As a proponent for truth in advertising, I am disappointed that the Supreme Court has ruled that candidates have the legal "right" to lie in their campaign advertising. Huh? Yep, the Supreme Court allowed a lower Court to consider whether political candidates have a First Amendment right to say anything during their campaigns and related advertisements. http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/13-193_omq2.pdf.
The High Court's rationale? Voters alone should be left to determine the veracity of political ads. Really! An electorate divided and manipulated by ideologically oriented for-profit media supporting political candidates actively willing to distort, bend and, well, outright lie is okay as far as the Court believes. And there you have it. We all know politicians lie, right? So what's the big deal when they now are allowed to freely lie in their campaign ads? Does it not mean then that since politicians are ALWAYS running for their public offices that we can expect it is approved behavior to engage in constant lying to the public? Does anyone actually endorse any notion that lying is acceptable, let alone by our elected (or wannabe elected) officials?
Recently, many sources have begun "fact-checking" the statements made by politicians on the campaign trail. I suppose it's a step in the right direction when the fact-checkers determine a politician has engaged in asserting "half-truths" instead of what some claim as "four Pinocchios" (The Washington Post) or "Pants on Fire" (PolitiFact). But is it really now normal for folks to expect politicians to lie (early and often)? What kind of honor do we give our American Founders and Framers when the High Court asserts political lying is acceptable? And what standards (if any) remain that require members of the High Court to be faithful to the Constitution without lying? I mean, it seems an absurd stretch, but is it?
As President George Washington once wrote; "If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." I hardly believe Mr. Washington thought lying to the American People was anywhere near acceptable. "We Hold These Truths To Be Self Evident..." (Declaration of Independence). Was that a lie too? Try to have a great week!