What is a Speech Lie?

As someone who has addressed groups thousands of times, I am uncomfortably familiar with the Speech Lie. The Speech Lie is an anecdote, or statistic invented to illustrate and support a point within the speech. A Speech Lie may also be an actual lie, but it is not intended to be a true lie, because, even though the Speech Lie is made up, the Speech Liar is inventing something that supports a true factual point within the speech. If the lie tells the truth then the Speech Liar lies with impunity.

Unfortunately, the Speech Lie is only a lie that tells the truth according to the Speaker. The Speech Liar can be misinformed, or honestly mistaken, but they can also be intentionally misleading, and a premeditated liar.

Let’s just agree that there is a strong possibility that Senator Jim DeMint, Republican from South Carolina, is a Speech Liar. Not being divine or endowed with super powers we can’t look into Senator DemMint’s mind or probe his tiny conservative heart, and know exactly which kind of Speech Liar he is, but one of his recent comments seems suspiciously like a Speech Lie.

Here is thin DeMint Speech Lie word for word:

Probably the most heart-wrenching experiences I’ve had over the last several days is when naturalized American citizens who have immigrated here from Germany, Iran and other countries, they come up to me and they say why are we doing what so many have fled from? Why don’t Americans see what we’re doing? And I’ve realized that these people who’ve lived under socialist type economies, and totalitarianism, they know where we’re headed if we don’t turn things around.

It would be interesting to see how many people, hearing or reading this quote, believe that actual immigrants from Germany and Iran came up to Senator DeMint and said the kinds of things he claims they said.

I just cannot make myself believe that DeMint is telling the truth, and this is because the statement contains claims that just make no sense to me.

Are we really expected to believe that American citizens that have emigrated from Germany came to DeMint and said why are we doing what so many have fled from? Obviously he is implying that the German immigrated citizens left Germany because of something that happened there that is now happening here and causing them concern.

East Germany?

To what might these Gerrmans be referring? Communism? Maybe. The communist oppression of the East Germans happened over 30 years ago. Is that what these alleged German Americans are talking about? Yes, living behind the Berlin Wall was bad, and no we do not want such a thing to happen in the United States, but are we seriously going to compare what happened in East Germany to current conditions in the United States? The Berlin Wall and communist domination of East Germans was the direct result from how the defeated Germans were dealt with after losing World War II. At the time, Germans had recently been defeated in a World War II, and the defeated Germany was occupied and divided into areas, and each area was policed and controlled by the victorious allied nations. One of the victorious allied nations was the communist governed Soviet Union. In what way does what happened in Germany resemble what is happening in the United States today? Are we a defeated Nation? Has our country been divided into regions and are chunks of our country being occupied and oppressed by foreign countries?

Nazi Germany?

Perhaps the unnamed horde of German emigrants are referring to the fascism of Adolf Hitler? Hitler suspended all civil liberties and used violence to crush all opposition. Could these alleged German Americans be referring to Obama crushing all opposition with violence? What violence? Name one incident where Obama’s White House has used violence to crush opposition? Watching the recent town hall meetings I would say opposition has been given carte blanche. Hitler suspended all civil liberties. What civil liberties have we lost since Obama’s January inauguration?

Germany Today?

If the DeMint quote is talking about Germany today well that makes absolutely no sense. Germans today have national health insurance and one of the strongest economies in the world. Are these alleged German born concerned Americans afraid that we are going to experience the horrors of a strong economy and national health care? Save us, Lord, from such torturous living conditions.


Are we really expected to believe that emigrants from Iran, now citizens of the United States are going to this Republican Senator from South Carolina and telling him that what is going on in America right now is like the oppressive bad stuff that happened in Iran? Iranians who recently demonstrated over a questionable election were beaten, and murdered in the streets, and mob leaders were jailed and held without charges, provided no legal hearings and no legal representation. How has Obama treated the Town Hall protestors? Have the protestors been beaten, shot, sprayed with tear gas, rounded up and jailed?

I don’t believe these alleged emigrant American citizens from Germany and Iran exist, because what DeMint claims they said just doesn’t make sense. There are almost no similarities between Germany and Iran. The DeMint quotation refers to unnamed constituents making vague accusation about something unspecified that happened in their birth nation that they see happening now in their newly embraced country.

What we see in the DeMint quotation is a poorly thought out, poorly expressed Speech Lie. Senator Jim DeMint was flapping his gums on the Hugh Hewitt’s radio show spewing out what has become his almost daily rant against President Obama. DeMint is the same guy who recently said that if Republicans kill health care reform, it will be Obama’s Waterloo. In other words, partisan politics matters more to Senator DeMint than containing health care costs and providing health insurance to the uninsured.

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