Part three in a short series
Last week I discussed ‘Truthfulness’ and being ‘Fiscally Responsible’. This week I focus on ‘Transparency’.
Johnny Carson, star of television’s Tonight Show for 30 years, did a skit on his show addressing political honesty and transparency. Playing a congressman, he was hooked up to a polygraph machine during a press conference and whenever he misspoke, there was a loud buzz. As you may have guessed, the press conference was continuously interrupted by the buzz as Johnny answered questions from the press concerning the environment, equal rights for women, his real name, etc. (can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbWI9xIGba4). His answers were so extreme that it was obvious that he was not being truthful. Unfortunately today many of our politicians seem to have PHDs in “deception” (if you wish me to be politically correct). Don’t you wonder what it would be like if each time one of our politicians said or wrote something he/she could be hooked up to a “deception machine”?
Our president, in the very beginning of his term said: “Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.” He also wrote a memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies that said: “My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government. This was said in reference to the Freedom of Information Act. This Act applies to the public solicitation of information and applies to the Executive branch of government agencies. This is certainly an important Act. However, I think transparency of the administration should go further. Should our leaders not be required to be transparent about themselves and what they say? After all, unlike what many of them think, they are our employees. They should be willing to provide any information we request which may have an impact on their qualifications to be our leaders or could disqualify them because of what they have done.