Politics and the truth

With every year that passes my hatred of politics grows. The problem today is that during a political season you can’t escape it. It’s everywhere and all the time. It dominates all media.

The dictionary defines politics as the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power. And, therein lies the fundamental problem. Anytime you have someone vying for peoples votes, that if successful will land them the most powerful position in the largest democracy in the world, it is ripe for manipulating the truth.

Most people today are very jaded by the whole political process. It’s become a laughingstock. Cal Thomas said, “One of the reasons people hate politics is that truth is rarely a politician’s objective. Election and power are.” Alex Tocqueville said, “There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle.” Which brings me to one of my favorite quotes from Groucho Marx, because it’s so telling; “These are my principles”, he said, “and if you don’t like them, well, I have others.

Of all the reasons to hate politics, the highest on the list for me is the ease at which politicians learn to shade the truth. And, before you know it – because all of the candidates seem to have learned the game so well and so fast – it’s virtually impossible to know what the truth really is!

But when it comes to the truth, if we’re to be truthful with ourselves, each of us struggles with the same temptations and inclinations of a politician. It’s just too easy sometimes to shape-shift the truth in our favor. Os Guiness said, “As human beings we are by nature truth-seekers; as fallen human beings we are also by nature truth twisters.”

I’ll end my quote-filled musings on politics and the truth with this final quote by Os Guiness, “Either we conform the truth to our desires or we conform our desires to the truth.” Now, that’s something to think about!

“Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.” Psalm 86:11