Robert W. McKnight: A dose of truth serum is needed for these candidates
Published: Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 10:56 p.m.
The planets really need to line up for the left and right to agree on much in politics. In Florida, Republican Gov. Rick Scott is running for re-election in 2014, with the most embarrassing poll numbers in memory.
At least one of his challengers on the Democratic side is probably going to be former Gov. Charlie Crist, who just ducked a lawsuit-testimony bullet in the Greer case in Florida.
The right is furious with Scott and the left is furious with Crist. Why? The same reason: lying and flip flopping on what they really believe. Solution: require the candidates take a lie-detector test preceded by a strong dose of sodium pentothal before the start of the campaign.
Justification: Scott — as a former health care executive — vehemently opposed Obamacare and the expansion of Medicaid. He cut public education at every level, favoring vouchers for private schools. He led the fight to terminate positions and eliminate benefits for state workers.
Crist used dramatic props to say he favored controlled drilling for oil off of Florida's shores. He said he was a “Ronald Reagan Republican,” opposing abortion and favoring restricted immigration.
He said he favored a measure that tied education funding to test scores.
Result: Today, both have reversed their positions entirely on the above issues and many more, citing the following kinds of reasons:
I was always troubled and torn with that earlier position.
The feds have changed the ground rules, so I am changing my position.
I have worked at some of these jobs, and now I realize that these people have needs.
This stuff is really complicated.
It is a mere coincidence that I am now running to become your governor again.
Both have had serious problems with the law: Scott was grilled by the U.S. Justice Department for fraud and Crist was the subject of numerous lawsuits over his tenure in office.
So, if both are so understanding and convinced now of their positions and ready to take back the reins of Florida government, they should surely not object to Floridians demanding the truth.
A simple lie-detector test, preceded by an overflow dose of sodium pentothal, would go a long way to clearing them as truthful candidates. After all, those who administer laws of truth should also tell the truth.
Robert W. McKnight is a former Florida state senator and representative.