Frank V. Vernuccio, Jr., J.D. 5/19/2015


The Dangerous Absence of Honesty


Frank V. Vernuccio, Jr., J.D.


Frank V. Vernuccio, Jr., J.D., the editor-in-chief of the New York Analysis of Policy & Government, brings his 30 years of experience in government and professional writing and broadcast journalism to your audience. Vernuccio provides insights that captivate listeners.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” –Joseph Goebbels, Nazi propaganda minister

Almost a hundred years ago, Senator Hiram Johnson purportedly said that “the first casualty when war comes is truth.”

With all of the efficiency of the 21st century, it appears that actual war is no longer necessary for honesty to be buried. Throughout most of American politics, the truth is, for far too many, politically incorrect, inconvenient, and unwanted.

Whether discussing governmental budgets, international relations, the environment, racial relations or a myriad of other issues, politicians, a biased media, exemplified by George Stephanouplos’s failure to disclose his Clinton contributions, and academicians all react with rage when honest observers seek to discuss all facets of the great issues facing the United States.

Sadly, the current White House has been a prime practitioner of the art of the boldly spoken untruth, but it is not alone in the political arena in the art of the Big Lie. Whether it comes in the state of the union statement that the “Shadow of the crisis of terrorism has passed” or in a proclamation that “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor,” presidential statements have been made that are clearly untrue. When challenged, supporters in the media question the motives and integrity of those questioning the veracity of the manifestly false statements.

Traditionally, universities have been centers where all sides of a debate are welcomed. That has changed dramatically, as students not in step with the prevailing hard left beliefs of college professors and administrators are repressed, segregated, and penalized.

The recent events in Ferguson and Baltimore emphasized the proclivity to replace the search for facts with rhetoric meant to advance a political agenda. In Ferguson, the entire incident prompting the disorder turned out to be entirely the opposite of what the protestors described. There was no police misconduct. In Baltimore, while the investigation will go on now that the police officers have been charged, the real basis for the riots—charges of institutional racism—are absurdly false. What institution? A black mayor, a black police chief, a black city council president, a police force that is 48% black, a black lt. governor, a black U.S. Attorney General and a black President all make the charge utterly ridiculous.

Politicians of both parties continue to make promises about entitlements that they know can never be sustained. Each year, the crushing national debt expands further, with no end in sight. Funds are taken from crucial needs such as defense, shoring up social security, and other areas to continue the giveaways that so many elected officials depend upon to get re-elected. Financial gimmicks that would land businesses in jail are employed to maintain the fiction that irresponsible spending hasn’t bankrupted the nation.

Republican leaders have been playing their own version of the Big Lie. In public statements, they disdain the irresponsible fiscal policies of the White House, the blatantly unconstitutional use of executive orders by the President, and the Administration’s dangerous neglect of national security. In practice, they tread lightly on cutting back entitlements for fear of losing votes. They fail to avail themselves of the legal remedies available to them to force the White House to obey the Constitution. And despite all their rhetoric about the need for a strong defense, they don’t push for greater resources for the armed forces.

America’s future depends on the return of honest discourse followed by honest action.