Hey, we’ve had federal legislation for decades about truth in lending. A lender is required to make certain written disclosures about loan terms. There are consequences if those disclosures are false. Even if true, the borrower generally has 72 hours to back out of the transaction for good cause—or for no cause at all.
Truth in consumer product advertising? Well, not yet, but it’s being talked about, by legislators and the media alike. If you and I yell enough, it may just happen.
So, what about the ultimate oxymoron, truth in politics? Hah! Pardon me. Did I really say that?
Consider the reaction to the recent written FBI report on Hillary’s email servers:
The Donald pounced on the report, saying, “After reading these documents, I really don’t understand how she was able to get away from prosecution.”
Hillary said she was “pleased” by the report’s release, saying it showed why the Justice Department had cleared the former secretary of state of any wrongdoing.
Sure, I get it. Anyone can spin anything. But is spin what we want from our politicians and our political candidates?
Two days ago, on 9/11/2016, Hillary took . . . “ill” at a New York celebration of “the” 9/11 and had to leave early. Now, you know that had to be more than an upset stomach or a headache to make her bail at such an inopportune time and in front of all those cameras.
According to her own campaign, Hillary has pneumonia. Not to be taken lightly, but not nearly as bad as what her opponents have been “claiming” for weeks, if not months. On the other hand, a day later Hillary (or her “rumored” double) is all smiles and saying she’s feeling great, just a little heat stroke or allergic reaction.
Even her own staff can’t get their spin straight!
And it isn’t just the individual politicians. How about all those propositions on the various ballots? Vote No on Proposition X because the world will self-destruct in 48 hours if you don’t. That is met by Vote Yes on Proposition X because the world will self-destruct in 48 hours if you don’t.
C’mon folks. Which is it? It can’t be both, can it? Because, if it can, it really doesn’t matter which way you vote because we’re doomed either way.
So, how do we break this idiocy? This logjam of who can outlie the other? How about a truth in politics Czar who passes a lie detector test that shows he or she has no party affiliation, has no axes to grind, but merely hates liars? We’ll give the Czar a reasonable budget and a Watson or some other powerful computer. Anyone who thinks a politician or political candidate is lying about something can file a complaint with the Czar’s Watson. Watson will eliminate all duplicate complaints and process the remaining ones.
The test will be whether the “story” is more likely true or more likely false. If the “story” is more likely true, the complaint will be dismissed. If the “story” is more likely false, the politician, political candidate or proposition sponsor gets one free pass. The next time he or she flunks a complaint test, he or she is out, meaning the politician is out of office, the candidate can’t run for office or the proposition is removed from the ballot.
Now, I know, there will be some questions about whether we can really implement something like this. But we can work it out. When there’s a will, there’s a way. All they have to do is tell the truth!
The real problem that scares me is there will be no one left to hold or run for office.
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