Al Cashion: Half truths and plastic professionals
August 11, 2012
A half truth is a whole lie.
My third-grade Sunday school teacher taught me that.
To put it another way, if only half the truth is stated, the intent is to deceive.
To deceive is to tell a whole lie.
Now, to distance myself from a false piety claiming the ability to identify the error is to be free from the guilt of it, I tell half truths occasionally.
I wish I didn't. I'm quite self-condemning when I do. It's unbecoming and unhealthy.
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It accomplishes nothing but to harm the truth or the one to whom the half truth is told.
It always hurts the teller.
If you’re observing the current presidential campaigns, and should you be paying attention and should you be willing to do a little research, you might discover there are one or two half truths being espoused.
OK. I lied.
There are few things but half truths.
Consider four possibilities concerning these half truths in speeches, commercials, from talking head rhetoric and professional political mouth pieces.
One: They just aren't smart enough to make sure it's all true.
If this is the case, I’d like to run for high office.
Our elected representatives are guilty of many things, but being just plain stupid is not one of them.
What appears to be stupid probably falls closer to lies or manipulation.
Two: They know it, but they’re only concerned with the half that favors them.
Again, if this is the case, I want to run for high office.
If there is another unspoken half of the truth, the half they feel unimportant, then they must await the inevitable appearance of the Law of Unintended Consequences.
Logic dictates the unspoken half to be equal in importance to the half that feels and sounds good.
The unspoken will unmercifully lure the Unintended Consequence.
Three: They know it, but "that's politics."
I occasionally hear that from the talking heads.
It’s spoken as if it’s inevitable fact.
Really? Is that really our assumption?
Are half truths, whole lies and plastic professionals something we must endure?
By observation of those willing to attempt the justification of an action, behavior or statement of their representative on television or in print, I would say that the Beltwavians in Washington, D.C. have adopted the philosophy of “oh well, that’s life.”
Four: Lying and half truths are their tool, not simply a Washington fact of life.
Not an oversight or the necessary reality of political life.
A tool sharpened, honed and exacting.
A tool practiced and precise and probably the most valued tool in the plastic professional's box.
The end justifies the means.
The end is the plastic professional occupying what now oddly seems to be considered "the throne" in a democratic republic.
Whatever the cost, whatever the Unintended Consequences, whatever absence of logic, the plastic professional must acquire the seat of power along with his entourage of minions longing to be in the king's court.
Sadly, this is the obvious, willful, malicious deceit one can witness in these campaigns.
It is vulgar, depressing and maddening.
It is an insult to our birthright as a free people and an insult to our intelligence.
It is a desperate act of malevolence deemed necessary by one who lusts for power, desires little to serve, and whose ego declares him unfit for the throne.
Your test, should you be willing to take it.
Most who have read this column to the end have an interest in the offices of power in America.
I urge you to take this challenge.
Put your candidate's statements to the test of whole truth.
Dismiss not the slightest evidence of a half truth.
Then, in whatever fashion you feel effective, challenge him or his team to tell the other half or speak of it no more.
The remedy is with us: We must demand truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help us God.
We must punish, wholesale, half truths and the plastic professionals who speak them.
The cold fact is that our society has become accepting of half truths.
We speak them and applaud them when they suit our needs.
Truth must have a higher value than loyalty to party affiliation or a candidate.
The Law of Unintended Consequence is knocking at the door.