Consider presidential candidates


To the Editor:

Entering a presidential election season for a Catholic might mean, before getting to issues, focusing on the character of a candidate. Is not the first reading of a candidate’s personal morality a focus on their truthfulness?

“Are you a liar?” might be philosophically difficult, but pragmatically can separate the angels and the demons. For if leaders cannot be trusted to speak the truth, how can we square our conscience with a vote for them?

I speak not of mistakes, misspoken facts, and fanciful exaggerations: I speak of lying. Lying as a way of presentation of self. Lying to deceive. Lying to demean.


Perhaps the majority of Americans who did not vote in 2016 did so because of a cynicism that sees all politicians as liars.

Overcome the cynicism and vote in 2020 for the presidential candidate that you believe speaks the truth.

It is only a first step, but one which we ignore at our peril. The public square is the place where we seek the common good by free speech on public issues. Speaking the truth fosters democracy, lying does not.

Clara Oleson
West Branch

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