Truth: one huge thing missing in this presidential campaign

Neither presidential campaign has distinguished itself with its veracity. But there is a hierarchy of deceit in campaigns, as in life. I recall an incident during the 1976 campaign, perhaps apocryphal, perhaps not. Jimmy Carter had said he would never lie to the American people. A group of reporters came to Plains, Ga., to interview Carter’s mother, Miss Lillian. One of the reporters asked her if her son had ever lied. She answered that he may have told a white lie, but that was all. The reporter persisted — a lie is a lie, he said, then asked what the difference was between a white lie and other types. Miss Lillian said, “I am not sure I can give a clear definition of the difference, but I think I can give you an example of what we call a white lie. A few moments ago, when you reporters all came to the door, I said how happy I was to see you.” Read more


Michael Sean Winters serves as a political correspondent at the National Catholic Reporter.

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