Politicians lie because the public wants to be lied to
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.
There are some exceptions to this. If you are a Democrat and you say that you "experimented" with Pot back when you went to college and now you "regret it", the public will accept that. Even moderate Republicans can get away with saying that back when they were a Democrat they used to smoke Pot. But a Democrat can't say that they still like to get high on the weekends and that it's a better and safer high than Beer. A person who admitted that would lose to someone who did the same thing and lied about it. And certainly a religious Republican could never admit to having smoked Pot at all. Having been touched by the evil drugs, they would be tainted for life! So you'll not find John Ashcroft admitting to having smoked as much as a cigarette.
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.
The year 2000 elections are coming up and Senator John Ashcroft (R-MO) is making the same mistake that Bob Dole did. "Vote for me, I'll cut your taxes", is Ashcroft's message on the economy. The public not only doesn't believe it, but doesn't want to believe it. Now that we've balanced the budget, the public wants to get rid of the national debt. If Ashcroft hopes to win in 2000, he's going to have to pick a better subject to lie about. Perhaps he could say he's going to return Christian morals to America. I think more people would be willing to buy that one.
Politics and Sex
Sex is a very touchy subject for voters. The Bible says that sex is only OK in the context of virgin marriage monogamy and we want our leaders to be "moral" people. However, we are the descendants of 3 billion years of sexual activity. Every living creature down to plant life wants to get laid. Among male candidates, males who have the drive, strength, leadership, and confidence to rise above the herd are usually very sexually active men. Throughout history, kings and other great men have usually had many lovers. Women are biologically attracted to men of power and authority. And men of power and authority have a hard time resisting the temptations of large numbers of beautiful women wanting to have sex. So the candidate is faced with having to lie about sex to get elected.
President Clinton is an example of this. In 1992 Jennifer Flowers came forward in an attempt to ruin Clinton's chances to become president and squealed on him. Clinton admitted to "wrongdoing" and then lied about Flowers. If Clinton hadn't lied about Flowers we might have ended up with 4 more years of Bush and an 800 billion dollar a year deficit. The public wanted Clinton to fix the economy, but they didn't want a president who had an open marriage. the President, after all, had to set the "moral standard" because he was on a "pedestal". The public wanted Clinton to not be the way Clinton is. So Clinton told the voters what they wanted to hear. Since American society can't face the reality of sex, politicians are required to lie about it. If a politician were to tell the truth about sex, most television stations couldn't put it on the air.
People expect to much
What should we expect from our politicians? Should we expect moral perfection? Or should we expect them to do the job they were hired to do? Back in ancient times kings were considered Gods. People didn't have books, television, and the Internet. The kings had absolute power and control over who lives and who dies. Virgins were tossed into volcanoes. These people knew how to party!
Things have changed since then. This is a democracy. We elect people to do a job. Our "leaders" really aren't leaders as much as public servants. They work for us. They are our employees. And we need to keep reminding them of that to keep them in their place, but that's a different subject. They don't wear a crown, they were a suit and get paid to do a job, and that job is to wisely spend the taxpayer's money and to pass laws to keep the good order of society.
I think that we need to judge a politician on the basis of how good of a job he does doing what we hired him to do. If we hire a painter to paint our house, we don't care what his sex life is as long as he's getting his work done. I think it's time to chop down the pedestal and put these people to work on taxes and budgets and leave the great moral questions to our fine religious leaders like Jimmy Swaggart.
In a perfect world politicians wouldn't lie. But when the voters elect politicians who lie over those who tell the truth then the voters shouldn't be surprised when they get caught being less that truthful. But in order for politicians to tell the truth, the voters are going to have to stop punishing honesty. The voters are going to have to be ready to face the truth and the hard decisions that the politicians have to face in passing fair laws that are good for the people. Some issues are tough issues and require tough choices and require a solution that is more complicated than a slogan. So when someone running for office tells you that global population is a real issue and it's not going away on it's own, listen to him.
Would Marc Perkel Lie if Elected?
Sure I would. Count on it. If I were faced with a situation where someone asked me if I was having sex with someone who I wasn't prepared to talk publicly about, I'd lie about it. Anyone would. I'm a single man and women in this culture won't have sex with you unless they're confident that you're not going to talk about it. I'm not going to tell the public the truth where the public doesn't want to hear it. This web site is about as truthful as it gets and I'm already telling more truth than the public wants to hear.