One of my former co-worker forwarded me something I wrote back in 2003. I can’t remember the exact situation, but it was over a special election in Alabama to amend the constitution, allowing some new means of generating revenue. I am not sure if I was for or against it, but we were barraged for weeks with ads that had outrageous lies.
You can replace “September 9th” in the following text with “Yesterday” and it would still fit!
I’m tired of having liars in control.
I don’t know how we got to this point, or if it has always been like this and I’m just starting to observe it, but it is getting out of hand. Must we lie to climb each rung on the ladder to success?
For those of you who don’t know me well, I’m not a very religious person – but if I go back to my upbringing, lying is a mortal sin and you go to hell for lying. Now we just threw out the Ten Commandments, but somehow, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” (or “Thou shall not lie” for short) turned into something called perjury. That means you can go to jail for lying – but only if you are on a lower rung then the accuser. It appears to me that those above me – in control over some aspect of my life – don’t go to hell for lying, but they do create hell for me.
September 9th was just the latest example of blatant lying to try to achieve an objective – and the lying was on both sides! Now maybe they consider that telling “half-truths” is not really lying, it’s just a way of turning a false into a true, or a true into a false. I could cite some of the half-truths that have been told, but I think we’re all tired of hearing them and that phase is now over. “Who do you want to believe – us or them?” seems to be the new motto for success. It implies that someone is lying and assumes that we’re too stupid to figure out the truth. That we will go with the loudest drummer, best or most inspirational speaker, or those who have influence over us (usually special interest groups who came into control by lying to us!).
Is “Our foreign policy has been a miserable failure” a lie? A half-truth? I guess it depends on your definition of “miserable” – or from a famous case of the 90’s, “It depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is”. There seems to be no penalty for this political half-speak. I feel like we have used car salesmen running our country and I’m being sold a lemon, or am told that what seems perfectly good to me is a lemon and I’m just too stupid not to know that it is a lemon.
I’m tired of liars, of the policy of personal destruction, of activist jurists redefining truth. We’ve had the solution since our founding – it’s called the vote – but lying and the herd mentality has weakened its effectiveness. We need to throw the liars out, but that will take some time and study on our part. We should not climb the ladder of success by lying, but by thinking, listening, learning – and then doing the right thing.