By LaKeshia N. Myers
“The truth doesn’t cost anything, but a lie can cost you everything,” my mother said as she scolded me for lying about cutting my hair. I was seven years old and had come up with an elaborate tale about how one of my ponytails ended up significantly shorter than the other. As my mother questioned me about my hair, my story became more complex and implicated more people (my sister and my father, who had absolutely nothing to do with the charade). After mom called my bluff, she told me, “I can’t stand liars. If you lie to me, you’ll probably steal from me and that I won’t stand for either in my house.” While you might think it was a tense conversation to have with a seven-year-old, trust me, I got the message loud and clear.
I was reminded of this earlier this week when Bob Woodward released audio of Donald Trump admitting he knew how dangerous COVID-19 was and that he knowingly and willingly lied to the American public. Never in my wildest imagination could I fathom that an American president would knowingly place the people of this country in such grave danger. But Trump never ceases to amaze me. Not only did he disregard the sound scientific expertise of Dr. Anthony Fauci and others, he called the virus a “hoax” and claimed the airborne novel virus was going to, “Disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle – it will disappear” (Trump, 2020).
President Trump even doubled down on his message by igniting his base; encouraging them to protest against governors who imposed necessary shutdowns and mandatory mask ordinances. This is the level of ignorance and inefficiency that leads our country. We have a president that is more concerned about his own ego over the lives of his own citizens.
To add insult to injury, here in Wisconsin, many of my Republican colleagues chose (and still choose) to unabashedly follow the example of their leader. They are vehemently against wearing masks, have openly advocated for and obtained hydroxychloroquine, are champions for in-person youth sports and other mass gatherings, and are staunchly against virtual learning.
One can only wonder how they feel now, knowing the President of the United States lied to them. Repeatedly. Knowing that the lies of the president caused hundreds of thousands of deaths. Understanding that states like Wisconsin were left to fend for themselves. Knowing that the most vulnerable in our population died, when they could have otherwise had a chance.
With less than 60 days to the Nov. 3 election, one can only speculate if this was the lie that will be the undoing of Donald Trump? He risked American lives for his own ego and reputation; will his loyalists continue to “drink the kool-aid?” or will the tide turn and the sheep demand better of their shepherd.
Time will only tell; but as for me and my house, we hope the throne of lies on which this president sits, can be toppled by the truth.