NOTE: Below is a piece originally published as the cover story of Word&Way magazine in October 2020, but which has never been published online. Word&Way Editor-in-Chief Brian Kaylor wrote an online editorial for wordandway.org in September 2020 warning about the level of lies in that year’s elections and urging Christians to stand for truth and reject candidates who lie at particularly egregious rates. The Kansas City Star published an excerpt.
But some people attacked the piece and even canceled their Word&Way subscriptions, complaining the column was liberal propaganda and arguing it was wrong to attack the then-president for lying since all politicians lie. From those responses, this essay was born.
As we find ourselves deep in another campaign season and facing another round of controversies involving the former president (and a fresh round of false claims by him), we decided to share this piece online for the first time to paid subscribers of A Public Witness. Unfortunately, it remains timely. We have made only slight adjustments to update some references to make sense two years later.
And while the piece doesn’t address what would come — the “big lie” about the 2020 election that led to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection — it offers a clear sign that we shouldn’t have been surprised by the election lies. It turns out that character really does matter in leadership.
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