A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes. ~Mark Twain
I love old television shows from the 60s’. Last weekend I was watching one of my favorite TV shows of all time, “The Rifleman” staring Chuck Connors. In many of the episodes they often end with some sort of lesson or moral of the story.
In the episode I watched last week the story dealt with lying and some of the reasons why people lie. The title character Lucas McCain uncovered four reasons why people lie:
- To protect someone’s feelings
- To avoid punishment
- For financial gain
- To protect status
Over the past several weeks we have heard from politicians on both sides of the aisle give their version of who and what is holding up the extension of the debt ceiling or what would happen if it is not raised.
During the debates I have heard the word “lie” on numerous occasions. As a result, the American people are left to determine who is lying. My question is why do the people who represent us feel so comfortable lying to us? Remember when a lie was a lie? Now when a person is caught in a lie all they have to say is that they “misspoke” and voila! They’re off the hook.
Why are they lying? I know the answer is not because we “ can’t handle the Truth”. I believe there are two main reasons why they lie:
Financial gain. Many of our senators and congressman know that during and especially after their careers are over they can command big dollars on the speaking circuit and from writing books. Some even go on to careers with big corporations with whom they have developed relationships during their political career. In most cases it is to divert big dollars to their respective districts for various projects like the “bridge to nowhere.”
Protect their status. If they want to maintain their position in Washington, some feel they have to lie in order to protect their status as a Senator or Congressman. This status also involves holding onto their power. Telling the truth can potentially place their position at risk, as many times they are challenged by the “Status Quo.”
No matter what the reasons are for lying, they often have a significant impact on the lives of the people being lied to. The hurt, pain, bitterness, anger and frustration that lies can generate can turn a country on its head. Our leaders must be held accountable for the lies they tell and the breach of trust.
The truth is absolute and it can be known. It is not relative, the truth is the truth and we must demand it from our leaders, regardless of whether they have an R or D after their name.