Enough Lies: George Santos Must Be Held Accountable


Win McNamee/Getty Images/TNS

U.S. Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., waits for the start of the 118th Congress in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 3, 2023, in Washington, D.C. Santos is facing scrutiny for lies he told about his personal and professional background during his campaign.

Sara Gelrud, Copy Editor

Recently, New York congressman George Santos has been caught in a string of lies. Santos lied about nearly anything you can think of: past jobs, where he graduated from, his heritage, his connections to events like the Holocaust and 9/11, and much more

While reading about Santos’ lies, I was reminded that lying has always been a part of politics. In fact, everyone lies once in a while. However, we have reached a whole new precedent in America for what is acceptable when it comes to lies. Though I cannot vote, when I gain the privilege of doing so, I do not want the representatives I’m voting for to be pathological liars. As a citizen, I want to be able to trust my elected officials to represent my needs and wants to the makers of America’s legislation. If I voted for Santos based on his identity politics like many did, I would feel beyond betrayed having learned that the reasons I voted for him were all lies. Politicians like Santos shouldn’t use identity politics to advance their political agenda. These types of politicians exploit vulnerabilities in their constituents who believe that the person they’re voting for understands them because they have gone through similar experiences.

U.S. Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., at the U.S. Capitol Building on Jan. 5, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (Win McNamee/Getty Images/TNS)

What’s interesting is that even though Santos lied about nearly all facets of his life, he’s still entitled to his seat in Congress. The requirements to be a member of the House per the Constitution do not cite excessive lying as a reason for a representative-elect to be booted from his/her seat. As long as the elect is at least 30 years old, has been a U.S. citizen for at least nine years, and lives in the state they are representing, there is no reason why they should be denied their seat if they won the majority vote. However, many voters based their decisions on the very facts Santos lied about so Santos’ lies should not be something we just forget about.

If the Constitution doesn’t hold politicians accountable, it’s up to us to do so. Granted that we can’t change the Constitution, we can choose the people who are elected into governmental positions. We as citizens must research and learn about the people we put into office before we give them the power to shape our government. When our governmental system fails, it’s up to us as citizens to hold politicians accountable and the clearest way we can do so is by being intentional when casting our ballots.