Truth is No Longer an American Value

President Obama was re-elected in 2012. Some want to forget this and others are still celebrating. I am in neither camp. Those who forget what happened and how are being especially irresponsible. Memory matters! Truth suffers without it.

Remember when President Obama declared that the use of chemical weapons by Syria represented a “red line” that must not be crossed? He asked, “What kind of world will we live in if the United States of America sees a dictator brazenly violate international law with poison gas and we choose to look the other way?” (September 10, 2012).

Good question. Voters were impressed.

Within a year, the Syrian government conducted a lethal poison gas attack on its own people. The line was brazenly crossed. Two weeks later, at a press conference in Sweden (September 4, 2013), our President said “I didn’t set a red line. The world set a red line…” Seriously? He said congress also set the red line with The Syria Accountability Act. He continued, “My credibility is not on the line. The international community’s credibility is on the line, and America and Congress’ credibility is on the line, because we give lip service to the notion that these international norms are important.”

Did he say, “lip service?”

Is there an Olympic medal for mendacity or shifting blame? If so, no one could compete with President Obama. He simply denied saying what we all knew he said and blamed congress and the international community instead. With a straight face, he criticized the cheap “lip service” of the international community, America and congress, and it worked!

Throughout the 2012 campaign, Democrats led by Obama claimed that their Republican opponents were so incredibly vile that they were actually conducting a “war on women.” How so? Governor Romney, in an effort to hire more women and increase their influence, apparently had used a “binder” to gather qualified names. Outrageous! Also, Republicans wanted all women to have access to contraception at their own expense. Millions of voters fell for it.

Another fantasy was that simply requiring a valid ID to vote was repressive racism. Again, it worked.

At a community college in Maryland (March, 2012), the president derided Republicans as “members of the Flat Earth Society” for opposing his “investments” of taxpayer money in “green” energy. Was his misrepresentation silly in the extreme? Yes, but the students cheered.

When four Americas (including an ambassador) were murdered on September 112, 2012, in Benghazi, Libya, the Obama administration immediately fled toward fantasy, a safe haven for them. Without evidence (in fact, against the evidence they had), they blamed some film-maker in America for inciting a spontaneous demonstration that allegedly caused the killings. Obama’s campaign had been promoting the fantasy that Al Qaeda and such terrorist groups were on the run. When the facts stood in opposition to the fantasy, the fantasy held sway. And the voters swooned.

Meanwhile, countless conservative groups like the TEA Party were languishing under targeted IRS scrutiny and harassment. The Obama administration’s claim that the IRS corruption just involved a few “rouge” employees in Cincinnati was disproven. The public was successfully deceived about the extent of IRS wrongdoing and the deception stands to this day.

President Obama also resorted to fantasy to sell his signature health coverage plan. He repeated the following promise to America long after he knew it was not true: “No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise to the American people. If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your healthcare plan, you’ll be able to keep your healthcare plan, period. No one will take it away, no matter what.” (speech to the American Medical Association in June 2009). Reality eventually raised its ugly head and blew this promise out of the water. But the fantasy worked like a charm for years.

Whatever happened to Superman’s motto: “Truth, justice and the America way!”? Why can’t American’s even recognize truth anymore? Perhaps, the French scientist and philosopher Blaise Pascal had the answer back in 1670. He wrote; “Truth is so obscured nowadays and lies so well established that unless we love the truth we shall never recognize it.” (Pensées).

I no longer think truth is an America value. Oh, we still use the word, much like the Soviets used the Russian word for “truth” for their state run newspaper: Pravda. But using words and valuing truth are two different things.

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