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How Deceitful are Politicians?

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In the world of politics, how important is honesty?

Runs for a spot in political office are crucial. They get heated, intense, and often times integrity is thrown to the wayside. No one is perfect, and no one tells the truth all the time. But when someone is speaking to a body of people in hopes of governing them, the lies that they are telling suddenly become ultimately more important. The way a politician speaks can determine their whole career. They are representatives of the general populace, and knowing what to say, and more importantly what not to say, is vital to a good politician.

Citizens have to know who the politicians are, and most importantly, if they like them. Too often citizens are so set in their views and opinions that at the first sight of something different than themselves, they spew hatred. In politics there is no slack.

Going down the list of conversation items best to stay away from around the Christmas evening dinner table, politics might be the one that forever reigns at the top. While it’s a rather broad topic, opinions widely differ on each issue under the blanket term “politics”. This is wonderful, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. What happens is that the politicians running for some kind of office often get the votes of citizens who agree with them on any which issue.

What determines a good politician? It’s a hard question to answer. The ability to objectively judge what makes a good politician versus a bad politician seems to have been lost, buried beneath the mess of divided parties and harsh side taking. In the world of politics there is a ton of grey area, and yet a lot of times it is looked at in only black and white.

Are good politicians determined by their ability to govern or their compassion? Is it the skills they possess or the moral qualities they value? Does the ability to be a good leader lie in honesty or not?

When the candidates involved in the current presidential run are looked to for examples of such dishonesty, they’re picked apart by both journalists and citizens. The current presidential candidates are constantly criticized for their white lies, truth stretching, or, according to monologist and author Mike Daisey, storytelling.

“The lines between storytelling, personal mythology and lying aren’t bright or clear ones, and that’s because if it were true that all storytelling is lying, every single one of us is a liar” said Daisey in an article for The Guardian.

The issue of lying in politics can easily be turned into a form favoritism. People are likely to say that the candidate they support does not lie and any whom they do not support does.

The overlying problem though is that if someone tells lies, are they a good politician? It’s not an objective question, everyone lies. It turns the question into how fit anyone is to govern a group of people, especially when no one can be completely and always truthful.


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