September 8, 2012
Yes, truth matters. All conscientious voters seek glimpses into the soul of candidates, but the opportunities are few and far between. Negative ads work tirelessly to suggest them, but are almost uniformly unhelpful. Transparency laws requiring identification of donors and their otherwise hidden agendas would be nice, but our hyper-partisan Congress won’t pass legislation anytime soon – the money’s too good and too effective until WE stop it.
There’s plenty of truth-bending from both sides of the aisle, but Paul Ryan’s “2 hour and 50-something minutes” marathon claim was particularly revealing, as was his facile explanation when caught: he should have rounded his four hour and one minute time “to four hours, not three.” This was not a failure of memory. This was an easy lie of an almost pathological nature. It was specific, misleading for a purpose, and a genuine credibility red flag.
For anyone who has read M. Scott Peck’s People of the Lie, it shows a recklessly selfish disregard for the truth on a matter that was so inconsequential that one has to wonder why it popped so lightly from his lips. Commenting on Paul Ryan’s Medicare plunder claims against President Obama, former President Clinton (himself acquainted with half-truths) ad-libbed, “it takes some brass to attack a guy for what you (Ryan) did (in his budget plan).” How many whoppers must we endure through November 6th? Sadly, as many as money can buy. Discerning voters should keep score.