I’m taking away some leadership lessons from the events of this week. Watching video of Lindsey Graham, head bowed and terrified, surrounded by police as angry Trump supporters scream “Traitor” and “Sex Trafficker” at him in an airport is all the illustration those lessons need.
These are the people Graham and many of his colleagues sought to placate these many months now with their subservience to a leader they previously called unfit as he lied and lied and lied. To oppose Trump with the truth would be to draw the ire of these constituents and imperil their chances at reelection.
This is where we end up when we trade the discomfort of telling those in our charge uncomfortable truths for the acclaim they give us when we reassure them with lies. Fed a steady diet of self-reinforcing lies, people lose their taste for truth. You can’t suddenly start feeding a child spinach who you’ve plied with Frito’s for months and months. They will vomit. On you. Then they will call you a traitor.
“The best way we can show respect for the voters who were upset is by telling them the truth,” said Mitt Romney on Wednesday night.
Telling people the truth is a better long-term bet every time.