The Truth Behind the Lies
The ends continue to justify the means
Unfortunately, we expect politicians to lie to us. Some might say we won’t vote for them unless they tell us what we want to hear. Sure, we can cite contemporary examples of Barrack Obama’s “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” and George H.W. Bush’s “Read my lips, no new taxes.” Lyndon Johnson lied about Vietnam. Richard Nixon lied about Watergate. Bill Clinton lied about Monica Lewinsky. Hillary Clinton lied about Russian collusion. Joe Biden lied about Hunter Biden’s laptop.
But politicians lying to their constituents has been going on for over 2,000 years now. For example, Rome’s greatest orator, Marcus Cicero, received this campaign advice from his brother in 64 B.C.: “Candidates should say whatever the crowd of the day wants to hear. After the election, you can explain to everyone that you would love to help them, but unfortunately circumstances beyond your control have intervened.”
Sure it does. That’s why candidates for elected office would use polling and focus groups to figure out what to say to voters or determine what the crowd wants to hear. And while we may expect them to lie to get elected, there was a time when we also expected them to stop lying once they got elected or to face the consequences. Richard Nixon, for example, violated the public trust and was forced to resign.
That was then, this is now, and the lying of elected officials persists long after election day – to win at all costs – or as Nancy Pelosi said in 2018, “Go low, go high, whatever. We just have to win.” This is the “ends justifying the means” strategy, and it is far more insidious than pandering to every special interest by promising everything to everyone.
You see, at least when a politician is promising you everything to get your vote, even if through vague or dubious claims, they were (at the very least) pretending to appeal to your personal interests and working to earn your support.
Today, however, politicians don’t even pretend to do either – appeal to your interests or earn your support.
It’s why most Americans feel government doesn’t work for the people and why a new Monmouth University Poll found that a record 88% of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction – which is the worst on record.
You see, most Americans don’t care about climate change or disarming every American of their Second Amendment right. They don’t care about removing God from the Pledge of Allegiance or making it OK for men to go into a public restroom with their mothers, sisters and daughters. They don’t believe that America is as racially divided as some would have you think or that allowing illegal immigrants to violate the law without any consequences is OK. Most Americans are not interested in eliminating fossil fuels or buying an electric vehicle. Most Americans can define what a “woman” is and would rather read to their own children instead of someone dressed in drag at a public library.
Most Americans know that killing the unborn is murder and that, except in rare cases, abortion is not health care. Most Americans want voter I.D. requirements for voting and in-person voting.
And yet, time and time again, we elect candidates into office whose views do not represent those of most Americans. The Democrats aren’t even trying or pretending anymore. How could they possibly be if 88% of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track under this administration?
Yes, yes, I know Joe Biden claimed in his inauguration speech that his “whole soul” was in uniting our country. That was another lie because he’s not interested in your support – he’s interested in his agenda.
In the end, it’s not that the American people cannot handle the truth; it’s that they shouldn’t be expected to manage their lives in the absence of it – especially at the hands of those sworn to serve them.
Louis R. Avallone is a Shreveport businessman, attorney and author of “Bright Spots, Big Country, What Makes America Great.” He is also a former aide to U.S. Representative Jim McCrery and editor of The Caddo Republican. His columns have appeared regularly in 318 Forum since 2007. Follow him on Facebook, on Twitter @louisravallone or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and on American Ground Radio at 101.7FM and 710 AM, weeknights from 6 - 7 p.m., and streaming live on keelnews.com.