"The loss of candor is grievous, and in my opinion it may yet prove to be mortal, because if we cannot discuss our problems in plain speech that describes reality, it is unlikely that we will be able to solve them."
Alexander Haig
(1924- ) Secretary of State for President Ronald Reagan
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Reader comments about this quote:
I would really like a citation AND a context for this quote. Google returns no results, even for a small portion of the quote, and even without an author.
 -- Lonny Eachus, Spokane     
    Guess if you are leading an Army you need to speak what you mean and mean what you speak, with no prose or flowery branching. Actually I agree overall unless you have time to entertain and impress others, and enjoy finding interesting way to communicate. I always enjoyed talking with people who were more intelligent that I because it is both educational and stimulating. More often, in everyday life, it is better if not necessary to cut to the chase.
     -- Judith, New Mexico     
    not shooting the messenger, while looking at the stand alone comment. The despots and otherwise demonic power mongers that have sufficiently changed the meaning of words have eliminated the concepts of individual rights, freedom, and liberty for the many. Such concepts are no longer perceived in the minds of men (the hearts may be a different story) to even be discussed, let alone acted upon. When plain speech can not describe a free reality (by way of example: a reality described as free that includes compelled compliance, license, victimless crimes, and larceny with impunity), candor's integrity, honesty, and openness' becomes a grievous loss indeed and tyranny is unlikely to be solved..
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    True but politicians and generals seldom do this. A person must also and often keep his/her own counsel. There are wolves at every turn to twist and interpret everything you say or write. More often than not candor should be avoided in favor of a measured word, a concern for nuance with the person with whom you are interacting, be it spouse, neighbor, co-worker etc. On the other hand when something is BS on occasion it may be best to say so but the reasonable person should find a better way to say so.
     -- Waffler, Smith     
    I'd love to see the Kenyan in the WH describe the situation in Buenas Aires NP in Arizona in plain words. Why have we allowed Mexican insurgents to take over a stretch of American soil that runs three counties deep into the US? And why is he doing "nothing: about it? http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/06/16/closes-park-land-mexico-border-americans/
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    Sounds like an indictment of political correctness, made about 150 years too late. I give only 3 stars because I am ignorant of the context of this quote, making it little more than a statement of the obvious.
     -- Justin, Elkland     
    Justin, you stole my thunder. Political correctness is perfectly described in this quote. Fear of upsetting our muslim "friends" led to the murder of eleven people in Ft. Hood, Texas. PC is ruining what's left of our country.
     -- jim k, Austin,Tx     
    Candor can get you killed or save your life, you just have to know when to use it. Editor, whats your connection with AFRA?
     -- RBESRQ     
    ;-) Good quote - -I don't think Haig said it, though. He was a master of spin. When being accused of lying in 1983 he said, "That's not a lie, it's a terminological inexactitude." Sorry but you don't get to be in positions of power with the truth -- you get there by keeping it hidden! Why don't Americans value honesty enough to impeach every liar in government? Clinton showed us that even impeached he could get away with such answers as "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is." ;-) Liars all.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
    Candor, Frankness, plainness of speach . I do agree with RBESRQ can get you killed or save your life or a nation's life. To speak too plainly offends the learned. The common man will hear plain speach and with an illustration be convinced to understanding. The truth is stranger than fiction. A natural progression is taking place not under the control of government but only observed by government. Over throw by way of emigrants partial to there religious beliefs began before the civil war in our country. And now is being repeated again, with another contrary to our foundation. They do not like us but only want what we have. The old battle for the new world resorces continues. We were sold out by our leaders when they assumed ownership over our property and persons. Or should I say allowed the lenders to claim ownership by there lies and promises. By the way six figure incomes to administers of safety net institutions in local areas distributing to the poor and needy is a gross misuse of funds. Obama's highway money is a joke. Government funded building projects employing the emigrants at union scale is a slap in our face. Then meanwhile cartels and gang wars, prostitution, 18 year old strip clubs exsploiting the youth are allowed to operate. sanctioned by local government. Homeless Americans walk the city streets, while raises are given to the administrators building bigger houses. Driving cars fit for a king. enough is enough ! When we were a nation of farmers with the barter system not long ago, we were free to survive, by the sweat of our brow . building that we needed along the way. Our throw away society will not survive, and to entice others in this life stile rather than return people to a natural balance with nature is one of the greatest wrongs committed by greedy corperations, individuals, who think an i phone is better than a fishing pole, a plow, a modest piece of ground with a house built to last 200 years or more. We as a nation separated ourselves to have these good ways afforded to our children. but they have been enticed away, stolen. Corporate farms owning all the land, wealthy individuals claiming all the land and water while pushing the poor to the city streets. Rome taxing the world and enslaving the poor to do their bidding. playing upon the greed of individuals to sell out their neighbors for a piece of bread. Or a bigger farm or ranch. Check the history out by those still alive. The largest cities are a canker upon the planet spreading greed and sickness. unsustainable. The wickedness of man given a place to grow. Give a man a place to live and feed himself, and not be a slave to an unnatural way of life. Protection money the warlords demand. Our current way of life for most.
     -- Ron, s     
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