Greetings and Salutations;
As I poked through the Social Media postings this morning, I saw many spews of hatred for Hillary Clinton, claiming she is, among other things a liar. These posts, and the general tenor of the Presidential Campaign this year, have moved me to look at the issue of “Truth” and our requirements of it. I am sure y’all will not be surprised to hear that there is quite a bit of hypocrisy in this debacle. In fact, we are hypocrites of the first water, as I believe we are demanding a level of “honesty” of some politicians far and above that which we require of ourselves. To top it off, many of us believe that the candidate we support reaches that goal of perfection!
Politicians are human, just like the rest of us. We all have an agenda we want to progress. For us individuals, it might be to get a new house loan; or to get our kids to be good people; or to get a raise at work; Too often, I fear, it is to deflect blame for a mistake, and avoid punishment for that error. For politicians, it includes an attempt to influence life on a broader scale, and, change the lives of more people. While working to achieve this agenda, they, at times, make statements that are false. There are many reasons for this. Sometimes, it is because they have bad information. Sometimes, it is because they hold an idea or stance based on opinion, not facts. Sometimes, they go too far in trying to interpret the truth in a way that strengthens their position. Sometimes they out and out lie, in order to get the voters to support them.
I believe, though, that it is a fool’s errand to judge them more harshly because of the simple fact that they are not always perfectly accurate and truthful. Which of us is so pure of spirit and so free of the sin of lying, that we can cast the first stone? I certainly am not, nor do I know anyone who is. As we go through life, we often “bend the truth” to our advantage. Is it “right?”…not at all. Is it “human?”…Very much so! However, to condemn a person because they are human is nonsense.
How then, should we evaluate the politicians that want to control our lives and the lives of our fellow citizens? I submit we should look at the preponderance of evidence when forming an opinion of them and deciding if we want to support their goals. Look at their actions, and Life history, as well as the words they are spraying out in an effort to convince me to vote for them. Make a strong effort to NOT let one’s own prejudices filter the words and actions of these people. I have suggested that it is best to sit down with a pencil and paper, and make a two-column list of the things the candidates have pushed as parts of their agenda, and their views of reality. On the left column…write down the things we do not agree with at all. On the right column, write down the items that we fully support. Then, look at that list, and use it to decide which candidate best represents what YOU believe…and then vote for them.
Hopefully, those truths will help in finding a good path, and electing politicians who will work to make our country a better place.
Now, then…some specific words about the current, Presidential Candidates.
Hillary Clinton has been in the public eye since she was at University, working to improve the lot of, and, protect the oppressed and poor in America. I shall not list her accomplishments here, as they are easily found online. By objective analysis, she tells the truth at least 75% of the time. She has, through the years, made mistakes, and had errors in judgment, which were based in the problems listed above in this note. However, she has taken responsibility for those actions, has publicly apologized for them, and has worked to never make that same mistake again. In spite of this, there has been a long campaign of hatred from segments of society that attempt to paint her as the Devil herself. These slanders are a campaign based in lies, but, has been so cleverly pushed that too many Americans have bought into the lies and so dislike her.
Donald Trump is painted by himself and his campaign as a paragon of perfection, a teller of Truth and the Savior of the Country. A large percentage of the public believes this, in spite of the fact that objective analysis of his statements over the past 17 months has shown that 95% of the time…he is lying to some extent or another. This ranges from misinterpreting the truth, to such obvious falsehoods that fact checkers are amazed at his audacity. Time and time again, he has lied, and done evil things, yet, as of today, I have not heard a SINGLE example of him acknowledging his mistake, taking responsibility for it, and apologizing to those injured by it. I could fill up screen after screen of examples where he has lied, or, supports policies that will keep Americans from voting, or remove civil rights from groups of citizens. It is the work of a moment to look this up online though…. In spite of this horrible record of exclusion and oppression, there are a large percentage of voters who swallow his claims whole, and love him.
So…these two examples bring up the questions that have bothered me for months now. Why have we, as a society, decided to tolerate a political situation where it is not only “OK” to lie, but that behavior is rewarded? Is this the kind of society we want to live in? Is “Truth” no longer important? I do not like the view of our Society I get from the answers I believe apply to these questions. What do y’all think?
Bee Man Dave.
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