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Weiner Scandal Proves That In Politics, Honesty Must Be The Policy
Tuesday, Jun. 7, 2011
The slow and painful revelations about New York Representative Anthony Weiner have ignited a firestorm of reactions from the political parties, the press, and the public. (See these comments from the New York Times for a taste of the debate.) After days of insisting his account was hacked, explaining how photos can be manipulated or doctored, he admitted his three-year history of engaging in inappropriate on-line relationships with young women.
As I watched the story unfold I became more and more concerned about his inability to answer the straightforward questions put to him, and his attempts to pass this off as either a prank or the work of a hacker. I have watched virtually every video interview, including his final admission, and the one thing that I cannot understand is his continual insistence on the truth. In many of the press interactions he used phrases like “I want to be honest with you,” or “To be honest with you.” But he was not trying to be honest with anyone – he was clearly not telling the truth. In fact, he was lying. His lies are no less damaging than lies told by other elected officials when they are caught in bribery, extortion, election fraud, or other coverups.
A Chinese proverb says: Gold cannot be pure, and people cannot be perfect. We may not be able to expect perfection from our elected officials, but we expect and deserve honesty.
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