Noble Lies and Ignoble Presidential Liars

Show me an honest politician, and I will show you a politician of infinite integrity and zero responsibility. Tell me Donald Trump is the biggest liar in American history, and I will soon know if you are an ignoramus or a liar, because deception is both a presidential prerogative and an exercise in effective leadership.

Who, then, is the more dangerous liar? Is it the politician who seeks the presidency by speaking of a grave threat to the life of the nation and the lives of his fellow Americans; who asserts what he knows is not true, or knows not what he says is a lie; who outflanks a five-star general with rank rhetoric; who disregards the chain of command and the wisdom of his commander in chief; who wins the White House by whitewashing his sins? Or should we excuse John F. Kennedy’s lies, because the memory of his glamour outshines Donald Trump’s more glandular style?

Should we venerate JFK, despite his false claim of a missile gap between the United States and Russia, but vilify Trump for his modest (compared to Kennedy) degree of militarism? Should we celebrate a historian who revised his own history before he rewrote the history of the Kennedy Administration? Should we respect the work of Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., after he stained the pages of history with his intellectual crimes against history?

Name a Harvard professor of similar renown but dissimilar politics who currently has the title of Special Assistant to the President. Name another professor who would so unashamedly author a memo that would shame any man of decency, because it encourages people to lie to protect the president.

Only by studying the men who make and write history can we judge a president in relation to what he did, rather than what he said he would do and his surrogates insist he did.

Or we can forget the truth by telling the world that once there was a spot that was known as Camelot!

Photo credit: Art Rickerby/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

About Ashley Hamilton

Ashley Hamilton is an artist and father, who lives in Malibu and seeks to express the truth through his work.

Photo: Arthur Schlesinger Jr. (L) showing his book A 1000 Days to President John F. Kennedy (R) at the White House. (Photo by Art Rickerby/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)

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