I often write about the necessity to have immutable standards. If a society’s standards shift with the winds, or its leaders hold others to standards that they don’t apply to themselves or their allies, then it’s as bad as having no standards at all. Maybe even worse, because it so badly erodes trust in the fairness of the system. It’s like building a house on a sand dune in a windstorm.
That’s why the story of newly-elected New York Republican Congress member George Santos presents such an ethical conundrum for so many people.
Recently, the New York Times ran an article claiming that much of Santos’ resume was false, including his educational background, work experience and even his Jewish family background and sexual orientation. Santos initially denied the claims, but finally admitted to what he called “embellishing” his resume, a word that can apparently be stretched to include making blatantly false statements.
Now, I believe that elections should not be run under false pretenses, and that there should be consequences for deliberately misleading the voters, even when it’s someone from my own party. That’s because I believe in unchanging and universal standards of honesty, honor and integrity.
But something funny is going on. I’ve been making that same argument for years, and it was often a lonely hill to stand on. Now, suddenly, I find myself joined by a huge chorus of Democrat politicians and liberal media members, all outraged that an election was affected by the public not having full information about a candidate, and by that candidate lying about his personal background and qualifications. They’re demanding that Santos resign and a special election be held that they would (coincidentally, I'm sure) likely win. To which I say this…
Back that truck up for a minute! Aren’t you the same party that was arguing in court just a few days ago in Arizona that concerns about election integrity should be ignored, the clearly botched election not be redone, and the people who protested be sanctioned? And wasn’t the New York Times one of the major media outlets that misled voters into thinking the revelations of sleazy Biden family deals with foreign governments on Hunter Biden’s laptop were all “Russian disinformation” so you could help get Joe Biden elected (polls show that if voters had known about that story - now confirmed as true even by the New York Times - enough Americans would have changed their votes to reelect Trump.)
As Bonchie at Redstate.com points out at the link, lying about your background has become an honored tradition in the Democratic Party, from Sen. Elizabeth Warren advancing herself professionally by lying about being Native American to Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s stolen valor, and neither of them has resigned, or paid any price, really.
And then there’s the Prevaricator-in-Chief, Joe Biden. Bonchie recounts just a few of the many, many false statements, fictitious accomplishments and jaw-dropping whoppers Biden has graced us with over the years. After all, this is a man who had to drop out of one of his Presidential runs after it was revealed that he plagiarized another politician’s speech and literally stole his biography.
Biden’s list of false claims is legendary, from having been a truck driver (he wasn’t) to being arrested with Nelson Mandela (he wasn’t) to taking part in civil rights protests in the '60s (he didn't) to hitting a home run in a Congressional baseball game (he struck out twice) to having three law degrees and graduating at the top of his class (he has one degree and graduated in the bottom 12%.) He claimed to be a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, but never taught there. He claimed to be a liaison to Israel during the 1967 war, but the prime minister he claimed he met with didn’t take office until 1969. And as Bonchie says, all this is just the tip of the iceberg. He even lies when he has to know we know he's lying, like claiming that he inherited $5-a-gallon gas prices from Trump and brought them down.
Nobody on the left, neither in politics or media, cares that Joe Biden, to quote Buddy the Elf, “sits on a throne of lies.” And they all did whatever it took to prevent voters from knowing that in 2020 so they could help him misrepresent his way into the highest office in the world.
Now…suddenly…when it’s a freshman Republican in just one of 435 Congressional seats…they develop rigid standards of integrity and honesty for their political opponents to follow. But not themselves, Heaven forbid.
Am I saying that Santos should be held to the same no-standards as Biden? Of course not. Few conservatives would. In fact, when Santos came on Fox News – an outlet the liberal talking heads routinely accuse of presenting “misinformation” without evidence – Tucker Carlson sub Tulsi Gabbard pounded him like a cheap piece of flank steak. And rightly so.
But where are the clips of any of the liberal outlets that are calling for Santos’ head doing the same thing to Joe Biden for his mountain of lies that makes Santos’ lies look like a molehill? Knowing that the stink of their hypocrisy would surely become an issue, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes tried to get out in front of it by declaring that somehow, there’s a big difference between Santos’ lies and the “‘normal’ politician BS-ing” represented by Biden. That went over like a kale salad at a Super Bowl party.
I’m sure there will be Republicans who fall for this and demand that Santos resign, as they continue observing an unchanging set of standards for honorable conduct, and I appreciate that. Under most circumstances, I would stand with them. But I’m tired of seeing these standards applied in one direction only.
So instead, I now call for the bipartisan imposition of basic standards of honesty and transparency. I will join the call for Santos to step down, but only on the condition that he leave DC in linked arms with Biden and all the other serial liars and con artists who advanced their political careers by blatantly misrepresenting their backgrounds and policies to the voters and by covering up vital information. I also call for any so-called “journalists” who colluded to hide vital information from voters to tender their resignations and leave as well. The same goes for any bureaucrats who misused their positions in federal agencies to pressure media and social media outlets into hiding vital information, such as Hunter Biden’s laptop, from the voters.
And when that vast parade of former government and media employees is finally beyond the city limits, we can start the huge job of holding new elections and job interviews, to repopulate a now-virtually empty Washington, DC.