Monday, July 29, 2013

Still a Good Policy

Victor Davis Hanson has some interesting commentary about how we have become a nation of liars (with numerous examples). He ends giving some reasons not to lie:
The majority has to tell the truth — to the IRS, to the police, to the DA, to the census — if a consensual society is to work. You readers tell the truth so that the society can survive an [insert name of liar here] or [insert a different liar's name here]. Average people must speak honestly or our elites’ lies will overwhelm, even destroy us.
If you have been in a place where certain people could not be trusted to tell the truth, then you know that little if anything can get done.
Two, this often sordid, sometimes beautiful world is not the end. There is transcendence. Lies damage our soul. Selling out in the here and now has consequences later on. If you are religious, your immortal soul is lost. If you are not, at least consider that your legacy, heritage, and remembrance are forever ruined. Ask the ghost of Stephen Ambrose. What good was all that money, all those interviews if based on a lie? All the insight and delight that he brought millions of readers was tarnished. And for what, exactly?
 Do you really want to leave a legacy of lying?
We must try to tell the truth, not to doctor films, edit tapes, erase talking points, or lie before Congress, fabricate heroic war records, or invent false sources. Again, why? Because we seek to do the right thing with the full resignation that in the here and now we will often still lose and will lose often and gladly telling the truth.
And we must do so when all about us are shredding and forging documents and lying to us and about us. To do otherwise is to forfeit the respect of others and ourselves.