Lie : (n) 1. To present false information as truth. 2. Something meant to deceive or give false information*
Lying: (v) 1. To present false information with the purpose of deceiving; 2. To convey a false image or impression.*
The lies of Al Gore are well documented. Many websites, including the conservative National Review Online, have compiled 'Gore Lies' lists. Since most
are familiar with the bulk of his lies, there is no need to go into them here. What I want to address is why. Why this need to distort the truth? What are you hiding?
In most cases lying isn't about character. Lying is the tool we use to cover the flaws in our character. From the minor ("I didn't oversleep, there was a traffic jam), to the major ("I did not have sexual relations with that woman"), we have all lied to cover our behinds. What
is disturbing here is that for Al Gore, lying is his character. He has lied to cover his butt, but more often he lies for no discernible reason. He makes up stories. He takes credit for things that are obviously easy to refute. He lies about things he has said in the past. He just seems to revel in lying.
Defenders of Gore (from here on...'DOGs'), will tell you that all politicians lie. While somewhat accurate, it would be more true to say that all politicians break campaign promises. This is different from lying. When George H. W. Bush said the now famous line "Read my lips, no new taxes," I am pretty sure that he meant it at the time. He changed positions only after a recession kicked in and he lacked the guts to stand up to a Democratic Congress. Most experts will tell you that this was the main reason he lost the '92 election. If then President Bush were to say something to the effect of "I took the initiative in creating moving pictures," then that would be a lie. There is a difference.
The DOGs will be the first to tell you that Al Gore has a long and distinguished career serving in both houses of Congress and as Vice President. So why the need to embellish? When your opponent has only been in public office for a short time, it should be easy to hold up your 22 year career in Washington and show people that you have the experience and know-how to be president. He did go so far as to ask an audience if George W. Bush had the experience to be President (it's on tape). This is not an attack, this is a strong point to run a campaign on. When he was asked about this comment during Tuesday's debate he denied ever saying it. In other words, he lied about it. I am still trying to figure out why.
I believe that most compulsive liars are particularly good liars. Bill Clinton always carefully worded his lies as so to give him an out in the event that he was caught. Al Gore is a poor liar. His lies are often so blatant and so easily exposed that he always gets caught.
In my opinion, people lie for three basic reasons: Self preservation to cover for misdeeds, to spare someone's feelings, or they suffer from some sort of an inferiority complex. For Gore, the latter seems the most likely. His father (Albert Gore, Sr.), was a distinguished Senator from Tennessee for many years. Al Jr. lived in the shadow of his father for most of his life. He made an attempt at the Presidency in 1988 and he failed miserably. He was cast to the shadows once again when he accepted the Vice Presidency from then candidate Bill Clinton. Let's face it, Clinton is a hard act to follow.
This is Al Gore's last shot at a political identity. This is a man who cannot decide on who he wants to be or why he wants the Presidency. The embellishment of his achievements and frequent image makeovers just scream out that Al Gore is desperately looking for acceptance. Personally, I want my President to be sure of himself and sure of his positions; not one who suffers from fears of inferiority.
A DOG may tell you that an inferiority complex isn't such a bad thing, it may mean that they will work harder in order to attain perfection and public approval. They may be right, but I seem to remember a man named Bonaparte having quite an inferiority complex himself.
* Courtesy of Webster's II; New Riverside Edition
© The Cynic, 2000
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