I was listening to some ESPN thing on the radio on my way home tonight and heard a show host ask Jemele Hill a moderately difficult opinion question. She hemmed and hawed, and eventually said "Let me be completely honest here" and I winced, because even though she's a bit vacuous and cliched, she seems to mean well and I like her. Yet here she is saying not only the magic phrase "be honest," but has doubled down to "be completely honest." So the next thing that comes out of her mouth is going to be a lie, and I am sad.
She gets some credit, even after all that. She hemmed and hawed some more, evading the question and putting in all sorts of qualifiers before she actually answers. She went on for two whole minutes doing this, enough so that I concluded at some level she knows she's about to lie, but she's basically an honest young woman who doesn't want to, so she can't get there. Fascinating stuff. There was some back-reference to President Obama answering questions for 90 minutes today and then another 30 minutes more personally, and I could tell from her voice she thought he had answered gently, nobly, wisely, evenhandedly - she loves the man. Well I am resigned to that, but I'm betting that I would have heard something different in his answers, and could quote chapter and verse at the end of it that the usual suspects were being blamed, just under the cover of fair words.
Yet she couldn't come to answer, until finally she did, and it had red flags all through it. She was lying, but part her didn't want to and tried to keep her from it. It gave me a new perspective on my own theory, because I am quite sure she was not conscious of lying. If you had her on a witness stand you might be able to get her to see it - in fact I'm confident she could see it because she came so close with one statement.
Odd that telling a lie makes me like her better, because I could hear so clearly that she is an honest person who doesn't want to, but has this enormous conflict between her dual experiences. It's a very CS Lewis sort of moment to see where this goes over the years. People do different things ant points of decision, and tiny differences can become large ones.