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The Boston Globe

Opinion

The Podium

The hurt and harm caused by lying

A president is called a liar by a member of Congress during a State of the Union Address. Candidates for high office blatantly tell one thing to one audience and the opposite to another. The media ignores facts and print or air what supports their editorial positions. “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend,” went the famous line from the movie. Although it is getting harder to make the distinction, life is not a movie but it is becoming a sad state of affairs.

Consciously or not, we are teaching our children that to lie or to call someone a liar is not only acceptable, it is now a regular and ongoing part of our civic discourse. Consciously or not, especially after having watched televised political events of late, we are encouraging our children to win at all costs, even if it takes lying to do so.

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