Why some politicians fear the truth
The world of politics is often a battleground where truth is the first casualty in confrontations because in many cases politicians find themselves at times at odds with party policy. Party loyalty has its merit, but the greatest loyalty should be respect for truth at all times, and the belief that truth will always make it to the surface, no matter what steps are taken to keep it submerged.
To begin with, all politicians should not be painted with the same brush of suspicion regarding priorities when it comes to carrying out their duties as public servants. That would be unfair to those many men and women who enter the political arena in the hope of making a contribution to improve community life for all. There is considerable sacrifice involved and that should be appreciated. However, the political arena in any democratic jurisdiction is never perfect, and there are those who, in the quest for political power, engage in tactics that give the impression that once elected to office, milk and honey will flow like water.
Sadly, there are some people so anxious for that so-called gravy train that they don’t even question how that will be achieved. This is perhaps why so many voters in democracies globally have confused perceptions when elections take place to either retain a government or replace it with another. The situation can become more complex, especially when rivalry between political groups is so intense that truth is no longer seen as crucial. Instead, it can be a game of devious tactics aimed at keeping the free press from exposing facts needed to keep the people properly informed.
Most are aware of this and whenever a politician chooses to demean the free press, alarm bells sound, indicating that someone must be hiding something. In other words, signs point to efforts to suppress truth — nothing new in the world of politics.
An example of this is the present situation in the United States where the new administration under Donald Trump finds itself swirling in a political storm over matters arising out of alleged involvement by the Russians in the presidential election. Investigations are even taking aim at the President himself over alleged obstruction, which many legal experts view as extremely serious. The focal point here is that no politician can offer conflicting versions of truth without eventually being caught in a web of contradictions. When that happens, credibility takes a dive.
In today’s climate where social media is used by so many, including politicians, the onslaught of words in cyberspace can become so jumbled with inaccuracies that trying to decipher truth from fiction is a big task even for highly professional journalists. When politicians commit themselves to operating with transparency as a key principle, they are less likely to fear truth. An issue with the White House at the moment concerns the question of whether tapes exist that would contain the conversation between Trump and James Comey, the former Director of the FBI, when it is alleged that the President suggested that Comey should cool it with his investigations into Russia.
Here we have a situation where the leader of the nation appears to be playing games with the truth by refusing to admit or deny whether any audio recording of that conversation exists. Shortly after that conversation, Trump fired Comey.
When truth enters the picture, one would think if Trump’s version of the conversation contradicted that of the FBI Director, who testified before a Senate hearing, there would be no hesitation in producing a recording to prove his point. That has not happened and the door swings open for speculation. Although this is just one of the controversial issues confronting the new administration, once again in the political arena of a powerful nation, there seems to be a fear of putting the truth before the people.
Without the relentless probing by the free press, one could only guess how many incidents would be kept in the shadows.
As things heat up here for our General Election next month, most of the electorate will hope that amid the political crossfire, all candidates will keep in mind that when it is over, our island community will be stronger as long as truth is respected as a crucial tool in helping to build a better Bermuda where everyone will feel a part of that growth.
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