I’ve noticed over the years that people lie. I’ve seen children do it, little Billy who ate the cookie on the counter and told his dad he didn’t. I’ve seen married people do it, no honey, that outfit looks great on you. Some lies are bold and blatant. Some are tiny, little bitty white lies…if even such a thing exists. Sometimes lies can come by omittance. Regardless, we don’t much like lies when they are told to us; we expect honesty. Honesty is a virtue. It is a character trait and a value that is up-right and good, and it’s something we should all strive for.
There are also certain professions that we hold to a higher level of integrity. For example, we all expect pastors to be honest. I find it funny and sad at the same time, but when I was studying to be a pastor, I recall one specific test that was particularly difficult. I sat in the back of the class because it was easier to get out the door when the bell rang, and the future pastor sitting next to me asked if he could look at my answers. We expect our doctors to be honest. We want an accurate account of the status of our health, and I definitely don’t want a doctor that cheated on his tests to be operating on me.
We also want our public leaders to be truthful with us, and especially the high office of president. I do understand the scrutiny that leaders go through today, and especially those on the world stage. Every thing a leader says is recorded, watched, re-watched, and then criticized by millions of viewers. It’s easy to misspeak. I don’t really want to say that lies coming from public leaders hurt us more, because there’s nothing quite like being lied to by someone close to us, but I will say that lies coming from a public office seem to degrade society more. I’ve put together a few of the public lies from my generation….check them out:
Here’s a clip from George H. W. Bush giving a promise on the campaign trail. Nobody likes taxes, but I’ve got to admit, how in the world can you expect anybody in public office to keep a promise like this. It’s not good to promise things you cant keep.
Here’s probably one of the most famous lies of my generation. President Bill Clinton lied about a relationship that he had with a White House intern. This was a very blatant lie. The president new exactly what he was saying was wrong, but to be honest, many people seemed to ignore it. Several that I talked to said that it was a private matter, and did not affect his role as president.
The following lie has been brought to public attention in the past few weeks. It is also different from the two former lies (a stupid promise, and a personal issue). This was a sneaky lie. It was an intentional deception and twisting of facts to get a specific piece of legislation passed. President Obama was a community organizer, a lawyer, and a Harvard constitutional law professor; this wasn’t just jumbled words….PERIOD.
Richard Nixon was the president in office when I was born. While I don’t remember this lie personally, I do remember hearing about it when I was young. President Nixon lied about the watergate scandal and almost became famous for being the first president that was impeached, but he resigned before it could be done.
I had to throw this guy in just for good measure. Here’s Rod Blagojevich a governor from my home state of Illinois. It would seem that the governor’s seat in Illinois is notorious for producing felons. Four of the last seven were convicted and imprisoned. After watching this scandal a few years ago, I just shook my head. Governor Blagojevich really seemed clueless.