What is the truth worth? In a time where lying has become an acceptable art, the lines between truth and error have been blurred. Politicians do it, teachers do it, religious leaders do it, and even children do it. It is difficult to hold others to a standard higher than one upholds on a personal level. Where does it end? The consequences of a lie have affected everyone at some point in life and the truth is, a lie can never be untold. Friedrich Nietzsche, a famous German philosopher, said:
I am not upset that you lied to me, but that from now on I cannot believe you.
What frightens people, as America hinges on the upcoming election, are the many lies that have become acceptable. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is repeatedly annihilated for lies she has told, while Republican hopeful Donald Trump is celebrated amid constant lies. One thing that holds true is Clinton’s lies have been told on a larger platform and therefore carry more weight. What puzzles voters are many people who hear Trump lie in real-time, but somehow believe he will be delivered if he can make it through the doors of the White House.
What is the truth worth when lies have become so acceptable? Why would Trump no longer lie if given a larger platform? Politicians lie! Anyone who believes a president will be able to run the free world without being political is deceived. Change cannot be the absence of politics. Voters need to wake up because this is not a reality show; instead, it is real life. There is no way to eliminate politics from the office of President because running a country is political. According to experts in political science and psychology, politicians like Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump stretch the truth more than normal.
Trump supporters say they do not want a liar as president, yet they champion one the biggest liars. Hillary may have lied on a larger platform, but only a deceived person would consider her competition to be a lover of the truth. One of the first qualifying job requirements of a politician is he or she must be a great liar. They all lie. Although Trump’s claim to fame is that he is not a politician, the Republican candidate’s character reveals that business people have also mastered the art of falsehood.
Truth is, everyone has stretched the truth in life. Many learned the art of deception as toddlers but have since grown to rationalize any fabrication that appears beneficial. Once humanity is introduced to the “white lies vs big lies” syndrome, they instantly began looking for ways to manipulate the system. A scale is thereby created internally and little by little, it becomes unbalanced. This is magnified for those seeking public opinion. Hence, politicians distort the truth more often, use more self-justifications and deceive in larger ways, and with more consequences, as stated by experts in psychology and political science. As the face of the Republican Party, Trump has officially become a politician.
Sadly, if elected as the country’s next President, there will be no need for him to become an honest man. What is the benefit when his support system refuse to hold him accountable for lying on this level and instead insist on slamming his competition for the same crime? Some believe the truth has little value when lies have become an acceptable alternative. Contrariwise, Lies weaken and erode foundations while trust and integrity are still crucial assets for any politician. Face it, a rocky footing cannot be the posture chosen to make America great “again.”
However, all is not lost thanks to the great effect fact checking is having during this election season. Some conclude that truth does not matter; history has shown that many people do not settle on a candidate until much closer to casting their vote. Ultimately, the voters will either punish or reward candidates for what they have said on the campaign trail. Americans have the information necessary to help them choose wisely, nevertheless, some will still decide based on emotion rather than fact.
The result of the election will not be a matter of which candidate is or is not a liar. Instead, it all boils down to the lies voters choose to believe or overlook. The question remains, “What is the truth worth when lies have become acceptable?”
Opinion by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
New York Post: Finally, science shows that politicians are lying liars who lie
Reason: Why All Politicians Lie
New York Times: All Politicians Lie. Some Lie More Than Others.
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