The truth about lies

One of the greatest concepts I ever heard about lying is, at its foundation, beyond brilliant.

If you never tell a lie, you only need to remember the truth.

No. That’s not it. The idea that honesty is the best policy is wonderful. Sure, I have seen plenty of people that lie so often about so much that they seem to contradict themselves just by opening their mouths. And, of course, telling the truth means you don’t have to remember what’s the truth and what’s the lie (or lies), nor do you need to recall who you told what.

Got it.

But nope. That’s not it.

Here it is…

To successfully lie, you must be willing to die for the lie.

The reason I love this saying does not come from my own ethics or experience or approaches to the world. Instead, it’s just a nod of appreciation to the conviction and dedication involved in the action.

“Honey, did you eat the last piece of cake?”


“Do you know what happened to it?”


“Is that a plate next to you?”


“Yes it is. I see it.”

“I don’t.”

“Right there. Next to you. I can see it. It has frosting on it!”

“No it doesn’t.”

“You ate the cake.”




Ok… you see the basics. Offer the lie. Respond with denials until death.

For some reason, I began thinking about this the other day, and realized this is the only way to tell the difference between Republicans and Democrats. And it has been for as long as I’ve been able to vote in elections.

Democrats, by nature, offer misdirection and hypnotism. When confronted with evidence, they appear stunned by accusations.

Republicans deny… deny… deny… deny… deny for so long, then move away as if the issue has been settled, and eventually the questioners appear frustrated and move on.

See if this seems about right…

An interview with a Democrat

“Did you chop down the tree?”

“I did not chop down that tree.”

“Are you sure? Because we have a recording of you telling someone how much you hated that tree.”

“I doubt that. I would like to hear that, because I have actually always admired that tree and the shade it provides. I don’t think I would ever say I hated it.”

“You chopped it down.”

“That’s an awfully strong accusation to make. Trees are so important in this world. We all need to love trees and do what we can to assist with their care and growth. I, for one, have a long record of tree support. I have always been a supporter of trees.”

“Did you chop down the tree?”

“Let me be clear. I did not chop down that tree.”

“What about this receipt from a garden center less than a mile from the tree, in your name, and a statement from a cashier saying that you bought a chainsaw?”

“Define ‘chop’.”

An interview with a Republican

“Why are your policies anti-environment?”

“None of my policies are anti-environment.”

“But studies into your three most recent actions demonstrated a negative impact upon the environment”

“No. That’s wrong. None of my policies are anti-environment.”

“Scientists are saying that if your latest bill is passed, two species of birds will become extinct.”

“None of my policies are anti-environment.”

“But the birds…”

“Do you like soup? I like soup.”

“Soup is pretty good.”

“It is good. I like soup.”

Now on the surface, I can see if your initial response to this idea is skeptical. I’m purposely being vague and somewhat general and even a bit silly. Most people know that I don’t find myself aligned with any political party. I have questions and doubts and misgivings about the professional motivations of virtually every politician I’ve ever heard of or known. In summary, never blindly trust anyone that shakes hands and kisses babies for a living.

My theory here though isn’t directed at either side of the aisle, so to speak, and as such I don’t really want to say either side looks better than the other. And yet… let’s see if I can’t bring some recent thoughts into it.

Clinton’s e-mails.

Did we ever get any clear story from her or those acting on her behalf?

I recall denials. I remember facts and positions and statements from her representatives being adjusted every day or so as new information was presented. There were attacks on those investigating the situation.

Misdirection… attacks… everything but dealing with the problem.

And then Trump’s wall.

Mexico will pay was the claim. But everyone in Mexico said they wouldn’t. Mexico will pay was the response to that. In Mexico, ex-presidents and the current president and elected officials said they wouldn’t pay. Trump: “The wall just got ten-feet higher.”

Clinton believes the election was stolen from her.

Trump still claims he’s building a wall.

My hope is that politics are going to change as a result of this most recent election cycle. I’d like to think that the raw emotions, passionate responses… the joy and the anger and the criticism and the outcries… all of this and more will result in people caring, paying attention, and looking for quality representation.

I have my doubts though. Just a bit skeptical.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before… hope… change… the most important election in our history. Yeah. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Even if we forget about any voting taking place before it, the 2020 run to the White House will contain almost all of the same rallying cries and themes that were shoved our way during this most recent election and most of the ones before it. (Although, to be fair, we can’t say we have the t-shirt. Those change. (And there are hats!))

Someday… perhaps during my life… the political parties will stop acting as if an election is a game. I doubt it. But I suppose anything is possible. What would be nice to see is an election built on truth and accuracy and accountability. That would be incredible. And getting re-elected? Well… sure… because if you told the truth…

If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at