What if everyone who ran a political ad about their opposing candidate had to provide proof for every negative thing they say about that person? What if the TV station or radio station declared they would not run an ad about any person that could not be substantiated? Yesterday on one of the news programs I was watching it was said that over 3 billion dollars has been spent in this political season, most of it on attack ads. A huge proportion of the ads are run by political action groups that aren’t actually tied to the other candidate. They are simply running ads to tare down the person they are opposing. I watched an interview of one of the people whose political action group was running a good proportion of the ads and the person interviewing her asked if she or the group were supporting the candidate running against the person they were attacking. She replied, “No, we have no connection with them and aren’t particularly impressed with them.” What in the world is happening when we spend millions of dollars just attacking the person we oppose when we don’t even support the one running against them? If every ad run were given the truth test there wouldn’t be enough ads left to fill a single one hour show and the advertisements for it.
I’m amazed that anyone would want to run for an office of any stature in this time because of all the horrendous things that will be said about them, most of which only have a slither of truth in them if any truth at all. A half truth is nothing less and a down right lie. I keep thinking of something that Solomon wrote in the Book of Proverbs that I wish could be run in a few ads. “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, A LYING TONGUE, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, A FALSE WITNESS THAT POURS OUT LIES, and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” (Proverbs 6:16-19) How many of these seven things that God hates or detest are violated with these attack ads that are being run? It is obvious that “A lying tongue” is one and “A false witness that pours out lies” is another. But what about “A heart that devises wicked schemes?”
In Matthew 15 the religious leaders were critical of Jesus and his disciples because they didn’t wash their hands in the proper way before eating. They claimed that these men were defiling themselves by eating with unwashed hands. Jesus a little later on was explaining to his disciples that it wasn’t what goes into a persons mouth that defiles them but what comes out. Listen to his explanation in verses 17-20. “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts – murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, FALSE TESTIMONY, SLANDER. These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.” So every time a person slanders the opponent or gives a false testimony about them, taking things said by them completely out of context and making them say things that were never what they believed, it is from a filthy heart that is so defiled that the person cannot see what they are doing. Winning the election is the all important thing. Lying, cheating, slander are all just part of the price paid to win the election. Then when the different candidates are elected and begin trying to pass certain bills for the benefit of the people, they wonder why the people don’t trust them even when they are trying to do something good. But let’s get something clear. If you will lie to get into office, you will lie while in the office. If you will lie about the opponent in the race you will lie about the other people in the office when you get there.
We aren’t suddenly transformed from liars and cheats into good honest people. So the country has people in their highest public offices that they know lied about the other person to get there. Does it begin to be obvious as to why we don’t trust the people in government? Liars lie about life and about people and even about themselves.
Is there any way to turn this mess around? Yes, there is a very clear way. Stop electing lying candidates! When you see one of the attack ads about their opponent that you know full lies, write them a letter saying, even though you belong to the party I am for, I will not vote for you. Until you stop the lies and tell the truth you will never get another vote from me. Everyone complains about the attack ads. When was the last time you actually heard a candidate for office tell what they are for and what they plan to do if they are elected? I’m just plain sick of the whole thing. I know what they are against. But are they for anything? Is there a single problem in the country that you have heard a candidate address and offer a solution for the problem? Is there a lack of problems or needs in the country so that they just can’t think of anything that needs some answers? What about problems in the economy and the fact that thousands of people have simply given up on finding a job so that there are less people filing for unemployment, not because more have jobs but because they have lost hope? What about the situation with wars and abuse, attacks on innocent people around the world as radical groups grow every day? What about the problems with Social Security and Medicare that are running out of money while everyone knows the problem and nothing is done to solve it because they know they will be attacked unmercifully by their opponents? What about the deterioration of the interstate highways and bridges around the country? What about the problems of higher education becoming more and more costly to the degree it seems less and less like obtaining the advanced degrees are worth it? What about the cost of medical care and the problems with insurance that refuses to pay for many of the treatments actually needed or the medications that might actually help because they aren’t generic and thus cost too much? Those are just samplings of the problems. We could talk about the VA Hospital problems as well or about a small group of people who don’t believe in God but who are determined to press their beliefs and doubts on the rest of the world by fighting to keep anything religious from getting outside the church buildings on Sunday. But it is obvious there are real problems, but who can we trust to actually do anything about them?
Truth matters in everything. No wonder the last book of the Bible in talking about judgment and eternal punishment declares that All liars will have their part in the lake that flows with fire and brimstone that is the second death (Revelation 21:8).