By Joe Rector

We’re living in a country where lines aren’t so easily drawn. Oh sure, the GOP and Democrats have staked their claims to sides of issues. But even in that case, the absolute truth doesn’t exist. Plenty of Republicans around the country don’t buy in to the president’s agenda nor do they agree with some of the moves he’s made. The same holds true for the other side; some presidential candidates are so far left that they’re nearly falling off the continuum, while others take a more moderate approach. Still, we should have some things set in stone, some rights and wrongs on which we can depend.

My parents taught me not to lie. Now, that’s not to say that I didn’t tell my share of them, but if and when I was caught, punishment was swiftly administered. On one occasion, a pair of my pajamas turned up with holes all over them. It seems that my twin brother had taken scissors and cut small pieces out of the top and bottom. I swore to Mother and Daddy that I hadn’t done it, but to no avail. I was spanked, “not for cutting holes but for lying about having done so.”

My brothers and I tried to smoke as youngsters. We sneaked cigarettes from our parents’ packs or butts from the ashtray. One afternoon, Daddy called us into the kitchen and asked if we were smoking. Of course, we said “no,” but he already had discovered otherwise. He met us in the hall way and flogged us with his belt. He was madder that we had lied to him than that we were doing something so stupid as smoking.

As a teen, I let a girlfriend drive my mother’s car during a date. It was no big deal, and nothing happened to the car. Mother was sitting in the kitchen when I arrived home that night. She asked how the evening went and if anything unusual happened. I replied “no,” and she demanded the keys. The she told me that she knew I’d let the girl drive the car. For two weeks, I was banned from using the car. Mother told me the punishment might have been lighter if I’d have “fessed up” about the girl. Come to find out, our insurance agent lived in the community and witnessed the girl’s driving.

In college, I sometimes grew weary of attending boring classes. One was Western Civilization. Dr. Allen was the most boring instructor I’d encountered. My test scores were good, but I’d missed class on three occasions, all days I took my twin brother to the doctor following a severe knee injury he’d suffered in a game of touch football. During the final exam, Dr. Allen asked me why I’d missed class so many times. I tried to explain the situation to her, but she believed I was lying. Although my overall average for the course was a “B,” the woman gave me a “C” for the term. Just the suspicion of lying was met with penalities. Liar

Now we have a president who lies constantly. By one count, he’s told 12,000 lies, an average of more than 10 a day. Lying seems to be a favorite pastime for elected officials. Instead of telling the truth and dealing with the consequences, our so-called leaders instead lie or reshape the truth. In either case, those lies come back to haunt them at some point because someone remembers them and points them out when a representative says something contradictory. Then, the walk-back begins, but it’s too late.

We demand that our children tell the truth. We should expect the same from our leaders. The time has come to disallow any official to lie without punishment. From this point on, we must demand the truth from presidents and congressmen alike. If they fail to deliver it, then punishment should be as swift as it was when we were children. Impeaching them or voting them out of office is imperative. Otherwise, we aren’t teaching good lessons to the next generation.