The truth matters. Senator Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut(D), appeared on CNN last week once again hocking the Russia-Russia-Russia narrative with a pomposity that only an effete eastern liberal snob can muster. He then ran through a litany of Trump offenses none of which were true. Trump responded calling Blumenthal out for his blatant hypocrisy given that he lied about his military service when he ran for the Senate.
Yes…he was in the Marine Reserves. No…he did not serve in Vietnam. He took five deferments and then joined the Marine Reserves when his draft number came up. His claims apparently happened more than once. When called on it, Blumenthal said he misspoke and apologized.
Nobody wants to diminish Blumenthal’s service. His story of deferments followed by the reserves was repeated many times during the Vietnam War. I know several people who did exactly what he did including one of my closest friends. As for me, my draft number was so high Tricia Nixon would have been called before me. I was lucky. Some of my other friends…not so much. They died in that horrible war.
The problem with Blumenthal is that he lied when he didn’t have to. There was nothing wrong with what he did. Whether it is Blumenthal or Brian Williams or John Kerry or Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren…bumping up one’s resume for money or political gain is not a good practice. Yet these people get away with it over-and-over again. More disturbing, they get elected to public office. If they are smart enough and fortunate enough to pull it off, so be it. But don’t get bent out of shape when you call out other people with unfounded accusations of cheating and dishonesty and those people hit back.
I am a quarter short of a Master’s Degree in Russian history. It would be very easy for me to claim that I had the degree. But I don’t…so I don’t. Self-puffery is a lie. If you are in the public spotlight, Dude, you are going to get caught.
All the above-mentioned people apologized for their indiscretions. But the fact of the matter remains that they all lied to achieve positions of public trust or authority be it in education or government. In the process, they diminished those who actually achieved what they claimed to have achieved. At least have the decency to be a little humble.