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George Santos: The Perfect Résumé

The true résumé is rarely honest. The entire document is based on a stream of twisting embellishments, fanciful achievements, and, in some cases, pure fiction. Read it, as you would, an autobiography, which could only interest audiences by what it omits, what it underlines, and what it pretends to celebrate. The wrinkles vanish, the wounding sores patched; the skin moisturised, the face lifted by delicate textual surgery. Its writing, and its acceptance by any relevant audience, is a mutual conceit, a pact against veracity.

The number of individuals who make use of this mechanism is embarrassing. Academics speak of projects they never undertook nor finished, and degrees doctored rather than earned. In a good number of cases, diplomas and awards mentioned are not all they seem – the global market for purchasable PhDs is healthy and thriving. Some claim to have legal qualifications they lack, and others fantasise about unattained military honours and tours of duty they never completed.

Any résumé that also purports to be true is bound to be irrelevant. Many job appointments are already filled before the paperwork is sent in. The favoured candidate, however inferior, must be boosted by the quality of the alternatives. That the alternatives are better is not a chance they will succeed, but cast glorious sunlight on the nepotistic pick, the favoured winner. The mediocre are long in such affairs.

The true résumé, in short, is short on truth. All it needs do is mention a name, preferably correctly (the right spelling is a bonus), a few bottom drawer achievements, and the rest can be put down to research by the employer or, in the case of politics, the voters in question.

This raises, then, the fundamental point about the role of such a document in certain fields. Why even bother trusting the biographical portraits of politicians, notably those of salad day persuasion? The art and the craft of the position demands deception, truthful lies and lying truths. A good turn of phrase, a deodorising spray of charm, helps.

It follows that such a document is redundant before going to press, to brochure, and to postings on a social media channel. You cannot trust it, and you are a fool to. Even worse is to get excited about it after the fact.

This leads us to the New York Republican and Representative-elect George Santos, who has been put into the stockade, if only by the press, for his schoolboy fibbing and childish howlers. “My sins here,” he mumbles, “are embellishing my résumé.”

It transpires that the 34-year-old representative-elect did not graduate from college (it probably would have spoiled his education), nor worked for Mammon’s cutthroat representatives, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup (a fact impressively moral, surely?). His portfolio of 13 properties was also make-believe – he lives with his sister in Long Island. His mother did not die “in her office in the south tower” of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, but in 2016. Then came that slightly tricky addition of identity politics – good if you can get away with it, dangerous if you end up on the gallows. That matter was the question of his Jewishness.

The New York Times could barely hide its astonishment at such a smorgasbord selection by Santos. “While others have also embellished their backgrounds and military honors that they did not receive or distortions about their business acumen and wealth, few have done so in such a wide-ranging manner.” The paper was indignant at the fact that voters “didn’t know about his lies before casting their ballots.”

The list of political figures sporting sketchy biographies, if not outright lies, is lengthy and not confined to any one party or ideology. Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren had a hack at claims of Native American ancestry and was found wanting. In August 2019, she put the whole matter down to a case of oversight. “Like anyone who’s being honest with themselves, I know that I have made mistakes.”

The current US President, one Joseph R. Biden Jr, was also susceptible to improving his academic record for public consumption. In 1987, he inflated his double major in history and political science from the University of Delaware into three degrees rather than a single B.A. in history and political science. His claim that he had gone to law school on a full academic scholarship was corrected by Newsweek’s finding that Biden had gone to Syracuse “on half scholarship based on financial need.”

For those who treat the truth with molesting disdain, Santos is impressively and pathologically consistent. But he hopes that his audience will be receptive and forgiving. “I’m very much gay,” he remarks, hoping to shrug off the demon of unfashionable heterosexuality. His marriage of five years to a woman was one of those things that made him ponder. “People change. I’m one of those people who change.” Steady on, Representative-elect; you have changed quite enough already.

Santos has also promised to “be effective” and “good.” There is no reason to assume that he will be either, but that’s merely in line with his résumé. Any politician claiming achievement ahead of attainment is a clown to be celebrated before the guillotine of real expectations.

 

 

 

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28 comments

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  1. Phil Pryor

    A lying people in a lying society, fuelled by a lying history, everday lying political statements, advertising, T V, movies, behaviour, superficialities, grossness, exaggerations, inflated egos, indecencies, larcenies, misbehaviours, double crossings, is just intolerable, untrustworthy, totally alienated from a decent reality. This is the USA, and the republicans are leaders in this field.

  2. Michael Taylor

    My favourite Santos moment was after being caught out lying over his claim to be Jewish. His response was that he actually said “Jew-ish”.

    Satirists will have fun with this guy.

  3. Terence Mills

    Michael

    Satirists may have fun with Santos but will the Republicans disown him ?

    In Nassau County New York it is clearly an advantage for a politician to be Jew-ish
    and gay-ish !

  4. Barry

    Their all F in liars,it used to be standard joke about never trust a used car saleman,but these narsocistic greedy power and money hungry poloticians make the previous sound like choir boys,and of course the sheep keep believing them and voting for them,it never ends

  5. GL

    To me he’s plainly and simply a grifter and con artist whose first and last thoughts are all about money. Perfect candidate for the rabid repugnicans and ‘strayan liberals.

  6. Rhonda

    Resume – To restart an activity that was previously put on hold!
    Resumé – A history of employment and related activities sent to a prospective employer!
    Résumé – A nonsense word that people keep mistaking for the spelling of Resumé!

