News and Tribune


October 22, 2012

CUMMINS: Will the truth make us free?

The truth is that all is fair in love and politics, and the truth is that both lovers and politicians lie.

Say you’re trying to get a girl to first base. If you tell her the truth about your intelligence, athletic prowess and political philosophy, you won’t stand a chance. But if you say to her, “You are the prettiest thing I ever saw,” she will probably vote to go to a lover’s lane with you. If you take her out under a harvest moon with a soft summer breeze blowing her rose-petal concentrate all over you, this is when you should try to determine if she’s a liberal or a conservative. If she’s liberal, you might get to second base. If she’s conservative, agreeing with her on tax rates will get you out of the batter’s box.

 A lover’s heart melts and stays that way, but a politician’s heart melts on the outside, but hardens into a solid rock inside when it is necessary to fight against an opponent, whom he does not love. How can he have two hearts, two minds and a split moral core? He beats around the truth, makes up the facts, fabricates, distorts, and lies through his teeth. As in love, you do whatsoever works for you.

 The current presidential campaign has regressed to a pack of lies. “The truth of the matter is you can’t make stuff up,” said President Obama when Mitt Romney claimed that Obama had eliminated the work requirement for welfare. Obama’s aides explained that Romney’s campaign is built on a “tripod of lies,” and that Republicans “really think that lying is a virtue.” In rebuttal, Romney said, “The president tends to say things that aren’t true. He’s trying to fool people.” You can fool most of the people most of the time, but you can’t fool a checker of the facts.  

Vice presidential candidates participate in vice, too. Paul Ryan said he ran a marathon in “two hours, 50- something.” Fact checkers discovered his actual time was more than four hours. If a candidate lies about his marathon time, won’t he pad the budget, too? Look at Joe Biden, who says whatever comes to his mind before it actually enters it.

Making up stuff is free speech, right? TIME magazine ran a feature on the two presidential candidates regarding their truthfulness on the campaign trail. The director of explained that on both sides, dishonesty is “about as bad as I’ve seen.” A Romney aide confessed, “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.” Give him some credit for being honest about being dishonest.

TIME took 10 statements from each candidate, which included topics on outsourcing jobs, the deficit, healthcare, immigration and defense, etc., and checked the facts. In each case, the particular candidate’s statements were either false, a distortion or misleading.

An honest citizen does not know who or what to believe. Representative Paul Broun of Georgia recently said, “All that stuff I was taught about evolution, embryology and Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell. God’s word is true.” Broun sits on the house committee on science, space and technology. Maybe politicians should not rely on man-made facts, only those established by the Creator. Study the word, and, if you want to, you can piece together the fact that homosexuals cause global warming. Lies from the pit of hell have caused the campaign to melt down.

 All is fair in love and politics is not a fact. In a maddening campaign between two lovers, facts should not be a factor because passions run amok, as it does in an election. If a lover, however, is unfaithful to you, lies or misleads you, do not vote to move in with her. Although the good book says the truth will set you free, it’s permissible to tell lies about the other side until Nov. 6. Then get right with God during Christmas.

If a candidate lies or misleads you, turn the other cheek. What else can you do? Are we stupid enough to allow an election decided on untruths? Both Romney and Obama seem capable and “basically” honest, but like us, they’re trapped in a broken system where big money and dishonesty rule. Will money that buys negative ads determine the winner? Could an “honest” candidate ever win? At this point, politicians are doing whatever it takes to win. One will, and we’ll get the booby prize.

— Contact Terry Cummins at

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