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Does the truth matter any more?

Posted Jun 08 2011 10:42pm

I can’t stand a liar.

Because the Captain’s alphabet diagnoses include Reactive Attachment Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder, he’s found lying a very convenient way to get under my skin. We have practiced a no-tolerance policy for lying for all of my children, but him most especially.  Transgressions on their own carry one punishment; lying about them brings a second, sometimes harsher punishment. Most of them figured out it was easier to be honest. It might even lead to a pat on the head and a “I hope you won’t do that again.”

But don’t lie.

When we hammer on this seven days a week, wanting him to be a good boy and a good man, I wonder what lessons he learns from the news. Lessons from all these “good men,” who’ve worked hard and given themselves over to publc service, who wouldn’t know the truth if they tripped over it on a midday Sunday afternoon.

Anthony Weiner, whose judgment in Tweeting inappropriate photos is bad behavior enough to win him a punishment in my book, thinks he can actually get away with lying about it. Really? In this day and age? Has he learned nothing from John Edwards? Newt Gingrich? Bill Clinton? A trail of people who “thought I could get away with it” all the way back to Gary Hart and beyond? Really?

We work so hard to persuade this boy that it’s important to be truthful. That it is a sign of strong character. That it shows your respect for the person to whom you’re speaking. That the world just damn well works better when it’s based on honesty.

Maybe that’s why it feels like such a betrayal that these people, these “good men” in public service believe that not only can they break every moral and decent code for their own personal gratification, but then they feel it’s fine to lie about it. Because the risk is worth it.

That’s the same excuse the Captain uses: he thought the risk of getting caught was worth it.

Maybe I’m the one out of touch with reality. Why should we keep beating our heads against the wall to make him learn this, when it’s clearly not a trait that’s necessary to succeed in life?


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