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The unhappy bamboozlers

Posted on August 27, 2014 by Sunny South News

Carl Sagan once said, “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. 

We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth.  The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we have been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

This is why people who continually vote a certain way every election can’t seem to or don’t want to see the corruption, which so many other people see (especially people who are not close to the subject).

Let’s say someone has been a friend of yours for a long, long time and you put your trust in them and wind up burned.

Sometimes, it is just too hard to confront the truth and you go back for more ill-treatment — hoping it was just a mistake.

Your other friends are gently trying to point out you’ve been bamboozled but your eye seems permanently blind.

There’s a joke where Karl Rove, an infamous politician who served under George W. Bush, is sitting talking to Plato.

He says, “But surely you agree that truth can be created by the repetition of a lie.”

I have discovered many infamous people who continue to lie and cheat often have a great way of rationalizing their behavior.

Rationalization is sort of a defense mechanism.

People justify bad behaviours or feelings by using as many rational or logical explanations as possible.

If you are a friend, you may sit there wondering what you should do.  Should I just come out and tell him the facts and shove it in his face or should I wait?

Or should I just go along with the lie and hope my friend figures it out before it is too late?

Timing is everything.

A neighbour was saying horrible things about his wife and describing her nasty and sometimes cold behavior.

Finally, he said he didn’t know why she was so crazy.

I blurted out it was because she knew he didn’t love her and it hurt.

“Hurt people sometimes hurt people,” I added.

He stared into space as though he just had a revelation.  He was kinder to her after that.

Then there is politics.

A certain region votes in half nice guys and half corrupt guys to the municipal council.

Everyone knows the corrupt people are liars and manipulators but for many, it is good business to have them there because they make certain people and their families wealthy by ignoring local and provincial by-laws.

There are voters that enjoy riding on the shirt-tails of power, even if it is corruption that gains them that power.

It is about values, I guess.

I think they must have had a hard childhood to have turned out without an inkling of compassion or understanding.

Sometimes, I look at those who seek power and money as victims.

What kind of values were they taught about society?

It must be awful to be trapped in a world of indifference to human suffering.

It’s worse when it is a politician who has the power to act as judge, jury and executioner.

Because they ride roughshod over everyone around them in the political arena and possibly also the media, they have immense power to destroy many lives at once.

Until I was in my twenties, I thought bad guys were just in the movies.

As I aged, I thought it was time to learn some human psychology.

I realize lost souls don’t know they can change for the better.

Alas, some have rationalized their actions for so long they think there is nothing wrong with their behavior. 

We must find courage to turn our backs on the bamboozlers.

But at the same time show them a little compassion because they were bamboozled themselves into believing that good can come from evil.

Send in column ideas via e-mail to Check out Debby Gregorash’s column next month.

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