From Jefferson on telling the truth

During the last federal election, we had a candidate who had a difficult time separating fact from fiction, often when the facts didn't meet his approval. He told us he knew as much as any general. He told us he was brilliant. More recently, he said that the Obama administration hacked into his communications system, at Trump Tower in New York. He seemed surprised when this was refuted by the FBI. He told us he is a great friend of Luciano Pavarotti's, even though Pavarotti died 10 years ago and the singer's widow asked him to stop telling this lie.

This want-to-be world leader has trouble knowing the truth when he is presented with it. He prefers his own alternative version. This brings to mind a passage from a letter written by Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr dated Aug. 10, 1785. "He who permits himself to tell a lie once finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it and truths without the world believing him. This falsehood of tongue leads to that of heart, and in times depraves it of all good disposition."

Henry Coleman


Copyright © 2018, The Virginia Gazette