I feel that there is a conflict between the fundamental belief of truth and the constitutional principle of representative government. The time when this conflict is most evident is during times of elections. Candidates seem to leave out certain facts about themselves or lie about their opponents.
It is well known that the political candidates lie in their campaign ads. The Washington state Supreme Court has even ruled that the government can’t stop the political candidates from lying in their campaign adds. The court had voted that a state law punishing the candidates for false advertising was violating their right to free speech. Justice Jim Johnson wrote, "There can be no doubt that false personal attacks are too common in political campaigns, with wide-ranging detrimental consequences ... However, government censorship ... is not a constitutionally permitted remedy." While Justice Barbara Madsen stated that the decision was, "An invitation to lie with impunity. It is little wonder that so many view political campaigns with distrust and cynicism." I agree with Justice Barbara Madsen because we seem to be just encouraging that the political campaigns may lie.
But a question that I have always wondered was, if false advertising is a crime in the United States, why aren’t the political campaigns included into this? What about when George Bush said that John McCain had fathered an illegitimate black child and that Cindy McCain was a drug addict? All to help him get support from the “moral” Americans. But those were rumors and false; did it help him get the Republican party nomination? Yes. Did it encourage him to continue to lie through out the rest of his campaign? Probably, since there were no charges pressed against him.
In conclusion, a representative government is needed for this country since there is a large population. But does this mean that we should sacrifice that we need the truth about the people we elect? I believe that it shouldn’t be...