While this post is inspired by some of the shenanigans going on as the presidential campaign winds to a close, it isn’t really about politics or politicians. But it is about lying, and for some of you, politics and lying may actually be synonymous.
But I digress.
When I lie—and really, I’d much prefer not to, as it just feels wrong even if it wasn’t a 10 Commandments kind of sin—I try to do my best to rein it in. To make sure no one gets the shaft. Yes, I might lie to protect myself or someone I care about from a bad situation or an uncomfortable moment, but when I do so, I try to do just enough lying to protect, while not doing so much that the person I am lying to will be harmed, disadvantaged or betrayed in any significant way.
That doesn’t make my lying any more forgiveable, but I think it at least makes the practice more humane.
And yet, politicians, business leaders, shallow lovers, fair-weather friends and lots of other folks seem to lie with abandon, as if there are no consequences. We see it not only on the campaign trail as a politician smears another with lies (Liddy Dole calling her Christian opponent ‘godless’ leaps to mind) but from business leaders who lie about their company’s bottom line or environmental practices or whatever else.
People in important positions frequently lie, and the lies they tell are the kind that can ruin careers, destroy families, tank an entire national economy, and maybe worse than that.
And yet, where is the outrage? We let them tell us lies, and we don’t hold them accountable really. How many lying CEOs or company presidents go to prison for committing crimes that do far more damage than some penny-ante shiplifting or selling of weed or even gross assault sometimes.
Have we reached a point in this nation where we just don’t care anymore?
Are we so beyond being shocked that we just accept this now?
And if so, does that mean that telling the truth is the new sin of secular life?