There is not a lot of doubt that President Trump has a lot of trouble telling the truth and that he does it consistently and persistently in all aspects of his life from the highly personal to the professional. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2018/05/01/president-trump-has-made-3001-false-or-misleading-claims-so-far/?utm_term=.e645ad93ce50 The consequences are as yet unknown. I’m most disturbed about its impact on the nation’s youth. He sets such a poor example on so many fronts for the young and impressionable. Presidents should be our exemplars; they should represent our nation’s virtues both to our youth and to people around the world. I cannot imagine a worse role model. How do you explain Donald Trump, the man, to your children or grandchildren as the case may be?
He is not the first. Clearly the Bush Administration had a lot of difficulty with the truth in the lead up and execution of the War in Iraq, as did the Johnson and Nixon Administrations on the Wars in Indochina. What sets President Trump apart to me is that he wakes up, starts lying and keeps doing so all day long on all matters large and small and even insignificant. One can tune him out I suppose.
He poses two dangers. First, what happens on the day he actually tells the truth, and we are all so used to discounting and disbelieving everything he says. He cannot rally the country or the nations of the world when he has such an established reputation for dishonesty. Second, he may create a new normal in which people accept the US as a nation of liars and our leaders as exceptionally dishonest individuals, much as we regard President Putin or President Assad. Do we wish to be known in that way? Do we want that to be the way we treat others in our families, our communities, in our daily lives and do we want others to treat us that way as well? Who are we to believe when President Trump has so debased honesty and decency and does so on a daily basis? Who are we to trust?
Lincoln and Washington had a long reputation for truth telling, and we hold them up as exemplars for our youth, for our nation and for our place in the world. We cannot allow our nation’s reputation to become so tarnished and debased and permit our own behaviors to become so despicable as our nation's elected leader. We must strive in our own lives to be the change we hope for our nation's future.
Prepared by: Lucien Wulsin