Despite everything, the quality we look for most in business is honesty. We all have an innate desire to believe in what we buy and who we do business with. While the world may look at times like a trust free zone, in business transparency and honesty are everything. But honesty appears to be under threat.
I’ve resisted saying too much about certain present global leaders. I do tend to believe in the saying about politics and religion. In most circumstances those topics are best reserved for friends and family. But I have come to despair about the regularity of downright deceit and lies in certain political domains and the way that has seeped into the greater global consciousness.
It used to be that truth was a prerequisite for most professions – politics included – at least on the surface. Burgeoning political careers would be destroyed by revelations of such things as extra-marital affairs – now they are par for the course. In the US, the president lies with reckless abandon and cares nothing for the consequences, probably because there are no consequences. Rebukes in Congress are nullified by the Senate and the lying goes on, shrouded and protected by the gaslighting of the cry of ‘fake news’.
“There should be actual consequences for lying constantly to those who elected politicians into office. It is a brazen and hostile disregard for the business of governance.”
The situation in the UK is frighteningly similar. Unelected prime minister, Boris Johnson is a constant sufferer of truth dysplasia and is at the helm at one of the more critical junctures in recent British history – the exit from the EU. And this is the thing that gets me most about politicians like Johnson, and his US counterpart. Politics is serious business, with real and lasting consequences for the electorate. The truth should not be a desired commodity, it should be a mandatory requirement. There should be actual consequences for lying constantly to those who elected politicians into office. It is a brazen and hostile disregard for the business of governance. It is difficult to even imagine it in other spheres of life, or to imagine it at the same level as we see so often in contemporary politics.
“But the level of established lying is something new and coupled with a distrust of the election process itself, can only lead to apathy or antipathy.”
Accountability is now only reserved by the electoral cycle itself – those organised times where the electorate chooses who will govern for the next three, or four years. But that is a problem as well. Without going into the reality, or not, of collusion with Russia, it is beyond dispute that Russia actively interfered in the 2016 US election and accomplished it through a number of nefarious means – most of it through promoting untruthful messages through social media platforms – such as Facebook. Any student or casual observer of politics will know that election interference is not a new thing. It has been going on for millennia. But the level of established lying is something new and coupled with a distrust of the election process itself, can only lead to apathy or antipathy.
We cannot afford to become indifferent about the way we are governed. After all, politicians are elected by us, to act in our place. In effect, they are us, despite how unpalatable that may seem when they act in such odious and tiresome ways.
We actively seek truth, align ourselves with those who embody it and prize it in most of our interactions. We wouldn’t buy products that were grossly misrepresented and then accept lies to cover up the initial deceit. We would demand a refund, complain to regulatory bodies, and leave reviews so that fellow consumers would not also be duped and ripped off. So why do we blindly accept this in something so important to our individual and collective well-being? I’m stumped for an answer but I do believe in the goodness of human beings and I’m hoping that this is all just some arbitrary blip and normal service will resume, soon. I sure do hope so.