In reading the recent articles about Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, such as this one, I see a familiar theme. It does not shock me and instead of feeling outrage, I feel a slow burn. The A.G. denies having direct knowledge of the firings of several USDOJ prosecutors. The administration states the firings were due to poor performance, but their evaluations exhibited good to great work. The administration denies there were political motives driving the firings.
Why does this obvious dishonesty from our highest government officials not enrage us? Have we just become complacent about the lies from the government? I suspect we, the voters, are more culpable than that. I am sure that if you are a hard core Republican then you wish to justify this latest round of lies. I am equally sure that if you are a hard core Democrat then you are rejoicing in Republicans being under the Gun. Actually, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have much in common – as do their respective parties.
Bill got caught with his pants down by lying about fellatio with an intern and inhaling while George W. fibbed about weapons of mass destruction and who is really responsible for Plame’s fame. The truth is, we don’t like the truth. Furthermore, we do not want to admit that we want to be lied to. We prefer to hear the lies and pretend we are smarter than everyone else because we can see through the lies. Perhaps we all see through the lies because of a tacit understanding that as long as the lies are plausible, then we will accept them.
This is why I will never be President. I explained previously my view on honesty and the practice of law. I just do not have the stomach for the professional level of lying that we expect of Presidents. I imagine that if a President really told us: “Yes I had sex with this intern, and let me tell you which other ones too.”, or “Sure I inhaled and man, that was some good @#$%”, or “We are invading Iraq because we have a better chance of getting a foothold in the middle east and its oil there because they do not have weapons of mass destruction yet while Iran would kick our butt”, or “We fired those prosecutors because they were not towing the party line” then we would freak out. Our own plausible deniability would be stripped away. After all, the last President to try honesty did not fair so well – remember Jimmy Carter?
So let’s be honest folks. We want our President’s to lie to us. We want to believe things are better than they are in reality. We want to be told that the big oil conglomerates care about us and do not have undue influence over the government. What does awareness of how things truly are bring us other than pain and worry? Let us leave the professional politicians to their business and trust them to tell us as little as possible. Please, continue grazing – who needs justice – after all, the truth hurts!