March 28, 2008 | | 2 Comments Hillary sought to beef up her foreign affairs credibility by telling a story of her visit to war-torn Bosnia. She said they were under sniper fire and had to forego a planned greeting ceremony, dashing across the tarmac with heads down and speeding away in military jeeps. Wow, that sounds like the trenches of foreign relations experience if I ever heard it. Too bad it’s not true. News footage clearly shows her walking calmly off the plane with Chelsea in tow, smiling and greeting people, cameras flashing, and then, you guessed it, Hillary spoke at the greeting ceremony that supposedly didn’t happen. Not too long ago, this sort of thing was called lying. When Hillary got called on it, however, she said she “misspoke.” Amazingly, Hillary’s supporters still cheered and waved their flags, and this represents a most troubling trend. Lying is becoming acceptable. Honesty is considered peculiar, even impossible by some. This problem- let’s call it what it is- transcends every part of our lives, from the Oval Office to the corporate office to the playing field to the classroom to the bedroom. Widespread dishonesty threatens the glue that holds together any organization, namely trust and confidence. Think about it this way, every nation, company, and family depends on certain social contracts. These contracts are, in fact, promises. For instance, as U.S. citizens, we promise to obey the laws of the land in return for the privilege of living free in this country. Our trust in one another is the only thing that keeps us sure that everyone is going to abide by these promises and that things will remain peaceful and free. In other words, if we can’t trust each other, things will unravel very quickly. Lying is unacceptable because it destroys that trust. If people can’t be sure that you speak the truth, how can they trust anything you say? Consider schools that tolerate cheating. That school is putting out students that might or might not have cheated in obtaining their degrees. Suddenly, grades cease to be an adequate measure of a student’s achievement. Magna cum laude means nothing at these schools. Recruiters cannot with any degree of confidence hire students into their organization. The school’s reputation is ruined. Consider businesses that tolerate dishonest practices. They are constantly at risk of being discovered by regulatory bodies (think Enron). One dishonest practice must be covered up using more dishonest practices. Having promoted a dishonest environment, how can managers then expect their employees to be honest with them, to not fudge their hours, take office supplies home, or sell their secrets? They can’t, plain and simple. Lastly, consider countries that tolerate dishonesty, especially from their leaders. With a single lie, a presidential candidate negates every promise or claim they have made along the campaign trail. Maybe they were telling the truth this time and that time; but how would we know the difference between when they were or weren’t? We wouldn’t. How do you feel about Hillary’s “misspeaking”? How does it change your view of her as a candidate? How do you feel about dishonesty?