Repost from the New York Times
[Editorial comment by Marilyn Bardet: “How ironic! For years, Exxon promulgated lies, denying or casting doubt on any scientific research that pointed to humans’ contribution…to climate change, despite the fact that Exxon funded its own independent research on climate that confirmed the very thing the company denied! Go figure. So, Tillerson’s statements now are rather astounding— almost bespeaking a conversion or ‘mea culpa’. He’s certainly not wrong that the lies now being told by Trump and Co. thwart the existence of any semblance of democracy.” — Marilyn Bardet]
In Rebuke of Trump, Tillerson Says Lies Are a Threat to DemocracyBy Gardiner Harris, May 16, 2018
WASHINGTON — In what appeared to be a rebuke of President Trump, former Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson warned on Wednesday that American democracy is threatened by a “growing crisis in ethics and integrity.”
“If our leaders seek to conceal the truth, or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom,” he said in a commencement address at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va.
Even small falsehoods and exaggerations are problematic, Mr. Tillerson said. (Mr. Trump is prone to both.)
“When we as people, a free people, go wobbly on the truth even on what may seem the most trivial matters, we go wobbly on America,” Mr. Tillerson said.
“If we do not as Americans confront the crisis of ethics and integrity in our society and among our leaders in both the public and private sector — and regrettably at times even the nonprofit sector — then American democracy as we know it is entering its twilight years,” Mr. Tillerson warned.
The former Eagle Scout — who often cited a commitment to respect, integrity and accountability as the guideposts of his life and leadership — has been in near-seclusion at his Texas ranch since he was fired by tweet in March, just hours after returning from a trip through Africa. He had agreed to deliver the V.M.I. commencement address before he was fired.