Lie” on to another before the first lie and its consequences can be fully appreciated by the people.

George Will had a wonderful statement about this ability. He called it

Clunker progressivism.

“Barack Obama’s presidency has become a feast of failures whose proliferation protects their author from close scrutiny of any one of them.

Now, however, we can revisit one of the first and see it as a harbinger of progressivism’s downward stumble to”

The following quote of Plato by Arthur Herman sounds a little bit like Bob Woodward’s statement last Sunday.

 It is the business of the rulers of the city,” Plato wrote in his "Republic," “to tell lies, deceiving both its enemies and its own citizens for the benefit of the city…”  

In fact, the wise ruler — Plato’s Philosopher King — must be prepared to “administer a great many liesand falsehoods,” Plato went on, for the benefit of the masses.  

Plato goes on to justify the “Noble Lie.”

 “The Philosopher King knows that they are too ignorant to ever see the truth about their city’s problems and how to fix them.”

“And at times it’s only through telling what Plato called “a noble lie” that he or she can get the people’s cooperation in achieving it.” 

Mr. Obama, you are not Plato!

The traditional media and the Democratic Party promote these Noble Lies.

Arthur Herman goes on to say,

And every lie is planted for a single end: to justify increasing the power of the federal government, and with it the clout of its Number One champion, the Democrat Party.”

The Democrats who voted for Obamacare either knew or understood its provisions. If they did not understand the provisions because they did not read the bill before they voted for Obamacare they were not doing their job.

It was predictable that Obamacare would be a disaster for ten of millions of Americans already holding health insurance policies. 

Above all, they knew their president had deceived the American public into accepting this financial and moral disaster, in order to clear the way for a single payer, completely government-run health system”

In either case they should all be thrown out of office.

Americans have not seen anything yet!

Wait until they try to see a doctor or receive access to needed medical care once Obamacare get further on down the implementation road.

It is going to get worse!

The opinions expressed in the blog “Repairing The Healthcare System” are, mine and mine alone

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