Posted by Marc on February 21, 2001 at 14:28:08:
The reasons politicians lie is because the public doesn't want to hear the truth. People want to hear what they want to hear. When two candidates are running and one of the tells the truth and the other says what the public wants to hear, the one who says what the public wants to hear wins the election. Thus, and there are exceptions to this, if you want to win an election, you better start lying, because the guy who's telling you the truth doesn't have a chance.
The 1988 presidential election is an example of this. You will recall the famous lie, "Reeeaaad myyy llliiipsss, nnoooo neeewww taaaxxxeeesss" was the famous lie that Bush told over and over again. Maybe Bush could say that the public misunderstood him and he was saying "Know new Taxes". I caught it at the time. I don't know why everyone else didn't see through it.
But Bush had to tell that lie because Dukakas said that in order to reverse the Reagan deficit, there's going to have to be a tax increase. But that's not what the public wanted to hear. The public wanted to be lied to. So Bush gave the public what they wanted. But had Bush told the truth, he would have lost the election to someone who would lie. In 1988 the public didn't want to hear that the Reagan debt was real and had to be paid back.
By 1992 the situation had changed. The deficit was growing exponentially and Bush didn't have a plan. "Read my lips" wasn't going to work twice. In 1992 the voters were ready for the truth about the deficit and wanted a man with a plan on how to fix it. In this case Clinton told the truth, but the public wanted to hear the truth and the Clinton plan had merit. Clinton run and one on the issue of fixing the economy and taking fiscal responsibility. But had Clinton run in 1988 and told the truth he would have lost. In 1992, the truth worked.
However, the public didn't want to hear the whole truth. When it came to smoking Pot, Clinton didn't inhale. That lie was a mistake. I'm willing to bet serious money that Clinton got stoned. The think is that we in America are living a lie when it comes to Pot. It's a harmless substance. Half the population has tried it, but it's illegal. To admit you smoked Pot is to admit that you knowingly and deliberately broke the law. And do we want to elect a person who knowingly and deliberately take the law into their own hands and breaks it? What kind of example does that set? Personally, I'm comfortable with it. People who never break the law scare me. But how can the voter justify voting for an admitted law breaker? It's simple. If you want to get elected, you're expected to lie about smoking Pot.
Since 1992 the American public has wanted to hear the truth about the economy. Clinton had turned the deficit around and the public was rewarded for having to face the hard facts of dealing with the economy. Had Clinton not kept his promise he wouldn't have had a chance in 1996. But by then the public knew that Clinton was serious. Bob Dole, who has won elections for 35 years by telling people the lies they wanted to hear was frustrated when they didn't work. Dole promised a 15% tax cut if people would just vote for him. How he was going to do that it one of the mysteries of the universe. In 1996 people didn't want to hear lies about the economy.
By the year 2000 people just topped caring. We all know George W. Bush is a liar but just about half the people voted for him because they are morons. And the other half sat still for the Supreme Court handing him the highest office in the land because they are tired of all of it.
Please give us something to believe in
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