Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire...|
October 9, 2008
It used to be a very serious matter to accuse someone of lying. Not so long ago,
when honor had more currency than it does at present, specific examples of deliberate
falsehoods were required to validate such charges. This is no longer the case.
The charge that 'Bush Lied' has been echoed so often that it is taken as truth by
millions of Americans. Not one of whom can cite a specific Bush lie. On my radio
show, I had a standing offer of $100.00 for anyone who could give me an example
of when Bush lied. I've never had to pay out.
Despite this lack of evidence, a good man's name and honor have been tarnished.
Ditto with John McCain.
In a heated discussion with an elderly gent named Holly who works for Helping Hand
in Surfside Beach, SC., this morning, I ran into this same cavalier treatment of
deliberate falsehoods. (Lies, if you're a conservative, 'misstatements' if you're
a liberal) "McCain is a liar." Holly stated.
When asked for specifics, he replied as most do, "Everyone knows he lies. I'll make
you a list." I declined a list, asking for just one specific lie. Holly is going
to look into it. Despite the fact that he couldn't recall any specific lie, Holly
will continue to believe both Bush and McCain have lied. As will millions of Americans.
Engaging in semantics is the default setting when one has no facts to back up their
statements. "Well, how do you define a lie?" they say. A lie is a deliberate misstatement
of fact, made knowing that it is false. Like Barack Obama's statement that he didn't
know Bill Ayers was a terrorist, or that he didn't know his pastor of 20 years was
Obama is officially a liar, as facts have emerged that prove his statements are
false. Luckily, Obama is one of the new progressives that don't put much stock in
honor and character, believing empty rhetoric is his key to the White House. Time
will tell if he is right.
Echoing popular talking points is the default setting for one who wants to appear
wise without having done his homework. To the new graduates of government schools,
truth is whatever one decides it is. Or whatever the 'elites' say it is. To those
of us over 40, however, words have meaning.
To many Americans, trust is still an essential ingredient in any relationship,
be it marriage or relations with our elected officials. We still believe that, just
because everyone lies, doesn't make it right. Impugning a person by questioning
his word is taken seriously.
In a court of law, one lie is enough to discredit the whole of a person's testimony.
In the political realm however, lies are accepted as a matter of course, with no
untoward consequences. Unless you're Republican or conservative.
Men used to fight duels to the death over what today are casual, throw away statements.
In our new political world however, outright lies are becoming increasingly accepted,
by both left and right alike. By allowing casual statements branding one a liar,
by not challenging these statements, all Americans are becoming complicit in the
coarsening of an essential part of the moral fabric of our country.
Sam Adams made clear that our constitution, our very system of governance, relies
upon a moral populace. By allowing false statements to go unchallenged we're allowing
the left to define the 'truth.' We're allowing good men to be slandered and allowing
real liars public validation. Drip, drip, drip.
Nancy Morgan is a columnist and news editor for
She lives in South Carolina