Bluster signalling

The difference between bluster and a lie has been confused by political commentators, including, I think, most of those on the Left. ¬†Yet the distinction itself will require bluster; it does not have the neat surgical or street-knife precision that lies have always had. For a lie can be eliminated with a single sharp incision. That is what makes laws and lawsuits possible, in our constitutional, legalistic world. What cannot be exposed and removed, is therefore not entirely a lie, and only in a tyranny are non-lies “actionable.”

Bluster is a rhetorical device that is employed quite universally. For the Left employs bluster, too. (But humourlessly.) And right-wing people — God forgive them — also lie sometimes.

Hockey players (on both left-wing and right-wing) also behave deceitfully. In their case, the device is not rhetorical. A hockey player will, for instance, fake left and shoot right, among several other tricks.

As a scarcely competent cricket batsman, once upon a time, I was intent on distinguishing googlies from chinamen. (Surely these are explained on the Internet somewhere.) As a spin bowler, my one skill was that no one could guess which side my deliveries might break upon. I, myself, could never guess.

Likewise, animals use tricks, playfully; or less playfully, with the intention of using each other’s bodies, for food. However, they don’t use words, any more than the hockey players. I mention this to establish that words are just a frill to a lie. They are — to bluster scientifically — a recent evolutionary development (assisted, no doubt, by the intervention of Satan).

Animals also bluster, as one may quickly learn from hanging out with them. Even fruitflies seem equipped to fool us. It is, almost invariably, a defensive posture, to avoid being sprayed, or swatted; whereas humans have the wit to use bluster on offence.

Take Trump, for instance. From the bad habit of attending politics, I have noticed this character. He can be very charming; or not. He can be exceedingly clever; or not. He can be unusually lucky; or not. Those who would characterize themselves, as “Democrats,” do not understand, let alone tolerate, Trump, because they have become obsessed with his (merely verbal) manner of play.

Perhaps he is not too fat, nor too old, to become a spin bowler. He can make all the moves. He tempts batsmen to swing at where the ball isn’t; he tempts them to mistake where the play is. Trump is most adept at government policy, in which he was more successful than any American president since Reagan. But remember, Reagan was also full of bluster, enough to drive his enemies wild. I get bored, rolling off Trump’s actual achievements. He seldom lies, because he does not have to; bluster will normally see him through.

And it is because they can’t distinguish bluster from a lie, that his rivals tend to be defenceless against him. They sue him frequently, but pointlessly. On the other hand, Biden and company tell lies because they haven’t another practical choice: the truth just demolishes them. This, because they have made the humourless mistake, of taking “democracy” seriously, and worse, “human rights.”