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viewpoint

A discourse on dishonesty

| Monday, April 14, 2014

Do you remember when President Obama told Americans, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it?” According to fact-checker PolitiFact, Obama told the American people 37 times that Obamacare would not force people that were satisfied with their current plans to change them. Unfortunately, even as people were getting forced from their plans during the Act’s disastrous implementation, Obama appeared multiple times and reaffirmed this statement, leading PolitiFact to name this the 2013 “Lie of the Year.” Just recently, however, he admitted in what I found to be a convoluted, excuse-ridden manner that the Affordable Care Act might actually force people to change their plans. However, this really made me wonder if he really just figured this out. I find it unlikely that Barack Obama, president of the most powerful country in the world and graduate of Harvard and Columbia, did not understand the basic effects of his defining pet project. With this being said, the only reasonable conclusion is that he lied.

Even Obama supporters ought to admit that as an elected official, he owes us a certain amount of honesty. But this isn’t the first time he’s done something like this, and I doubt it’s the last. Our president has a history of deception and broken promises, and by the time I finish describing some of his past transgressions, you should be outraged.

An example of our president’s hypocrisy could be found in the statement he made when he took office that there would be an “unprecedented level of openness in government” (whitehouse.gov). His statement has proven to be false. One case in particular calls Obama’s openness into question. Remember Operation Fast and Furious? If you’re not familiar with it, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms allowed for guns to be illegally purchased with the hope of being able to track the gun purchases back to Mexican drug cartels. It backfired when some of these guns were involved in the murder of a United States border patrol agent. When Congress tried to investigate US Attorney General Eric Holder and his involvement, Obama invoked executive privilege in order to keep secret many documents pertaining to the operation.
Why would a president that stands for transparent government use executive privilege to impede a congressional investigation of a member of the government? Adding to this contradiction is the fact that as a candidate, Obama accused the Bush administration of “hiding behind executive privilege.”
To call attention to a further hypocrisy, it cannot be forgotten that Obama is an avid supporter of gun control. He wants to take away the guns of law-abiding American citizens, but when our government lets drug cartels illegally obtain guns, he does everything in his power to impede the investigation.

Here’s another good example of his duplicity: During his 2008 campaign, Obama informed us that “The biggest problems that we’re facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all, and that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m President of the United States of America” (townhall.com).

When I recently heard him say this, I was dumbstruck, and I still am, since this came from the same person that in his most recent State of the Union told us he would implement many policies “with or without Congress” (cnn.com). Does he actually think that we won’t notice his hypocrisy and dishonesty? Unfortunately, most people won’t. Coupled with the collective adoration displayed toward Obama by the media and the prestige and honor of being the first black president, in many people’s eyes, he can do no wrong. While some claim that since he is the President he deserves our respect, I disagree. In fact, I think we must do everything in our power to convince people otherwise.

Holding a position of power does not automatically mean you deserve my respect. Please do not take this out of context, but Hitler was in charge of Germany for a while. Did he deserve the respect of the Germans that he led?

Let me be very clear: I’m not advocating that people treat Obama poorly. We ought to treat him reasonably as a fellow human being. However, when a man in power stands up in front of this country and systematically disseminates a multitude of lies, I think our trust in him should be shaken. I think we should label him what he has proven to be in many cases: a hypocritical liar. We should do so loudly, and without fear, because it is precisely this attitude that will ensure our country remains the gleaming beacon of freedom that our founders envisioned. Labeling the President as a liar is not unpatriotic — in fact, it is the exact opposite. Questioning authority is a requirement of freedom, and, therefore, doing so is a patriotic duty for all of us. I’ve just listed a few of the many lies Obama has told. Please stay on the lookout for more. Listen with a doubtful ear and the utmost suspicion when dealing with politicians. Only then can we be sure we are doing everything in our power to protect ourselves from tyranny.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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