  7. Henry Rodrigues

    If that creep Trump can get away with claims of bone spurs in his heels and rocks in his head, so can his followers.. The American politicians have descended into a moral vacuum, say anything, profess allegiance to anything, claim qualifications about anything , wrap yourself in the flag, spout nationalistic slogans and bang on about the second amendment, and the money will keep rolling in. Its all about the money and subsequently the influence and power it can buy.
    Kevin McCarthy, Lindsay Graham, Mitch McConnell can attest to that fact. The last guy to try it was Herschel Walker, except he was too stupid and not very credible. Probably too many concussions during his football career.

    But wait, there’ll be more waiting to try the lucky dip.

  8. Kerri

    Be interesting to know what percentage of “embellishing” politicians skew right or left?

  9. wam

    What we believe to be true used to be true but now what a computer ‘says’ is truer than you. The Transport Dept computer records show that my licence was issued January 1 1975. I remember getting my licence in September 1957. When I asked the Dept officer if he knew what happened xmas 1074, he answered ‘no’. The story needed to get a job is edited to get the job. For those who are who are not honest an exaggeration be comes a lie, a failure becomes a success and a partial truth becomes a triumph. I have read many applications for jobs, promotion, the 3 levels of master teacher and, apart from 1, felt there was an element of ‘strengthening’.
    But these were not political and the next step was interview.
    How would Santos or any politician go if there was an interview or an AEC website with their claims??

  10. Terence Mills

    Kevin McCarthy has, at time of posting, had nine attempts at winning the position of Speaker in the US Congress but he just can’t muster the numbers and he won’t go away. He seems to embody everything people hate about politics. He’s unprincipled, dishonest, vindictive, and focused solely on gaining and maintaining power.

    A feature of politics in Republican America appears to be that you don’t accept democratic processes and if you can’t win by legitimate processes you endeavour to undermine the system ; as we speak, the Murdoch Fox News spruikers (Tucker Carlson/ Sean Hannety) are seeking to attack those holding out against McCarthy and to belittle and generally harass them into caving in.

    McCarthy seems to have much in common with George Santos and, of course their mentor Donald Trump. When will he accept that democracy requires him to stand aside and allow another, more acceptable, candidate to stand ?

  11. GL

    Ten attempts and still going for that Trump sycophant and arse licker.

  12. Terence Mills

    GL

    Now eleven times he has been voted down : he keeps bribing his opposition with concessions but will not accept the fact that they just don’t want him.

  13. GL

    Apart from, as you said, ” He’s unprincipled, dishonest, vindictive, and focused solely on gaining and maintaining power.” There is also the fact that he is a The Donald sycophant and arse licker extraordinaire and is most likely can’t stand the thought of being labelled a “Loosseerr!” by his hero who is so big and strong (apologies to Looney Tunes).

  14. Roswell

    Matt Gaetz nominating Trump as the new Speaker. That’s a “WTF!” moment.

  15. Roswell

    Rhonda, that’s how they spell it in North America: résumé.

  16. Terence Mills

    To lose one vote may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose eleven looks like carelessness and an inability to count !

    Apologies to Oscar Wilde

  17. Terence Mills

    Michael

    Love it !

    After thirteen votes on the floor of the US Congress Kevin McCarthy now says : ‘I have the votes’ to become speaker’
    He says he has enough votes to win election as speaker of the House on Friday night (US time).

    There must be a name for this new Trumpian approach to democracy where you never accept the outcome of a vote until it goes your way.

  18. Michael Taylor

    Many people may have forgotten that George Santos was one of only a handful of people to ever walk on the Moon.

  19. GL

    Michael,

    He was also the first person to walk on Mars and fly the the first ftl spaceship. I heard about those two super top secrets from a photo of an eagle I found in a bin outside a certain ex-prime minsters office.

  20. Roswell

    Michael, I know that guy in the top left-hand corner. He’s a great bloke.

  21. Roswell

    He owes me $20.

  22. Harvard

    One the reasons Santos gets bagged is that he is a Republican. Republicans stand closer in belief system to the rights expressed in the US Constitution, in particular, the First Amendment and its concept of freedom of speech. MSM, Google, Facebook do not want free speech to exist. Modern slavery needs obedience; freedom of speech and the exchange of different ideas is a threat to oxygen thieves in the media, eg Murdoch. I would have added Twitter to that group of bad actors but that platform seems to have turned a corner since Elon Musk took over.

  23. NASA fan

    Who photo-shopped the background of stars out of that Earth shot?

  24. Canguro

    @Roswell, Jan 7th, 9:00 pm; you might well know that bloke in the top LH corner of the pic, and he might well be a great bloke, but you do know that he thinks we’re idiots, don’t you? Not sure if that implies he also feels empathetic for our mob, but his assessment of our general capacity as husbanders of one of the universe’s organic orbs and nurseries of high-level organic forms is pretty accurate, wouldn’t you say?

  25. Roswell

    NASA fan,

    You’re concerned about the stars being photoshopped out, but say nothing about the ET being added.

    Maybe, like me, you don’t think it was photoshopped. 😁

  26. Roswell

    Canguro, that particular bloke has an IQ of 285. He’s far too intelligent to even bother giving us a thought. We’re like ants to him.

  27. Canguro

    Roswell, touché! The perfect riposte. Well spoken. Hilarious, actually. A man needs a good sense of humour to balance these seemingly darkening days and our psychological tendency to doom-obsess. At times when I’m swept on the waves of the psilocybin surf, I like to remind myself of the relative position we occupy within the universe; diddly-squat, not to diminish the awesome awareness that we’re not a rock, plant, reptile, or for that matter, any of our mammalian brethren. Still, a long way to go, evolutionarily speaking, before we catch up to your 285IQ buddy. Ants, yes siree.

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