Tuesday, May 25, 2010

you can't handle the truth

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Andrew Wheeler. Two guys who won't be working as fact checkers any time soon. One aligns himself with veterans of war without ever having been a part of any military action and one duped the most prestigious education institutions in the country with phony credentials and plagiarized letters. Richard Blumenthal has been in politics for many years, fabricated war status and all, but it seems that it is only when he stepped up to run for a national Senate seat that the light was more focused on him and his claims of being mistreated by his fellow Americans when returning home as a veteran is a heart wrenching story he has shared with crowds. Andrew Wheeler had his imagined academic career mapped out to include top tier schools and a 'life of deception' according to one newspaper and a transcript with egregious inaccuracies.

In his teachings Thomas Aquinas presented the philosophy that a lie is something that is a purposefully stated untruth making the intention behind the lie more offensive than the wrongful statement. The prevarications of these two men in their respectful situations are very much the same and yet all together different in their overall scenarios.

Did Blumenthal think he would never be questioned about his distorted perceptions he put forth as a veteran? Of course he would be taken to task by the press. It has forever been the relation ship of the press and politicians to operate on the assumption that most politicians are not telling the whole truth. It is the topic of every late night talk show host and their nightly monologues sometimes giving writers the task of simply getting it down on paper and transferred to cue cards as is. People have claimed to be a part of groups of which they were not members, privy to conversations with people they haven't met and boasting to have earned degrees or awards that they had not received. Whatever side of the aisle you are on most people would most likely think that claiming to be a part of a war you never served in as pretty reprehensible. Perhaps that was the idea that Blumenthal was counting on to try and weave this patriotic tale on the campaign trail.

That belief is how Andrew Wheeler got as far as he did with his armful of creative credentials. An ivy league school is operating on the belief system that if you state that you are a straight A student from MIT that you are in fact that impressive student. This was one of the flags that was raised in the unraveling of Wheeler's imaginary academic career. Even someone as duplicitous as Wheeler missed the fact that MIT does not give letter grades for the first semester of freshmen year as he had taken credit for. A representative from Harvard's admission office explained that they are not in the frame of mind of trying to disprove the impressive achievements of their applicants. In Andrew Wheeler's case he took advantage of that loophole and didn't pad his resume but became a straight A transfer student from MIT instead of the Maine college student he actually was.

In Wheeler's case what he did will surely catch the eye of a Gordon Gecko somewhere and he will probably end up with a more lucrative career than some of the Harvard graduates who would have been a part of his fictional graduation class. Don't just dream. Dream big. Don't lie. Lie big.