I Cannot Tell a Lie

23 Feb

Image result for George Washington never tell a lie

This past Monday was President’s day. I remember a time when we celebrated both George Washington’s birthday and Abraham Lincoln’s birthday every February, and on, of all days, their actual birthdays! But now we just celebrate President’s day and celebrate all presidents because it’s much more convenient, expedient and cost effective…and it’s always on a Monday!… which must be because all presidents were born on Mondays? Silly me, it’s because all Mondays come immediately after all weekends.

But seriously, if you’ve ever been to school then you have heard the story of our first president, George Washington, and his childhood experience with a certain cherry tree. George Washington grew up on Ferry Farm and while it hasn’t been confirmed that his cherry tree story was true,  it has been confirmed that there were cherry trees on the farm when George Washington was just 6 years old…so who knows?

In any event the point of the story, as it was made clear to all of us who heard, it was that George Washington never told a lie… and neither should we. And why? Because honesty is always the best policy, that’s why. And the truth shall set you free! And it was all simply part of a grade school narrative enforcing good old American values that included truth, justice, honesty, morality, and the golden rule. And if these values were good enough for and respected by the first President of the United States…the Father of our Country…then they certainly were to be embodied in each of us.

But that was a long, long time ago…how many people today believe that honesty is the best policy or that the truth shall set one free? Our 45th president lies on a regular if not daily basis (as kids would say) like a rug…and he has a staff that is willing to repeat those lies, if for no other apparent reason, simply because it is their job. Imagine that? There are jobs now in which the sole job description is to lie “truthfully”…but to be fair (another word that has all but lost its meaning) there is so much lying being employed as a “strategy” in so many work places in today’s world that it is hard to tell where the truth actually… lies!

Is there anyone out there who can seriously dispute that right now our Congress is hard at work trying to find a way to “honestly” explain to the American people why we DON’T need healthcare, food-stamps, affordable housing, fair wages, women’s rights, human rights, clean air, clean water, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Peace. And that what we “honestly” DO need is a wall, deportations, travel bans, cuts in social services, and more weapons for more war.

The one truth that I’d like to learn is…who is our government working for? I’m serious…really… Wouldn’t it be nice to know who it is they are actually working for? It can’t possibly be US, can it? That’s one truth we know…isn’t it? I’m even beginning to wonder if they are even working for people! Just about everything our legislators (especially Republicans) seem to want to do these days is anti-People and anti-Earth. Who’s left? What’s left? Am I right?

Perhaps if George Washington were with us today and he were here to read my words he would say that I was simply being cynical and overly dramatic and that things in America couldn’t possibly be that duplicitous…But still I wonder…

Because It seems to me that old George’s famous mantra of “I shall never tell a lie” has been whittled down over the years to a much simpler and streamlined, one size fits all incantation of, “I shall never tell!”

And now, whether or not we are being lied to or told the truth…we can’t know for sure…    if we know anything at all.

 

 

One Response to “I Cannot Tell a Lie”

  1. RAB February 23, 2017 at 2:14 pm #

    Spot-on as usual. Although I do have to remind you that we have Parson Weems and his inspirational biographies of Great Americans for Young People, for that cherry tree confession. Hard to imagine that an effective military and then political leader would get that way by being incapable of deception, if only by way of omission…. I like to think of George as saying, somewhere other than on his father’s knee or beside a decapitated tree, that while he did not scruple a tacit deception for the greater good he refused to tell flat-out whoppers for personal gain. (Now that I think of it, do you suppose the great Japanese gift of cherry trees for D.C. was inspired by the GW/Weems fable? That would be funny!)

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