Letter: Attacking the Messenger

To the Editor:

A.E. Norton’s letter Feb. 3 (“Lies in the Eye of the Beholder”) suggests that because other presidents have lied, then it is OK that President Obama lies to us. Such moral relativism sets a very low threshold for citizens’ expectations of truth from elected officials. One might ask: Why do we, the voters, accept demonstrable lies uttered by so many politicians?

Moral relativism is also used to discount legitimate points. Witness Sydney Lea’s angry response (“Do the Arithmetic,” Jan. 14) to my Jan. 11 letter, in which I discussed the end of my health insurance plan and rising premiums under Obamacare/Green Mountain Care. Rather than deal with that issue, Mr. Lea preferred instead to draw an analogy to the Iraq war, then challenged my mathematical abilities! By the moral relativistic standard of Norton and Lea, because “W” lied about Iraq, Obama’s lies (“if you like your health care plan, you can keep it”) are excusable because they are somehow less egregious?

Dare I suggest that Norton and Lea are intelligent men who can and should do better than to ignore the point, change the subject, ignore facts, attack the messenger, and excuse the failings of their favored political figures? Shouldn’t we all?

Dick Tracy