What should Americans think when their president does not tell the truth?
What should foreign leaders think when the U.S. president does not tell the truth?
Once a person is found not telling the truth, how can others have any confidence or certainty that he or she is being told the truth on other matters and issues?
Whether or not individuals voted for Obama in the 2008 or 2012 presidential elections, whether or not they are Republicans or Democrats, what must they think when their president doesn’t tell the truth about very serious matters? Whether they are serious matters or not, telling the truth, honesty and leveling with the public should be the No. 1 priority for a president.
During his campaigns for the presidency, one of Obama’s constant campaign pledges was that his presidency would be noted for its transparency. He made a lot of pledges and promises, just as all political candidates seem to do. Perhaps the name of the political game is to say whatever voters want to hear, make any and all kinds of pledges and promises to get the vote and then figure out a way to disregard or forget the promises after winning the election.
The one Obama pledge that he is committed to trying to fulfil is to bring about “fundamental changes” in America. He is determined to change many facets of this country’s society, and this is why one year into his second term in office, he is doing anything and everything to help Democrats continue to control the Senate and to regain control of the House in the upcoming November elections.
He knows his best chance to bring about his most radical “fundamental changes,” other than by executive actions, is to have Democrats control both houses and possibly pack the Supreme Court with justices who favor his agenda.
It’s likely Obama will engage in a constant, all-out campaign between now and November, trying to sell his own legislative agenda and helping elect Democratic House and Senate candidates.
The big trouble however, is what recent public opinion polls show: The president is losing the confidence of the majority of potential voters — Democrats, Republicans and independents and people of all ages.
His signature legislative effort has been to change our country’s system of medical care. He and his followers in Congress jammed through a plan without a single Republican vote, and, yet, one of his campaign promises was to assure the public he would work closely with Republicans in all legislative matters. This has proven to be a hollow pledge.
After passage of the health care legislation, Obama promised Americans time and time again they would be able to “keep your own doctors” and “your insurance plans.”
Now, it is clear he and his senior aides knew from the outset that this was not the truth. They had been told months earlier, even as they were reassuring the public to the contrary, that millions of Americans would be losing their insurance, would not be able to keep their same doctors and that probably in the majority of cases, the costs for insurance would be higher.
Some may say it really isn’t that important that the president didn’t tell the truth, but what kind of reasoning tolerates or accepts lying?
Does the president’s performance and explanation concerning the Benghazi tragedy cause Americans to wonder whether he, along with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have been truthful with the public?
As Clinton said when testifying before a congressional committee, “What difference does it make” whether those who killed an American ambassador were terrorists or merely some individuals out for a walk?
The public still does not know what happened or why it happened. What about the “transparency” pledge and the importance of telling the truth?
What about the targeting of conservative organizations by IRS officials? What about the National Security Agency’s spying on millions of unsuspecting Americans as well as leaders of many of our foreign allies?
Has Obama been open and transparent on these and other programs and actions?
The point is, how can a U.S. citizen be confident their president is being honest and truthful? When can he be believed and when is it all right to lie?
Any president is going to be faced with situations when he must maintain secrecy and observe confidences but this can be accomplished without misleading or deliberately lying to the public.
There is growing skepticism concerning the entire structure and purpose of Obamacare, but the most damaging part of the mess is that it is clear the president has not been truthful with the public, those who voted for him as well as those who voted against him.
On a scale of relative importance, how important is honesty for elected officials?