A Different View: Maybe It's Not Gullibility?


I gotta tell you what happened after my last blog. I texted my old neighbor in the cannon and told him that ‘gullible’ was the wrong word to use for explaining the phenomena of people believing things that are so obviously false. Maybe ‘guliability’ would be better.

“What!” he texted back. “Why would someone believe something they know is false? You mean they know it’s a lie, but they believe it anyway? No way, my man! That’s insanity. Give me an example.”

“Well,” I said. “You’ve heard of our leader’s policy of separating children, even babies, from their parents?”

“Wait a minute,” he interrupted me with. “You’ve got to be kidding? I thought that kind of gestapo shit went out with the czars? Us lizards wouldn’t even do that. You seem like a decent fellow, so I assume other Americans are, too. But sounds you must have some real low-lives in America…lower than us lizards anyhoo.”

“Most of us are good-hearted people,” I said. “But, by your definition, our leader, of all people, is a low-life. You know, it’s weird. He almost lies more than he’s truthful. Not only does he lie all the time, he even brags about it. You can’t believe a thing he says. Tell me that’s not weird?”

“You’ve got to be kidding. A leader who lies, cannot be a leader. How did this happen? I thought you guys had a democracy over there?”

“We used to. It’s kind of a sad story right now. People are in a fighting mood. A lot of people angry with other people. That’s not good no matter when that happens.”

“Well, give me an example where someone could believe something knowing it’s a lie,” he replied, bringing me back to the ‘gullibility’ issue.

“There are people who apparently must think they are somehow, almost like enslaved to this low-life lying leader. One of these slaves, for example, claimed publically that the crying little children were trained actors…trained to cry when they were taken from their parents”

“What!? I know some dumb, ignorant lizards, but even they wouldn’t believe that. No way.”

“I guess you’d have to call this a willful ignorance,” I said. “‘I really think ‘gullibility’ implies honesty. One person honestly wanted to trust and believe another, so they fell for the lie and then felt foolish. These people I’m talking about lie to themselves. That doesn’t qualify for gullibility. That’s dishonesty.”

“Wait!” my old neighbor texted. “You’re telling me these people lie to themselves and believe it? They fool themselves intentionally? That’s downright weird. Why would anybody do that? That is insanity. That is…You people in America must have a word for that? You’ve got a word for everything.”

Help me out here folks. What new word can we invent for this rather perilous phenomenon? "Guliability’ kind of works. Rolls off your tongue if you say it right. But there’s gotta be a better one. If you feel like it, get your creative juices going and see what you can come up with. Maybe share this with some ‘friends’ and see what clever words we get. Thanks.