The original article about fooling people, pleasing people, and the similarity to lying to people was incoherent. Therefore it is gone. There was some background information worth keeping. It's about President Lincoln's Fooling People quote. It follows.



About Fooling People 

President Lincoln had something to say on the subject of fooling people. This is what is commonly reports as being said by President Lincoln.

"You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time".  

Abraham Lincoln is reported to have said this in a Lincoln/Douglas debate in Clinton, Illinois on September 2, 1858. However, it was not in the printed summary of the speech in the Bloomington Pantagraph for September 9, 1858. Then, in 1905 - years after the remark had won a secure place in American folklore - several men who had heard Lincoln speak at Clinton came forward to assert that on that occasion he had used these words. The recollections of these men, however, differ not only from each other in important particulars, but also vary materially from established facts. I got this information from the web site of the Abraham Lincoln Association.”

I also discovered an interesting website, The Quote Investigator.” It had the following to add to the Lincoln story about fooling people.

An intriguing precursor appeared in a popular 1684 work of apologetics titled: “Traité de la Vérité de la Religion Chrétienne” by Jacques Abbadie who was a French Protestant based in Germany, England, and Ireland. The following passage appeared in chapter two: “ - - ont pû tromper quelques hommes, ou les tromper tous dans certains lieux & en certains tems, mais non pas tous les hommes, dans tous les lieux & dans tous les siècles”.

The generally accepted English translation is: “One can fool some men, or fool all men in some places and times, but one cannot fool all men in all places and ages”. I cannot speak to the accuracy of the translation. I took Beginning French as an adult evening class twice and failed both times.


In Summary

Too many people in the spotlight try to fool us. We should be very careful when we hear a five minute answer to a simple 'yes' or 'no' question.

Considering that the subject was discussed as early as 1684 reinforces the idea that there is nothing new under the sun.


A Moral

If there is a lesson to be learned here, it is that you should do and say what is right, not what suits the immediate purpose.


A version of this article was originally printed in the September 15, 2015 issue of The Lewis County Herald of Vanceburg, Kentucky.