There’s a real problem with truth-telling today, and it is widely manifest in our current political season. But the whole truth will make you uncomfortable. Perhaps that’s why it’s so rare. I’m going to tell it to you anyway.
Thanks to a new round of James O’Keefe’s undercover work, key Democrat operatives are caught openly confessing (bragging even) corruption, voter fraud, and dirty work in political campaigns and elections. The confessions and name-naming in these new vids are mind-blowing. Four and a half million people viewed the first installment. It’s powerful.
The reaction from the media is predictable: silence. We all know the leftist media is biased.
But the reaction across partisan lines is not what the boasted “moral” right would want you to believe either. All the talk from the establishment right guys is always about their high standards of character, integrity, gentility, professionalism, ad nauseam. So we would expect these guys to jump all over the “the left’s dirty tricks and corruption in the campaigns” story, right?
But there is silence there, too. In fact, only the alt-right types like Pat Buchanan and other Trump supporters, predictably, are agreeing with Trump that “the system is rigged.” Not only that, but the establishment types like the editors of National Review are falling over themselves to ensure us that the whole election system is so “heavily scrutinized” and “carefully monitored” that it is essentially airtight and full of, yeah, integrity.
Watching the right’s non-reaction to what is an explosive batch of evidence—not a revelation, but absolute, horse’s-mouth proof of what we always suspected—is revealing in itself. It dawned on me almost immediately why: to engage a public denunciation of dirty campaign tricks would, of course, open the establishment right to the same scrutiny at the nation level. They don’t want that.
After all, this is the same establishment right that used every dirty trick in the book, across the country, in scores of local and state conventions, to squash Ron Paul in favor of Mitt Romney in 2012. It’s not even that Ron Paul had a very healthy chance. He didn’t, I don’t believe. But the establishment right engaged in outright lies, corruption, deceit, and subterfuge beyond mere trickery to squash any appearance that Paul had any support. They wanted full control and the appearance of unanimity in favor of their boy. The highlight of the show was the scripted lie from John Boehner: “the ayes have it,” when they clearly did not. Carry on anyway, and let the victims of injustice howl while we get away with it.
Don’t make me laugh. Just don’t try to make me forget, either.
But this brings me back to the more general observation. We have a widespread problem with honest dealing in this country. The whole truth of it is uncomfortable: while the O’Keefe videos may move some conservatives into classic finger-pointing mode against the left, the whole truth is that many conservatives have acted just as dishonestly, on purpose, and with as little conscience. And it’s not just confined to elections and political stuff. It’s in broader social issues as well.
Here’s an example of what I am talking about.
On Monday, Drudge Report not only ran but featured a YouTube video called “Trump Car DESTROYED in Black Neighborhood.” A popular YouTube prankster rolled a junker into what he called “a black neighborhood” and parked it with Trump stickers and paraphernalia all over it, “to see what happens.” In what he called a “social experiment,” a group of black guys, pants sagging and all, show up and start trashing the car, busting windows, etc., then abruptly flee.
The prankster then came on screen to conclude, “As you can see, the black community is very violent toward Trump and his supporters.”
Again, Drudge posted this video on his site in the feature spot. All you had to do was click on it and watch the vid right there on his site. Drudge’s page was viewed by 35 million people that day.
That’s 35 million people exposed to a very graphic reinforcement of the message, “The black community is very violent toward Trump and his supporters.”
The only problem is: the video turns out to be a fraud. An absolute lie. This prankster was caught staging the event with actors playing the part of thugs who trashed the car. He was busted. And he has now confessed to his lie.
Drudge immediately pulled the video and apologized for the mistake, right?
No. The video just simply disappeared from Drudge without any acknowledgment of the fraud, and that Drudge got chumped and in turn passed on a lie to 35 million people. Why the silence?
Don’t Drudge readers deserve the whole truth? Don’t they deserve an apology?
Don’t the “black neighborhood” and “the black community” that were both smeared by Drudge passing along this forgery deserve an apology?
Apparently not, according to Drudge’s silence. Apparently, Drudge’s reputation would be more hurt by the aspersion of apologizing for misleading and smearing than it is for the actual misleading and smearing to begin with.
As it is, it will only be the relative few who actually find out the whole truth from other sources who will have to deal with the truth; the rest won’t know the difference. So Drudge can carry on. The potential damage from such a flub is further minimized as it is quickly buried beneath a hundred new posts in Drudge’s carrying-on.
Even those who are confronted with the truth will probably put it aside, then forget. Those that don’t forget will rationalize that it’s just a small thing, or that the great work Drudge does is far more important, or that the left is far worse so let’s not get distracted from who our real enemy is, etc., etc.
Problem is: it is an objective falsehood, an objective failure of integrity, failure of character, and objective case of lacking the necessary repentance, humility, and expression of regret for which integrity and character call.
This problem is nearly universal: politicians all over, pundits, activists, evangelical leaders, Christians, pastors, Christians, etc., etc., all engage in it. We find it easy to point out the lies and hypocrisy of the other side, but we engage in the same along the way, and we’re silent when we and our friends do it.
Pretty soon, we’ve created such a culture of accepting, tolerating, and ignoring deceit and lies among ourselves that we don’t have the conscience or the moral standing to call it out even in the left sometimes. The whole culture drifts down the downward slope of immorality.
This downward drift begins with the Christians among us: when we tolerate these lies and those who try to bury their lies, we pull up the last (only) moorings of society, the Christian conscience. Whether we do it in the name of not being as bad as the left, or more laughably in the name of character and integrity, we still are culpable for it.
In biblical terms, you have given the enemy occasion to blaspheme.
Denouncing Trump and Hillary as both unfit will not solve the problem of your own pretense. Only acknowledging Trump and Hillary are the ultimate result of your own lies hidden beneath your pretenses will help you find the way out. The Right in general, and the establishment right especially, needs to repent of its own wickedness, lies, deceit, and covetousness of power. Until there is genuine repentance and repair done here, there is nothing but the downward slope of national immorality to look forward to.
All the silence in the world will not be able to suppress what will become obvious then.