Culture Ethics Society

Truth Be Told

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According to Fox’s House, “Everybody lies”. Funny thing, truth is one of the highest values in American culture, even if many people do in fact lie from time to time, or—in some cases—most of the time.

The esteemed value of truth—or at least not lying—is baked into the U.S. legal system. Former President Bill Clinton got nailed for lying as did Martha Stewart. The lying, or obstruction to getting truth, is what sunk them into legal hot water.

Now it’s US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in the boiling pot. For what? Lying. 

President Bush must understand the problem very well. Why else would he demand that his operatives testify before Congress only if they do so without being under oath? If they are caught lying, they will be boiled, too. Bush’s position also would suggest that these people have something to lie about.

It’s a funny ethic. If so many people lie—including those people doing the accusing or prosecuting—there’s a wicked double standard. Maybe we’d all be better off adhering to the ethic and lying less.

Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk

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