“A liar begins with making falsehood appear like truth, and ends with making truth itself appear like falsehood”. ~ William Shenstone (1714-1763), English poet
“If you like your plan, you can keep your plan” and “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”. Or so went the promises of the Obama administration and the Democrats when they forced Obamacare down our throats in 2010. Republicans and conservatives warned that it would not be the case. They warned that not only economics, but reality, were on their side. They warned that not only religious liberty, but the liberty of choice would be threatened. They pointed out that special favored groups (including elected officials) were getting waivers, subsidies, and delays, outside of what was permitted in the law. Even as recent as a month ago, they tried to delay it, warning of the harm coming to average Americans. The response? They were berated as fools, radicals, cynics, and racists.
Then reality finally set in. Truth set in. And the lie was exposed. Millions of people are having their policies canceled, only to discover that the alternatives are far more expensive, including coverage they do not want. Those that were once insured, are now joining the ranks of the uninsured, with higher premiums forcing them to choose to pay a fine instead of getting insurance. While the lower class gets subsidies, and the higher class gets waivers, the middle class gets a fine. Americans that were once in the dark are now discovering that they were lied to by the very folks that claimed to want to help them.
The truth was out there for those willing to see it, yet so many willingly believed the lie. Why is that? Why is it that so many fall prey to liars in the first place? What is it about human nature that we would rather believe a pretty lie, than seek the ugly truth? I think it has to do with the fact that humans would rather be comfortable than uncomfortable. It is an uncomfortable thing indeed to realize that someone you trust, someone you look up to, someone you are supposed to respect, may be lying to you. While truth can sometimes damage a relationship, a lie exposed does as well, only more so. As humans who yearn for connection, we know this, which is why few desire to “rock the boat”. Why risk the discomfort of a broken relationship by revealing the truth? The problem with that logic is that while the truth hurts for but a moment, a lie hurts far deeper. Liars break trust, not only with the present, but also with the future. Liars reveal a weakness of character that damages respect on both sides. While a relationship built on truth can often weather honest mistakes, one that is built on lies, once exposed, is often damaged forever.
Our President has been lying to us. Intentionally. Over and over again. And mind you, it hasn’t been just with healthcare. While I am the last person in the world to claim that any politician is worthy of being held up as a beacon of truth, our President has a greater responsibility as the leader of our Constitutional Republic. He is supposed to put the Constitution first, along with the wellbeing of this nation and its people, no matter where they are. Instead, it appears his agenda, and the wellbeing of himself and his allies, are what come first. We are being undermined not only by our own President, but folks in DC on both sides of the aisle. Americans are waking up to the awful hurt of betrayal.
The thing is, this was bound to happen. In my experience, it takes a lot more work, and memory, to keep truth hidden. Eventually, it will come out and the liar will be exposed. Sure, it will hurt those that were lied to for a while, but know this: it damages the liar for far longer. Rather than revealing strength in speaking truth, a liar reveals his weakness by foregoing it. He will have forever put a seed of doubt in people’s minds, lending toxicity to any future relationship, be it personal, political or business. He will never be fully trusted again. And without trust, there can never be a relationship. Except of course, an abusive one.
Is the latter the kind of relationship we want with our President? Or anyone in leadership for that matter?
“He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world’s believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions”. ~ Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Peter Carr, Aug. 19, 1785