Fictional TV character Dr. Gregory House famously states: “Everybody lies.” Recent news indicates, once again, that House is right. Star baseball player Alex Rodriguez, after denying steroid use, admits that, at least for a certain period of time, he did use banned substances. The new President and the new Congress, after promising to conduct the people’s business with unprecedented transparency, write a 1000-page, $800 billion spending bill that has no legislative hearings and is not even printed and distributed to the members of Congress until a few hours before they vote on it. The new Illinois Senator, after conveniently forgetting contacts with the brother of the disgraced former Governor during his testimony before the state legislature, belatedly remembers and discloses those contacts in a supplemental affidavit. The list could go on and on.
I’m a big boy, and I understand that politicians and celebrities often don’t tell the truth. What really bugs me, though, is my nagging sense that those politicians and celebrities think they really fool us with their falsehoods and their hypocrisy. I think that, deep down,many of those individuals have complete contempt for the average, working American, and get a secret chuckle out of their belief that they have put another one over on us. So, I want to declare for the record: I have not been fooled, and I don’t think my friends have been fooled, either. We don’t believe politicians who say that they are altruistically doing things for the greater good rather than for personal gain, self-aggrandizement, or favorite lobbyists, we don’t believe athletes suddenly possessed of bulging muscles who swear that they don’t use performance-enhancing drugs, and we don’t believe celebrities who tout their lifestyle sacrifices to prevent global warming before they drive their Escalade to the local airport and hop on their personal jet.
The next time one of these folks tells a whopper, I hope they look in the mirror and feel a sick, creeping realization that they aren’t fooling us, because we don’t expect anything better from them. We know that they are corrupt and duplicitous. And I hope they feel embarrassed and ashamed for what they have become.