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(c) Mary Griggs

ImageYou know the scene from A Few Good Men where Tom Cruise’s character baits Jack Nicholson’s character into spitting out, “The truth! You can’t handle the truth!”?

I kept expecting Col. Nathan Jessup to step out from behind the curtain during last night’s debate and begin lecturing us on how we’re not entitled to honesty from our politicians.

We are witnessing a presidential campaign that has abandoned all interest in truth and fact. There is a pattern of lying to the voting public that is almost becoming commonplace in the Teapublican Party. From Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan’s gross lies at the GOP convention to Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition sending out several million, ostensibly “non-partisan” presidential election voter guide that contains an accusation about Obama supporting tax-payer funded abortion (the Affordable Care Act contains NO government funding for abortion) we have seen truth being cut to fit the aspirations of politicians.

There are those who claim that the United States is in decline because we expanded equality to include African Americans, women, the LGBT community and immigrants. In my mind, the worst kind of cultural decay comes from not valuing truth.

One of our greatest presidents spoke about the importance of trusting citizens with the truth. Abraham Lincoln said,

I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.

Both candidates prepared for last night’s debates by honing their talking points for weeks and even months. The result of all their hard work was plenty of distortions of the truth but also an appalling number of outright lies.

The subjects of last night’s debate was taxes, jobs, health care and the economy and Mitt Romney lied about his tax plan, his deficit plan, Medicare and the Affordable Care Act. He failed to deliver the specifics that voters deserve to hear and repeated his support for the same failed policies that have hurt the poor and middle class and that will worsen our economic crisis.

I’m not letting President Obama off the hook – he inflated the number of jobs added and about the deficit reduction. However, Romney repeatedly and blatantly lied to the very people he expects to vote for him. While much of what Barak Obama said was graded mostly true, much of what Mitt Romney said was determined to be mostly false. A complete listing can be found at Politifact.com and FactCheck.org

It may not be pretty, but we need to hear the truth if we are to best make a decision on November 6th. I think a little truth about politics, about our actual condition as a country and how we can fix it is not too much to ask from the candidates and their surrogates.

If a candidate won’t tell the truth before he takes office, how on earth are we going to know what they will be doing in our name once they are elected?

George Orwell wrote: “In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

I hear the fife and drums. Do you?