In desperate need of political truth serum
I just saw a docu-drama on the Clintons’ time in the White House on PBS. It went back to Bill’s interview and his famous "it depends on what your definition of 'is' is." That blather set the stage, I believe, for lying directly to your face, which is very much present in today’s American political culture. I, for one, want to see that stopped.
We are becoming a valueless society. We don’t respect others, our elders, our teachers, our elected politicians, our clergy, our judges and our presidents. We only respect, if you can call it that, those who think in partisan parameters upon which we agree. Liberals agree with Liberals. Conservatives agree with Conservatives, and the plurality of Americans doesn’t know enough to care and/or disagree with both our political ideologies.
We need to redefine ourselves as Americans. One first step would be for our leaders and political candidates to somehow be forced to tell the truth. There are many, many urban legends — untrue — written about President Obama. From his birth certificate to his religion, to saluting with his left hand, and about 40 others. All are false, based on snopes.com and factcheck.org Internet research.
Republican candidates are calling each other liars and cheats and huge exaggerators. Some of that, in the heat of this campaign, is true. We should know by now that all politicians lie to enhance or hedge their positions. Although many lies have been told about the President, he too has told lots of "whoppers."
Remember that embarrassing moment when Congressman Joe Wilson of South Carolina shouted out "you lie" during a presidential address? Well, lying in today’s vernacular means everything from exaggeration, spinning, failure to tell the whole truth by leaving out pertinent facts, as well as just plain old lying.
A quick look at what factcheck.org writes about the President’s shade of the truth includes phrases like "despite what Obama said," "he falsely claimed," "questionable," "understated," "distortions," and many more. No one seems to know how to tell the truth.
I remember a movie in the late 1950s that came to grips with political truth- telling. During speeches by the candidates for President, subscript appeared under the speaker’s image which indicated whether what he was saying was true, exaggerated, or false so that the voting public could separate fact from fiction-diction.
We need truthful substance from our leaders, not improved presentation. Performance in the pulpit should no longer be as important as getting your substance — your facts — right.
I’m sorry that I don’t remember what the title of that film was, but you can probably see that we need such technology right now. I hope we are close to developing this truth-telling software. In the interim, we need to tighten up our national press corps to be our "watchdogs," as they used to be; not the political "lapdogs" that they have become.