Serious-minded people

Let me start out with the following firm belief of mine. I wish others who think winning at any cost gives politicians a free pass, would heed this belief of mine. I am not in favor of name calling, but I would say if people in or running for office want to be taken seriously, they need to be serious-minded with their comments. Saying obvious untrue things is not a step down that path. Full stop.

I am not naive enough to think politicians will stop lying altogether. To get elected, they will continue to overstate or even invent their role when good things happen and understate or blame the other side when bad things happen. And, if things aren’t too bad, many will even tell you it is bad to drum up fear. If things aren’t good enough, they will search for ways to make them even better sounding.

What bothers me greatly is when I see elected officials say or write things I know are not true, and even worse, many likely know it is not true as well. When I see such tales being told, it leaves me with two options to believe – either they really do not know they are saying untrue things or they are purposefully lying. Some politicians, like the former president, are so untruthful, they may not know where the truth stops and lying begins. As my colleague used to say in a voicemail greeting, “Always tell the truth, as you don’t have to remember as much.”

Unfortunately, we have allowed politics to become such a zero-sum game, meaning “I must win and you must lose,” we lose sight of the bigger picture. If nothing gets done or things get done to further the causes of a strident or well-heeled few and not a greater good, we all end up losing. When we make issues of import political, dividing people into two camps to play these inane zero-sum games, we all lose.

People may not be aware of this, but the PR folks who publicize these combative court cases for TV shows scour the cases around the country and find cases they can blow up into a big deal. Some of the cases present themselves as they bubble up, but some are found and honed for this purpose. Politics has become the same way. The PR people scour the country for news they can make into wedge issues. This is why many of us have never heard of an issue until it is presented to us with a bow that this is a huge problem.

So, once the wedge issue is created, the sides form and the lying begins in earnest. And, once the lying gets into the minds and keystrokes of others, it is extremely hard to erase that mindset. This is why we must be assertive in calling out untruths. In short, people who are in your tribe will believe BS if it makes the other side look bad.

This is misinformation and disinformation. This is right out of “1984” where the term “doublespeak” was created by George Orwell. But, let’s call it plainly what it is – lying.

When a US Senator says you can catch AIDs from the COVID vaccine, then when confronted says it may be true, that is lying.

When a former president says at least a dozen times that the tariffs imposed on China will be paid for by China (being refuted each time by economists that consumers pay the cost of tariffs), that is lying.

When a now US Congressman says he was not told by his wrestlers when he coached that the university doctor was fondling them as he did with over a thousand athletes (many after he was told), when six of his wrestlers said they did on the record, that is lying.

When a former president says you can keep your own doctor to sell the roll out of the new healthcare plan, that is lying.

When a former president says COVID is a hoax, or it will all go away soon when people start dying, while placing people in danger and ignoring what he is being told, that is lying.

When a US Congresswoman says a prominent Jewish family is using lasers from space to cause wildfires and profit from them, that is lying.

When a former president says he did not have sexual relations with his intern when he obviously did, that is lying.

When a former president hires over 1,000 attorneys before an election, naysays the process beforehand, and does his part to make it harder for people to vote by mail, then says the election was stolen from him an assertion he has failed miserably at proving, that is lying.

We need to hold our elected officials to account. We are owed the truth. And, when they don’t tell us the truth, we need to take action by voting for someone else. We need serious-minded people. The truth matters.

17 thoughts on “Serious-minded people

  1. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Truth. One of the first casualties of war in politics. Truth and honesty — major components of integrity. We the People deserve the truth, but since our vote matters to the politicos far more than our lives matter, truth in politics has become a commodity to be bought, sold, and traded. Our friend Keith sums it up well … truth matters.

    • Thanks Jill. We the people need to get more demanding of the untruthful. Just take the guy from your home state. His lying at Ohio State University facilitated more young men to be sexual assaulted by the fondling doctor. If I was a parent of one of those students, I would sue that school for its lack of stewardship.

      And, he could become the next Speaker of the House. Plus, he lied while belittling those who took an oath to tell the truth to committees as he was asked to be a guard dog for the former president. Is this kind of person we want as a leader of a key part of our government?

      • Ah yes … good ol’ Mr. Jordan. What is it about Ohio … we have more than our share of ’em. Vance, Jordan, Davidson, Mandel … the list seems endless. You’re right … their lies have consequences and must be called out, not simply swept under the rug. I shudder to think of Jordan as the next Speaker of the House … or McCarthy either, for that matter.

  2. Note to Readers: When a former president says he is not a crook, after it is discovered he sanctioned a burglary, that is lying. Taping oneself lying is not a good defense mechanism.

  3. Your colleague’s voicemail greeting was hardly original, but at least he ‘borrowed’ it from no less than Mark Twain.

    Perhaps the biggest difference between politicians lying in Twain’s time and lying nowadays is that lying has become completely shameless. There is no price to pay for being caught in a lie now (at least, as far as the liar’s base is concerned), because getting elected or re-elected is all that matters. Even the average voter doesn’t seem to think it’s a big deal — and that IS a shame.

  4. As always Keith your astute charges against the themes and claims by many make their words indefensible in any rational forum. Well said to every word of yours.
    It is a grim time when folks of our age groups can remember a time when statements by the previous incumbent of the Whitehouse or several others would have had their party distance itself from them and finish a career or would have been the realm of the maverick of no party and a source of humour to political commentators.
    Within the USA that often discussed tribalism has reached the point when it does not matter what they say, but who says it. To rephrase something I used to say in humour, I wait with morbid fascination to see if any major or rising star of the Republican Party says the Earth is flat and wait for the increase in support for Flat Earth societies and the attendant conspiracy claims. (There seems to be scant cause to laugh at anything in American Politics these days Keith)

    • Roger, thanks. If one did say such, I am sure too many would be agreement. You may recall we have a “Creationism” museum in Tennessee complete with dinosaurs and humans co-existing. Keith

      • Roger, I wrote a post several years ago which focused on the idea if I was a child who had not been force fed untrue stuff as part of my education, I would be quite perturbed when I got to older and learned real truths. Keith

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