We all know that politicians tend to fib every now and then. It has unfortunately become an expected part of the job. But to lie about your entire biography is another story entirely.
In the last week or so, a number of media outlets revealed that Republican Congressmen elect George Santos lied about who he was as a person and a candidate. Let’s look at some of the untruths he claimed as fact.
- He said that he attended both NYU and Baruch College in New York City. Neither school has any record of him as a student.
- He was employed by two major Wall Street firms. Again, there are no records of him as an employee.
- His mother survived 9/11 and died a few years later. A little digging revealed that she died in 2016.
- His mother was the daughter of Jewish Holocaust survivors from Ukraine. After extensive research, no documentation has been found to support these claims. This is both an insult to survivor and their families, and spits on the graves of the millions who were murdered. It also opens the door to Holocaust denial.
- Four members of his staff were murdered in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. Santos has yet to disclose details about these supposed employees or the company they all worked for.
- During the campaign, he often spoke about being gay and receiving a warm reception from the party. The reality is that he was married to a woman until September 2019. Given the right’s outright discrimination against LGBTQ Americans, this statement is doubly dishonest.
In another world in which Americans were not so politically divided, I would argue that the voters should decide if they want him to represent them. Traditionally, that area (which is divided between Eastern Queens and part of Long Island) is heavily Democratic. Though I personally have no skin in this game, I think he should he should resign. I would not want someone speaking for me whose entire identity has been revealed to be a complete falsehood.
What makes me angry is that by pretending to be a double minority and a survivor by extension of 9/11, he is devaluing the experiences of everyone who legitimately goes by those identifiers. In the private sector, if it is discovered that your resume is not truthful, you are either fired or taken out of the running for the job. I don’t get how this rule does not apply to the political sector.
At this point, we cannot predict how the party and his constituents will react. Whatever that decision is, it will speak volumes about this nation, her beliefs, and her values.
P.S. Santos now states that he “embellished” his biography. An embellishment is stating that your G.PA. was 4.0 instead of 3.8. A two-point difference on one G.P.A. is not going to potentially change the world. But an elected official who fabricated his entire resume does have the potential to change the world.