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Friday, May 6, 2016

Liar, liar, pants on fire

Friday, April 29, 2011

Today's column title is what we used to yell at other kids in elementary school because lying wasn't a good thing. It was always better to tell the truth, accept the consequences for your actions and get on with you life.

Not so today. We live in a country of liars. And it's not just a certain group of Americans, it's every group. It's not just in a particular place in our country, it's everyplace.

Jim Tressel, the head football coach at Ohio State University, is in danger of losing his job because he lied about the unethical behavior of some of his players. Several major league baseball players face jail time for lying about taking steroids to enhance their performance. Bernie Madoff put together the biggest Ponzi scheme known to man by lying about how people's money was being invested. People shoot an 8 on a golf hole and claim a six. Others promise to love us until they die and then they don't. Donald Trump used to be pro-choice, now he's pro-life. He used to be in favor of universal health care, now he's against it. He used to think Obama was a good president, now he thinks he's the worst ever. Did he reassess those things he believes in or is he saying what he thinks people want him to say because he's considering running for President?

Maybe people lie because it's so easy to do. Rather than facing negative consequences, people lie in the hope of at least postponing those consequences, if not avoiding them altogether. Some people succeed in doing this which makes it even more likely they'll do it again.

Lying has become an epidemic and there's no known cure for it.

So how did we get to this point? How did we make the transition from believing that the truth will set you free to covering our own backside whenever we have the chance?

I think that, more than anything else, it has to do with becoming self-absorbed. Rather than looking out for the other guy, we put our own needs and wants first above everything else. I tell my students every semester that when they want their needs to be met, they need to satisfy the other person's needs first and in return, they'll usually be repaid for their efforts many times over.

That's the way two-way social relationships used to work. I don't think they do anymore. I don't think they do because we've become a society of takers rather than givers. And giving freely without expecting anything in return is now seen as a weakness rather than a strength. A giver has become someone who can be used and manipulated over and over for our own ends. And when we've gotten everything we can get from that person, we kick them to the curb and move on to someone else.

My regular golf partner is Jim Lemon because neither one of us cheat. We don't improve our lies. We count every stroke. We encourage each other. And when our match is over, whoever wins knows that they won fair and square.

But winning fair and square doesn't enter into the equation much anymore. We just want to win, regardless of how we accomplish it and that includes lying and cheating. Whether its sports, business, or relationships, we just want to come out on top.

A generation ago, it was just as important how you won as winning itself. That's not a prerequisite anymore. People don't care how you win as long as you win. The process has become inconsequential. The end result is all that matters.

And the more we lie, the more our country declines. We like to blame the decline on one party or even one person but we're not being honest with each other or ourselves when we do that because it's everybody's fault.

If other countries can't trust us to tell the truth and do what's right, they lose faith in us and if we can't trust each other to tell us the truth and do what's right, we lose faith in our fellow man.

So if this empire ever falls, the way so many great empires have fallen in the past, it won't be because of a party or a person or an idea or a concept.

It will be because we forgot how to tell the truth.

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Well said, Mike, I agree, and could even elaborate on your words, but let me address your last sentence only. 'It will be because we forgot how to tell the truth.' I must insist that is only a part of it. 'We, also, demand more than we deserve, or even do not qualify for, requiring lying to obtain.'

Our Republican form of Government/lifestyle requires three things minimum, Christian beliefs, Honor, and Truth. IMO, the Loving/Giving/Honor, and Truthful life disassembled quickly sees all three destroyed.

Enjoyable, and agreeable, covering a disagreeable subject, for most. Thanks.

-- Posted by Navyblue on Fri, Apr 29, 2011, at 3:40 PM

I work at a daycare. yesterday we had a talk with the parents of a little girl because she tells lies- little ones, big ones, she lies. The parents say to us- "what does it matter if the lies don't hurt anyone or cause any harm." We were speechless- i asked them to explain this reasoning and i am told that "it's no big deal to lie- everyone does it." "There are worse things", the Dad tells us.This mentality saddens me. Home should be where we learn that our word and actions have consequenses and that the truth should govern those same words and actions.If we are taught at an early age that lying is "no big deal" then there should be no outrage when as your children get older they continue to lie, to you.I don't know about anyone else, but that would not be the legacy I would want to leave my future generations with.

-- Posted by mommily on Fri, Apr 29, 2011, at 5:42 PM

Interesting how you list Trump as an indication of "lies" yet you omit the "lies" of this President. Considering your political persuasion, not so hard to understand.

Obama said he would close Gitmo, did he?

Obama said he would be the most transparent President ever. Has he been?

Obama said he'd keep unemployment under 8% if we'd only give him nearly a trillion dollars for union bribes and payoffs. Where is unemployment now?

Obama said that he'd bring the troops home from Iraq. Gee, I must have missed it.

Obama sat in Jeremiah Wright's church for twenty years, and never noticed that Wright is a racist. That's the truth to you Mike?

Obama said during the campaign that the Selma race riots inspired his father and his birth. Not even close to the truth.

Funny, I don't recall your mentioning how both Bill Clinton and Al Gore changed from pro-life to pro-abortion once they were on the national stage.

And what about Al Gore's lies regarding the global warming hoax?

Or Hillary Clinton saying she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, when he climbed Mt. Everest two years after her birth.

"I never had sexual relations with that woman - Miss Lewinsky." You must have forgot to mention that one too.

You guys on the left crack me up. For years and years you support the lies spewed by Democrats, and yet now, you are so very outraged.

Excuse me if I am skeptical of your new found righteous indignation.

-- Posted by sameldridge on Sat, Apr 30, 2011, at 9:23 PM

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Mike Hendricks
Mike at Night