I want you to stop reading this article.
Stop reading this article and go open a fresh tab or browser . . . I’ll be here when you get back. I promise.
Now in that browser, head over to Google and type in “lessons we learned as a child” and press the enter key. If your search results are anything like mine, they will look like this.
Of the nine pages that were displayed on the first page of my results, can you guess the number that listed “tell the truth” or something like that? If you are anything like I am then you probably expect that number to be pretty high. Maybe you even expect it to be listed in some form or fashion on every single one of them – right? I’m here to tell you that sadly that is not the case. The number is shocking but given our current political environment not really all that surprising.
Yes – you read that correctly. Only TWO articles/websites listed “telling the truth” or referenced being honest. And for one of them, it didn’t even crack the top five! It was number eight. Leave it to the Huffington post to grab that ridiculous honor.
Does anyone else find this as horrifying as I do?
Being honest and telling the truth were core principles my parents and grandparents instilled in me from the moment my memory begins. My father used to tell me that it didn’t matter what I did wrong so long as I told the truth. Lying would only make it worse and a real man owns up to his mistakes. And he was right.
It didn’t matter if I had to admit to him that I broke the basement window; that I was the one who carved the heart in the tree along side of the house; or that I was racing my best friend from school to lunch doing 90mph in the 1984 Dodge Omni he bought me and that I was handcuffed in the backseat of a police cruiser. I told him the truth. I took responsibility for my actions and whatever punishment came along with that. It built character and taught me lessons that benefit me to this day.
So why is it that so many men and women in Washington D.C. today seem to have forgotten that lesson – or seem to have never been taught it at all? To be clear, I’m not calling out any particular party on this one. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Liberals – they all are guilty. But given the positions they hold in our Government, shouldn’t they be held to a more stringent level of honesty than any of us? Why are we not holding them accountable? Why do they continue to lay false claims, spin false allegations and flat lie to get what they want and if they so happen to get caught – rarely get punished like you or I would?
Take for example the FISA application that was used to spy on Carter Page. We now know the FBI used the dossier that was nothing but lies to get that warrant. To date, nobody has been held accountable for that.
The Democratic Impeachment Managers have spent the entire week trying to convince the Senate to vote today on allowing additional witnesses and documents for the Impeachment Trial in the Senate to be considered fair and unbiased – yet they refuse to release all transcripts from the witnesses that were interviewed in the House. Why is that?
Adam Schiff kept referencing 17 witnesses that testified, but the truth is that there were 18. 17 transcripts were released, but where is the 18th transcript? Why is he not releasing that? There are Republicans who argue the reason it hasn’t been released is because it proves Rep. Schiff lied about his interaction with the whistle-blower.
Alan Dershowitz argued during the Clinton Impeachment Trial that you don’t have to actually commit a crime in order to be Impeached and removed from office. That losing the public trust of the office was sufficient. Yet this past Monday he stood again on the Senate floor and argued that you have to have a crime to impeach. So which is it? Which is true?
Truth in politics is a rare commodity. Politicians care less about what is factually true and instead focus on outlying slivers of half truths to support whatever narrative benefits them at a certain moment in time. As is the case with Alan Dershowitz and Adam Schiff above, it just depends on what side of the argument you are on.
Yet if you or I were to lie at our place of employment and get caught – there is a real fear of losing that job. Politicians don’t seem to live under that fear. Facts be damned, it’s the narrative and how it makes you feel. That’s what is important. And if enough people on your side of the isle agree with you – then who’s to say what is true and what isn’t? Perhaps that’s why we hear so much about Representatives and Senators speaking about telling “their truth” instead of “the truth”.
It’s that blatant disregard for the truth by our elected officials that has caused such distrust in them from their constituents. It is why there are strict party lines in place where bipartisan legislation seems near impossible. It is also why members of one party distrust anything a member from the opposing party says. And in doing so they have divided our country in such a manner that I fear we may never recover from. But maybe we should first stop and look in the mirror and ensure our house is in order before preaching to others about theirs.
Our elected officials have lost the moral imperative to tell the truth because society no longer places value on what is actually true. It’s not even important enough to teach our children anymore. It doesn’t matter what the facts are. It only matters how you feel. Don’t believe me?
Run that Google search one more time and get back to me.