Does the truth matter anymore?

Published 8:01 pm Wednesday, February 27, 2019

When do lies matter? If you asked supporters of President Trump Wednesday, most of them likely would have said lies matter greatly, that you can’t trust a liar, especially one like Michael Cohen.

After all, the man pleaded guilty last year to lying to Congress.

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the top Republican on the House Oversight and Reform Committee, called Cohen a “fraudster, cheat” and “a convicted felon.”

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“Certainly it’s the first time a convicted perjurer has been brought back to be a star witness at a hearing,” Jordan said.

Those are good points.

But politicians lie all the time, and no one seems to get too worked up about it anymore. The president himself struggles with the truth often, yet his supporters do not cry foul.

So why the double standard when it comes to truth-telling? Could it be that today’s political climate is so polarized, so ugly, that nothing anyone says can change our minds? Could it be we have retreated too far into our dark corners to see the light of truth?

It feels like every issue is viewed through a political lens these days. Our views on education,  taxes,  immigration,  religion— the list goes on and on and covers every facet of life — are filtered through our politics. It forces us further into tribes of like-minded individuals, to the point where when our enemy lies it is unconscionable but when our hero does it we barely bat an eye.

Cohen’s testimony about Trump being a racist, a conman and a fraud will not convince any of the president’s supporters that he should not be in the White House, because many of those supporters simply will not believe Cohen. A liar always lies, right?

Likewise, Cohen’s testimony will only reinforce the views of those who believe Trump should be kicked out. It won’t matter that Cohen is a convicted liar, he must be telling the truth now because we like what we hear, right?

Cohen’s testimony probably won’t matter in the end. Politicians of all kinds will go on lying and Americans will continue to believe what they want. Truth has become malleable, or simply ignored, and we are all worse off for it.