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March 1, 2023 11:15 am

On Purim, George Santos’ Vile Lies Are No Laughing Matter

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avatar by Alan Zeitlin


US Representative George Santos (R-NY) walks to a vote on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 12, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz/File Photo

I have interviewed a number of Holocaust survivors, so when I heard that Republican Congressman George Santos (NY) lied and said that his relatives were Jewish and fled the Nazis, I was flabbergasted. Yes, politicians lie all the time. But there has to be a limit. You cannot lie about your ancestors being Holocaust survivors. He said he took DNA tests, but his lies have been exposed repeatedly.

I’ve heard of people getting fired from office jobs for lying on their resume. The number of things Santos apparently lied about is staggering. Don’t political parties vet their candidates? A simple call to schools could have proved he didn’t graduate from there. And why do Republicans resist expelling him, given his complete deceit on so many issues?

In a recent interview with Piers Morgan, Santos admitted he is a terrible liar, and said he got away with lying about many things previously, so he thought he would get away with it again.

This is not about whether someone is a Democrat or Republican. It appears he lied about his mother being in the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001.

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Strangely, he said to Morgan, “are you telling me I got wrong what my mother told me?”

How is this man allowed to serve in Congress?

We need a Santos Statute — where if a person is not truthful about certain issues, they are removed from office.

With ChatGPT, students can easily cheat. If Santos can lie, get into Congress, and stay there, why should students have any hesitation about cheating themselves?

Santos, despite being destroyed by Morgan, probably loves it and is looking forward to writing a book. If you believe he didn’t want to be famous, I don’t know what to tell you.

Of his claim to be Jewish, Santos said it was a party favor joke. Not funny. And he made statements saying he was Jewish in order to raise money and build support and sympathy for his candidacy.

Morgan said he thought a lot of Jewish people would find Santos’ lies offensive. Morgan is correct.

Government, at a minimum, can’t let candidates lie about basic resume information. How is this acceptable? He should not be able to stay in the House of Representatives. Every day he is still in office encourages the youth of America to lie every day.

Are we as a society becoming so desensitized that anyone can lie and simply say they are not perfect and made mistakes? I was fascinated by Leonardo DiCaprio’s portrayal of Frank Abagnale, a real-life con-man, who was the basis of the film “Catch Me If You Can.”

I wonder if Frank could have done what George did.

Santos certainly has chutzpah. I’ll give him that. But you need to tell a basic level of truth.

Going forward, all candidates for political office should sign a form, accepting that they will be ejected from office if they lie on their resume or lie about tragedies in an effort to curry favor with voters.

The erosion of society begins with people who feel it is acceptable to lie.

In fact, whoever said cheaters never win is a liar, because whatever happens now, Santos has won. He can go on reality shows, can likely get some acting/comedy gigs, and will likely get a book deal, even if he is thrown out or only serves one term.

One would think with the power of the Internet, it would be harder to lie on these major issues. I hope somehow Santos is telling the truth about some of the issues that have come up.

It will soon be Purim, a time when children wear costumes and adults get so drunk they don’t know the difference between Haman and Mordechai. I doubt Santos even knows the difference between a truth and lie anymore. But it’s the public, and his party’s job, to correct him.

The author is a writer based in New York.

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