You probably know Carlo Collodi’s stories of Pinocchio. Carlo wrote tales of a puppet named Pinocchio, whose nose grew longer when he lied. His telltale sign exposed his deceits for all to know.
The present presidential sweepstakes could use such a signal from the candidates to expose their deceits. All of the present candidates from both major parties fit the Pinocchio description in that they have lied in various fashions about themselves and their records.
With apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning and her sonnet “How Do I Love Thee,” let me count some of the ways that the candidates have lied to the American public to help you discern truth from error.
Candidates distort their records. Distortion occurs in a variety of ways. One can twist parts of a record out of the proper relationship with the other parts, and cast a false glow upon it. Distortion misrepresents the facts and the results, good or bad.
Candidates deny their past, even in the light of verified evidence. Frequently, adversaries attempt to degrade a person with phrases like, “It is reported…,” “I have heard…,” and “It is common knowledge that…” In this way, they invent damaging claims. Nominees should reject baseless claims, because lies arise when they deny validated evidence.
Candidates exaggerate their prior records. This lie occurs when a nominee expands a success beyond its proper and actual circumstances. A presidential hopeful may even claim undeserved credit for an achievement that properly belongs to others.
Candidates tell untruths when they hold contradictory positions. Nominees can legitimately change their positions. New research and further study may provide new information, prompting a different view. In that case, let them explain why they changed. The problem occurs when they attempt to hold both positions concurrently. They fail to speak truthfully.
Candidates lie when they deceive people. To endear themselves to a voting block, nominees frequently claim friendships and associations with others that either do not exist or exist only in appearance. In addition, presenting a partial truth for a whole truth misleads people. A partial truth presented as the whole truth states an untruth. Some practice deceit so cleverly that they turned themselves into a mythological character.
Why do they lie? Do they think that no one will discover their falsehoods? Do they practice it out of habit? Do they believe that mere repetition will turn an untruth into the truth?
Why should we care? Doesn’t everyone lie sometime? Regrettably, lies have become commonplace, so we excuse it in others. A lie may bring momentary relief and victory, but often leads to problems in the future. As Rick Pitino, Head Basketball coach at theUniversityofLouisville, said, “If you lie, it becomes part of your future. If you tell the truth, it becomes part of your past.”
Sir Walter Scott aptly said, “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” Reliance upon lies resembles building a house upon the sand. Sand looks solid but can change with the wind and weather. It does not provide a solid foundation upon which to build.
Truth provides a solid foundation that does not waver or yield to changing circumstances. Presently, our nation experiences not just financial deficits but deficits of truth. Truth comes in short supply. The absence of truth shackles us in bondage of fear and uncertainty. The knowledge of the truth brings freedom.
The complete analysis of the presidential candidates must include examination of a nominees’ lies. At this critical juncture,Americacannot place its future upon a Pinocchio for President. It will hasten the nation’s demise. Therefore, reject the false and demand truth, which alone brings freedom.
© Thomas P Hill. Website: www.masterministries.org (Used with permission)