Bill Murray coined it best when he said, “When we lie to the government, it’s a felony. But when they lie to us it’s politics.” Since it’s the year of another presidential election, the art of deception is everywhere. If anything is true in politics, it’s what’s true about it: all politicians do it, and deception is a basic job requirement. You may really like a particular politician for his or her accomplishments, and passionately hate another for lying. Yet somewhere else, another person hates the same politician you like for being “a liar,” and pushes the candidate you hate for having done some fantastic things with just as much passion as you do in opposite form.

It’s an ever-going merry-go-round headache that makes Excedrin and coffee so in demand in America.

The 2016 candidates and the art of deception

Both of the current candidates are proven liars and therefore more than qualified politicians as far as deception is concerned. Trump’s known for asserting claims that aren’t facts without any substantial proof. For instance, he once said that the unemployment rate is 23% when speaking about all the jobs he has created. This assertion of his about unemployment was rebutted by the Washington Post. Also, while he’s created jobs, nobody is indeed sure where all those jobs are—in America or overseas. As for Clinton, she seems to win first place in the art of lying, and often follows one lie by lying again to cover things up.

For instance, when asked if she had ever been subpoenaed, she said, “no,” and it was of course proven later that she was during the investigation into the Obama administration over Benghazi. So she recanted that lie with another lie, saying she thought the question referred to her Emails. Even better, they both typically lie about each other in order to create the vision of their opponent in the American people’s eyes as a creature with some horns and a mustache.

What politicians accomplish through lying

So, why do they lie so much? Getting elected into office is the primary responsibility of any politician. Without winning that election, the politician can’t keep all the spoken promises. And in this country, the only real way anybody can win an election is through deception or doing something that seems dirty.

When a candidate won’t go so far as to grovel in mud to win that election and actually displays some principles, they are often criticized for not being willing to do whatever it takes to win. Which seems very odd, since basically a candidate that won’t do anything to win an election is actually demonstrating he or she isn’t a demoralized backstabber that will cheat and brown nose to the top during an election. But Americans are almost a bit schizophrenic about this: they say they hate politicians that lie, but they also hate the wimpy candidate that won’t go all the way to win the candidacy. It’s a catch-22.

Anyway, morals aren’t really the name of the game in politics, because so many more people are willing to do whatever they have to for the power of winning an election, there’s no way the very moral candidate can find victory based on ethical premises alone.

There’s a slippery slope excuse many politicians use to cover up the “bad” that they do. When a person must do bad to achieve good, then the consequence means he or she is acting with morality. Yet, this is a dangerous way to think. If a politician always believes he or she can justify bad acts because there is a good goal in mind, there’s the real possibility all that person might accomplish is destruction even if the end intentions are really benevolent.

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