The human mind is a strange thing. It has this enormous capacity to hold conflicting and contradictory ideas without exploding.
Consider, for example, this Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Barely half — 52 percent — now believe Bush is “honest and trustworthy,” down 7 percentage points since late October and his worst showing since the question was first asked, in March 1999.
[…]The survey found that nearly seven in 10 think Bush “honestly believed” Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Even so, 54 percent thought Bush exaggerated or lied about prewar intelligence.
[…]While 21 percent said they believe that Bush lied about the threat posed by Iraq, a larger number — 31 percent — thought he exaggerated but did not lie.
It seems a number of people (about 10%) believe that people who lie or exaggerate can be honest and trustworthy!
You’re probably getting a segment of people who believe that it’s okay to lie in the service of a larger goal. For example, if Bush thought the Iraq war were crucial for some reason, but knew he couldn’t invade for that reason, it might be morally acceptable to exaggerate some evidence so people will support it. Such a person could still be considered trustworthy, in that you trust them to only do it if they really believe it is the right thing to do.
Brian: That’s a possibility.
Looking at the political parties those polled belonged to, there is no specific pattern. These 10% are equally distributed among Democrats, Republicans and Independents.
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