I'm teaching my five year old son about how lying is bad and I'm starting to wonder whether I should just let him do it. Society at large doesn't appear to care about that kind of thing anymore.
The Bush administration made apparently false and misleading statements in court about the White House e-mail controversy, according to the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics.
The US Army confirms that thousands of soldiers are cheating on online tests for promotions.
At an PR industry event in London, in a poll of the audience of over 260 PR executives, the majority (138) voted against the motion that "PR has a duty to tell the truth."
A new scanning program has identified 76 cases of outright plagiarism among professors (not students) of biomedicine.
Top PR firm, Edelman, was recently outted as having a media training course for execs that states, ""Sometimes, you just have to stand up there and lie. Make the audience or the reporter believe that everything is ok."
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom noted that during the run up to the 2006 election, his blackberry buzzed almost daily with threat level notifications from the Department of Homeland Security. When the election was over, they stopped.
Maybe it's a result of having two equally passionate sides on both sides of the political spectrum for the past seven years. Or maybe it's because the educational system has broken down to such a degree that it's just too easy and tempting to manipulate the masses for our own gains. Whatever the reason, it seems that American culture has reached a worrying threshold where the constant whirring of our spin cycle completely drowns out the sober voices of truth.
If those voices are even speaking anymore.
There used to be a time when truth mattered to people. It wasn't simply because of the sentimental notion that truth is honerable. No, it's because truth served a function. In fact, it was one of the lynchpins of our social structure. I would argue that if our society continues to see truth as quaint, or merely preferable to lies, then it will go into decline. Some might say that it's already happening.
It's as if our society has termites. The spin masters get into everything and, with every lie they tell, slowly eat away at the structure. It's gotten to the point where these pests are everywhere we turn. Every news outlet, every politician's speech, every commercial break, every single place you rest your eyeballs there is someone telling you something that ain't exactly true. I'd call an exterminator if I thought they could actually handle a problem of this magnitude.
Furthermore, it's really starting to get in the way of our ability to make decisions and navigate the world. For example, we needed truth in order to make the right decisions about Iraq. Instead we got lies and half-truths which led us to the incorrect decision. Let's invade! Whoops. Now America and Britain are stuck in a bog. Tons of people dead.
Truth iis also vital to our well-being as individuals.
We need to know what to eat, what to drink, where to live, how to dress for the weather, and how close they are to the nearest fault line. Without truth about these matters, we might be drinking water from contaminated springs, eating beef with mad cow disease, dressing for summer on a rainy day and living in a house that's about to slide down a mountain. Wherever there's a buck to be made, it seems, there's someone willing to lie their ass off in order to make it.
My point? Well, just that we, as a people, should care more about the truth. Really really care about it. Put it up on a pedestal and worship the truth. Celebrate the truth. Write songs about the truth.
We cannot survive without it.
With that in mind, we SIMPLY MUST hold the liars accountable for their transgressions. They are assaulting our sense of reality and hindering our ability to operate. Without this accountability, we will lose our bearings as a society and as individuals.