Service of Because I Say So: When is a Hope a Lie?

August 6th, 2020

Categories: E-Commerce, E-tailing, Expectations, Hope, Lies, Medical Care, Pandemic, Words

I ordered something on the Internet and tracked its whereabouts a day after receiving an email stating “your order has shipped.” Someone had printed a label. Would you call that “shipped?”

I’ve largely represented consumer products, organizations and events in my  career–no politicians or controversial issues. I’ve counseled clients when I thought they might word a description in a different way–a pattern featuring a green leaf is not “unique”–or suggested they drop an unsuitable element from their special event. Sometimes clients agree, sometimes not. I resigned one account run by a person whose inappropriate behavior and demands would have rubbed off on my reputation.

Nobody can counsel the president. I wonder if any try. He discourages me when he raises false hope and makes inaccurate declarations. The headline on Berkeley Lovelace’s article on, “Trump says U.S. may have coronavirus vaccine ‘far in advance’ of end of the year,” quotes the president from his August 3rd news briefing. He didn’t soften it with “I wish,” or “I hope” –which we all do. He declared it.

We want to believe it. Maybe he knows something we don’t know. But it doesn’t seem that way.

Vaccinologist and physician Gregory Poland, MD, of the Mayo Clinic predicted in an interview on WOR 710 Radio yesterday morning that the soonest we can expect a vaccine approved for emergency use would be early in 2021 though March/April for full use would be more likely. Even then, there wouldn’t be enough vaccine for everybody and essential workers would be inoculated first.

Is false hope a successful strategy if expectations are consistently dashed? Should a leader treat citizens as some adults do children declaring regardless of what it’s about–audience size,  state of the economy, vaccine readiness– “it’s true because I say so”?

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6 Responses to “Service of Because I Say So: When is a Hope a Lie?”

  1. Hank Goldman Said:

    Well said!

    It’s pretty obvious who you are talking about… The orange haired, orange faced miscreant who occupies the White House. One crooked thing after another, both personally and politically.

    This time he’s playing with our very lives! So much time wasted, weeks, months, that we could have had some sort of handle on this awful terrible virus.

    Whatever manner of Hope might apply to other situations, this is not one of them. Lay it on the line, and get everyone to pull for the effort to eradicate the virus. Like every American pitched in then, for metal drives, paper drives etc. during World War II.
    Don’t get me started please. It’s so horrible!!!

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Great suggestion–a way to get everyone rowing in the same direction. A national drive–a war effort. I think DJT even referred to the virus challenge as a war early on. Make it the patriotic thing to do to social distance, wear a mask and when a vaccine emerges, to get inoculated.

    It took years but anti-smoking initiatives finally took hold. People still smoke but they must be inconvenienced to do so and they are the exceptions. Same with wearing a seat belt.

    A frightened population needs to see a plausible strategy in place that lights the way out. The strategy might be adjusted as we’ve not been down this road for 102 years but that’s OK as long as we are given the reasons.

  3. Lucrezia Said:

    Since I trust very little to nothing which comes out of Washington, I entertain no hopes, false or otherwise. There comes a point to which it is wise to simply observe, and eventually vote. I’ve wasted all too much time on a sorry problem which can’t be addressed, and hopefully dealt with, until November. Life is way too short to become devoted to nonsense.

  4. MarthaTakayama Said:

    I am very cynical about false hopes and false advertising. I have absolutely zero tolerance for the ridiculous pronunciamentos from the intellectually challenged pathological liar in the White House. I am irritated and offended by so-called experts offering false hope and expectation about our very bleak all-permeating medical morass. Obvious lies just have the effect of rubbing salt on wounds.

    False advertising is a disaster. It should logically and for me makes me shun the product or service. The idea of being spoken to like a child or ordered in that fashion just makes me bristle. I think both sensible advertising, realistic addresses of crises and not patronizing or talking down to the public make for the most enduring and successful behavioral strategies for our existence. But I have no idea if experts would agree!

  5. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Many join you in waiting impatiently to vote in November.

    I don’t believe information coming out of Washington and wish I could. As Hank wrote in his comment, all of us need to address this virus. Split we won’t get a handle on it as we otherwise might.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    The overused expression “That train already left the station,” is what I think about news from the White House. Too often it’s random and wrong which discounts anything that might be helpful and correct.

    I suspect that history will report the misfortune of this leader during a pandemic crisis. Were it not so. Let’s hope we survive. I keep thinking of the “Join or Die” political cartoon featuring a snake that Benjamin Franklin published. I see the image from my schoolgirl history book.

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