Sunday May 19, 2013
Unwanted Ammunition for Politicians: Dare You Debate Using Polygraph?Barry Lee Coyne Salem-News.com
It's either Trap or Zap.
(SALEM) - Since some but not all candidates for public office often seem like caricatures of real people, should we not offer a "Pinocchio Prize" to the debate champ who best devolves into non-stop deceit?
Recent fact-check experts have shown these show-offs they can track their fiction which is geared to stir up voter friction. Alas, a lie addiction. As the old adage goes, "Practice makes perfect".
Why would any sane vote wish to install an aspirant who runs on fables and fabrications? If Family Values is a legitimate platform to run on, I'd be tempted to excommunicate a family member who knew not the truth and felt there were never any real consequences.
Even incumbents are inclined to push the buttons that acquire ballot benefits without checking their facts. Twisting statements inside out is a timeless practice for which "serving time" seldom ever occurs. One might surmise that race and gender make little difference in this equal-opportunist equation.
It's either Trap or Zap. However, your humble servant journalist has a modest proposal to shift the scales just a tad: How about deploying mandatory lie-detectors for every debate from president to state legislator? Will our Fool-Em Follies grind to a halt? Might the candidate who assembles the largest war chest then be revealed to have the biggest "bull" articulated?
Imagine a split/screen TV debate with the candidate's jawbone dominating one half...and the wiggly needle of the polygraph shown in the other. What fabulous fabrications will be unfurled to court our support! Enchanting entertainment for all, regardless of party. A new Reality Show Era will have made its debut.
Alas, a fairy tale for adults: And they lied happily ever after...
Salem-News.com Community Writer Barry Lee Coyne brings to our readers stories from his combined career of journalism and gerontology, and explains that these paths shaped his values. Lee Coyne once worked for The Civil Service Leader in NY State and covered the Legislature. He has also done features on mediation and arbitration, and believes in healthy skepticism. This writer-therapist often views the world as the masks of comedy and tragedy placed upon the scales of justice. For him, optimism inevitably wins. "Lyrical Lee" has traveled to 30 nations aboard and was once a press intern at the UN. His first published article was in The NY Daily News in '59, dealing with the need for integrity in public office.
He also launched the nation's first tele-conference on health education for shut-ins, created the Eldermentors project in VA to pair retirees with immigrant students needing role models, and was the main catalyst behind CCTV's "Public Public" panel show here in Salem. Lee received his BA in International Relations and an MSW in community organization. He currently serves as a member of Salem's Library Advisory Board. To send Lee an email, please write to this address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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