Politicians lie. We know this. Cyclist and other athletes cheat. We also know this. And of course, criminals steal. When I was in college we had a code of honor, most schools do. "An Aggie doesn't lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do". But most people who lie, cheat, or steal feel guilty about it. If you play poker, unless you are very good, trying to bluff your way out of a shitty hand doesn't come naturally. You have to have trained yourself extremely well. The lie has to become second nature for your body and other natural mannerisms not to give your bluff away. It's dangerous when someone can tell a lie and not give it away.
Father's, as it turns out, also lie. In my house, when I'm lying to my daughter, about Santa Claus, or whether monsters really exist, she knows I'm lying. She can sense it immediately. "That's your lie face". She knows it and so does my wife. Thus I try not to lie. But eventually, the inevitable question will be asked , "Does this dress make me look fat?" Only one man alive, Dr. Brad Blanton, will actually tell the truth. It's worth considering Dr. Blanton's philosophy, called Radical Honesty. You can read about it here.
Radical Honesty is something to consider, but alas, reality is something a whole lot different. Everybody lies, Dr. Blanton does too. Despite his radical life style he has specific rules for when he is going to lie--and he is truthful about it. He lies when playing poker, playing golf, or when asked by government officials if Anne Frank is hiding in his attic. He also lies to the IRS. That is a very high bar but immediately shows that at some point any rigid moral compass, for the sake of humanity, must be less rigid. Who among us would be willing to lie when the jackboots are at the door? Who would give up Anne Frank? It is a very slippery slope.
I've written extensively about lying surrounding the Tour de France. I'm accepting of it because of how wide spread cheating has permeated the Tour since the very beginning when bike racers would use cocaine to gain an advantage. How truly unsophisticated they were back in the day. Today they say the Tour is mostly clean. I roll my eyes. But I still watch, it's an amazing three weeks of endurance. What riders put their bodies through to compete, clean or not, is no more grotesque than that of any other world class athlete. Training is extreme. The search for any advantage is just as extreme. However the most extreme, and most grotesque, has to come in the form or the sport that brought us the anabolic steroid. Body building. Check out the new documentary on the Life of Ronnie Coleman on Netflix. Extreme doesn't begin to describe life as Mr. Olympia. Coleman won 8 times. Absent from the documentary...any mention of the use of illegal substances. Sure, every illegal substance is banned from body building, but the fact remains that when you enter the competition you will never be tested. And nobody is talking. The entire community is silent. The athletes, the trainers, the press. No one is willing to talk about it. Why? It's almost as if the code of conduct requires a code of silence if you want to be a part of the community. That sounds a bit like organized crime.
So we know athletes lie. We accept that politicians lie. We tend to ignore that fact the the car salesman in front of us would never lie to our face. We never call them out even though we know they are lying through their teeth. But what about doctors. Members of our society that should be dealing only in facts when it comes to our health. But our health is so lacking in facts. Too many unknowns. We certainly want them to tell the truth. But alas doctors lie too. But not in they way one might expect. When they remove that tumor, it was the biggest one they have ever seen. Or the surgery was the most complex they have ever performed. They are managing expectations when there is an uncertain outcome. Is it lying? Would we want them to tell us something different? I don't think we would like a doctor if they said to us, "I've got no idea what's going to happen next". But with the right human to human interaction trust can be established. And once trust is established, it's OK for your lie to become my lie. The whole family is in on it. And it's very comforting when the whole family is in on it. It's part of our social make up and one of the reasons humans can live in society. We play by the rules of the family, group, tribe, or team we ascribe to. It's honor among thieves and why Whitey Bulger, who had no honor, just found himself, at age 89, on the wrong end of a prison shank.
So when the head of the household is lying to the Nazi's at your front door, you have a decision to make. Are you on the team? There is no right or wrong answer at that moment. Lives are at stake. To tell the truth condemns those hiding in the attic. Yet you might also condemn your family if you reveal anything at all. This is why we can over look the lies our father tells us about Santa Claus, or the existence of murders in the caravan of souls making their way north. We can visualize that these murders will soon be squatting in our front yards because that is what our daddy just told us. And we are definitely on daddy's team. We must not let them in. We know daddy is lying...but daddy is lying for us. His lie is to protect our family. Fair enough.
That's not to pass judgement on those who are in on the lie. We honestly believe the safety of the family is at stake, thus there is no right or wrong. His lie becomes our lie. That is why, when the lie eventually swings to the left, and it will, we will not necessarily be that much better off. The trouble, as I see it, isn't in the decay of honesty in our politics, although we have reached some mighty new heights (or lows as the case might be). The trouble is those in the family who don't see that it is all a lie. Everything single word. There are far too many lies. The majority of the family in power cannot detect the lie face of their father. Too many actually believe the lies. No Democrat actually believed Bill Clinton when he said, "I did not have sexual relations with that woman". Democrats gave him a pass for their "greater good". Most of what he said was true. The current torrent of lies are all believed to be true thus the Anne Frank scenario ceases to be a measure of merit for our moral compass. There is no reality. Anything goes. We are left with chaos and the anarchy of truth. That is not the society that our Founding Fathers created. Truth, has to be, on balance, truthful. My daughter believes me because the vast majority of what I say to her is true, thus she can discern my lie face. We have to be able to discern our father's lie face. That is impossible to do if everything the father of a family says is a lie. Please vote against the anarchy of truth. Vote in favor of some code of honor not the anarchy of truth. It's not against your family if you are a member of a much larger family, a family that believes in truth, liberty, and justice for all...