On the Issues: Putting Lipstick on a Pig

The phrase “putting lipstick on a pig” describes making superficial or cosmetic changes to something or someone in a futile attempt to disguise fundamental flaws or failings. The phrase has been used for quite some time, most notably in recent years by President Barack Obama. Its origin seems to be based on the adage, “You can put perfume on a pig, and it might smell sweeter, but at the end of the day, it’s still a pig.” (Click on the above title to continue reading if necessary.)

Why do I mention this saying now? It’s because it seems most germane in the present political situation. When I saw how President Biden has his bumbling veiled, his stumbling cloaked, and his grumbling camouflaged – when he is made out to be something he is not – this expression came to mind. His recent Sign of the Cross at an abortion rally also reminded me of his effort to cover up his religious and moral failings.

When I see voter polls with so many ostensibly supporting Joe Biden for another term as president, I’m left askance, perplexed, and even alarmed. I ask myself, “How can nearly half of the electorate (the majority of Democrats, at least) support Joe Biden for president in the coming election? Do they not see what I see?

This man has significant flaws, yet most of the Democrat electorate doesn’t seem to be aware of Joe Biden’s failing or, more likely, refuses to admit them. Why is this so? Do they hate this country to the extent that they want to see it run by someone clumsy, inept, senile, and likely controlled by others? While many or all of these might be true, I suspect it’s primarily because many people don’t know how to look through a disguise. Some people are good at disguising things, and Democrats are masters at this game when it comes to politics.

Consider how people disguise themselves to conceal their identity or adopt a different persona. People often use makeup. Well done, makeup can dramatically change a person’s appearance – to the point where they are unrecognizable from the authentic self. One merely needs to look at famous actors and actresses with and without makeup to see what a difference cosmetics can make.

If makeup isn’t enough, cosmetic surgery can do what face coverings cannot. Again, when looking at stars and starlets, it’s common to see people who’ve had a facelift, nose job, or tummy tuck to change their appearances. In addition, it’s incredible what a little Botox can do as well.

Consider, too, what costuming can do for an individual. Wigs and masks can also dramatically change one’s appearance. This is commonly done in theatrical performances, cosplay events, or costume parties. Gender transformation is the ultimate in disguise. Cross-dressing and presenting oneself as a different gender to assume a new identity can have rather amazing results, which explains why transgender drag shows appeal to some individuals.

People can also use flattery or satire to “paint” others to make them appear to be what they are not. The progressive Left constantly praised Joe Biden despite his ineptitude. Just the opposite is happening with President Trump. Consider the “Mean Orange Man” persona projected by the progressive Left on this most distinguished leader to besmirch his character and blot out his record of success during his administration. Disguises can and do work in multiple ways, for good and for ill.

Disguising candidates and making them appear differently from who they are can have major consequences, not the least of which is saddling us with an unqualified leader such as Joe Biden. There is plenty of media, social, and political coverup of this bumbling, grumbling, and stumbling president. The nation will pay dearly for this if Americans act as if they can’t see through his façade.

Are voters being manipulated through emotions?

Political influencers can and do sway individuals' personal decision-making by masking the truth, supplying misleading information, providing motivation, influencing risk perception, and shaping personal preferences. In doing so, they toy with voters' emotions. When people appeal to our emotions rather than our reason, they manipulate us. Emotions can be used to shape a person’s worldview, values, and personal convictions. Emotions play a significant role in intuitive and quick decisions, which is often the case in politics.

You say you are not so sure about this. Well, consider the fact that it’s not uncommon today to see people like Jesse Waters of Fox News interview people who are protesting this or that. When protesters are asked why they do so, many are entirely flummoxed, being unable to state a reason for their position. They avoid reasoned debate, deny evidence, and rely on name-calling and ad hominem attacks rather than defend their position with reason and evidence. Their stances tend to be subjective, reflecting feelings, mood, or some affective state. It is clear that they have been manipulated.

We must not follow our emotions in the political arena because it has been said, “Characters other than God broadcast on that wavelength.” There is a commonly-held Christian belief that Satan manipulates through the use of emotions. Satan and Eve in the Garden of Eden were an excellent example. Voters are not exempt from emotional manipulation, no matter the source. Consider how this works.

Progressive social and news media influence public opinion by selecting which stories to highlight and which to suppress. For instance, from 2016 to 2020, narratives propagated by left-leaning social media platforms were uncritically accepted by many Americans who believed they were consuming impartial journalism. During this period, negative reports regarding Trump’s major policy initiatives, such as tax cuts and achieving energy independence, as well as narratives concerning Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia, COVID-related fears, and misinformation regarding border issues, were widely circulated.

Simultaneously, crucial stories were sidelined – instances where pertinent information was omitted, notably concerning Joe Biden’s involvement in his son’s business dealings and the Hunter Biden laptop scandal. The media failed to provide fair coverage of these significant corruption allegations and instead focused on a narrative endorsed by 51 former intelligence officers, suggesting the laptop story was likely Russian disinformation. In summary, to control information is to control the masses.

Are people so blind that they cannot see through President’ Biden’s many disguises?

I think not. There is adequate evidence to show that Joe Biden is not the man he seems. Something else is happening here. Have you ever heard the saying, “There is no one more blind than he who will not see?” It’s not a matter of voters who cannot see; it’s a matter of voters who will not. Many progressives are self-deluded individuals who choose to ignore or deny what they know to be true. In the former case, they are biased; in the latter case, they are intellectually dishonest. They are so attached to their opinions that they cannot admit what is painfully obvious to the rest of us.

An appeal to reason.

Through my 40+ years of math and science teaching, I’ve observed students shy away from the mental effort required to reason. During multiple-choice tests, say, many students opt for intuitive responses rather than reasoning out the best response. Doing so is faster, easier, and automatic. Reasoning encompasses cognitive functions like logical thinking, analysis, and problem-solving, requiring deliberate and conscious engagement, which takes time and effort. In politics, as in education, favoring emotion over reason often has substantial negative consequences.

Warning: Progressives will cut off their noses to spite their faces!

“Cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face” is an expression commonly used to describe a needlessly self-destructive overreaction to a problem. For instance, a person might exact revenge out of hate for another in such a way that it would produce more damage to oneself than the object of one’s hate. In the present political situation, it’s almost as though “fireman” Donald Trump, rushing to the scene of a burning house (America), is prevented from extinguishing the blaze because the homeowners, suffering from Trump derangement syndrome, hate the “Mean Orange Man” and won’t let him do the job that he’s most qualified to do. They emote such a response at terrible personal expense to themselves and the nation. So it will be if this happens again during the November 2024 presidential election.

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