In January 2011 I wrote Honesty: Pros and Cons, a short discussion about why people lie, and how it affects the liar. Much to my surprise, it has become the most read entry in this blog. Yet though it has been read over 2,000 times, only one person liked it. Did I ruffle feathers? Did I make people uneasy when I wrote, “Is honesty the best policy? I guess my response is, it depends.” Honesty can be a shield, but it can also be a sword. When I wrote it, I actually hoped more people would comment about their ideas regarding honesty and lying.
Currently the U.S.A. has a President who lies on a regular basis. While it is true that probably every President has lied at some point (there are truths you can’t make public, for security reasons and probably for political reasons), we have never had a President before who has lied so regularly, and even bragged about lying. He sees himself as clever for making up lies on the spur of the moment. On May 9, 2018, CNN did a news article about our 45th President having lied or said misleading statements over 3,000 times in his 466 days in office; that’s 6.5 lies per day. And since then it’s gotten even worse.
Why is he lying? In my earlier blog post I wrote, “People lie because they do not want to get in trouble. People lie because they have issues of self-worth, and want others to think better of them. People lie because others try to control them, and lying is a way of taking back control.” From what I’ve read, that seems to fit. People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder may lie on a regular basis, because they see themselves as better than everyone around them, and the lies bolster their self-image. Of course, I do not know this individual on a personal basis [shudder], so I may have this all wrong.
Why am I writing this follow-up entry? Because I want the world to know that 75% of people in the United States are ashamed that their President lies like other people drink coffee — frequently and without giving it much thought. We will have him out of office by the end of January 2021, if not sooner (as long as the Russians don’t interfere again). Meanwhile, we deeply regret that none of us will be able to trust anything he says. We realize he has tarnished the reputation of the United States, perhaps beyond repair. We will work on that. But please, please, do not think that his actions reflect what the majority of the people of the U.S. are like. And remember, if it hadn’t been for George W. Bush, we might not have had Barack Obama as our 44th President. Hang in there.
P.S. Just discovered a video you might find interesting, about why people lie. It features Pamela Meyer, who wrote Liespotting.