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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Truth rule for politicians - a radical reform proposal.

I realize that I’m going to make a radical proposal.  But all commonly accepted wisdom was once radical departure from common thought. 
I’m a financial advisor.  If I get caught promising a certain return, I get put out of business.  If I get caught promising any of my clients that if they follow my advice they will get a certain outcome I will be prosecuted.  I can’t use client testimonials in advertising.  If I misrepresent my competitors I get prosecuted.  The fact is, if I lie, exaggerate or misrepresent the past, the present or the future I am liable. 
Why are politicians not held to my standard?  Are they less powerful?  Are they less consequential?  Do they have less of an impact on the people of this country that I do? 
Do they get to make the rules?  Yes!  Who’re the people who get to call you even when you are on the “do not call list?”  Politicians!   
Who gets to promise to create 10 million new good paying jobs without fear that they will be prosecuted for lying? Politicians! 
Who get to lie about their opponents with no fear of the hand of the law?  Politicians! 
I propose a new objective for the Tea Party.    Let’s get a law passed that makes it a crime for a politician to promise something that he does not deliver. 
Let’s get a law passed that makes it a crime for a politician to make a claim about his opponent that is untrue. 
For those who claim that would inhibit free speech, I ask why do these very same rules apply to people in my industry and it’s not found unconstitutional?   Are political figures somehow above the laws they pass for other people?  From Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed, that he is grown so great? 
Politician, especially politicians – because they control an incredibly large part of our lives – should be held to standards of truthfulness that exceeds those of other professions.  I realize that’s a radical thought, but it could be the single biggest contribution that an merging political movement could get behind. 
And who is going to support political liars?  We still outnumber politicians.

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