Why Politicians Lie

Human nature being what it is, all men prefer a false promise to a flat refusal. At the worst the man to whom you have lied may be angry. That risk, if you make a promise, is uncertain and delayed, and it affects only a few. But if you refuse [to promise aid or a solution], you are sure to offend many, and that at once.

Quintus Tullius Cicero, 61 BC
A Handbook of Electioneering
Addressed to his brother Marcus Tullius Cicero who was running for office.

Put another way – people want politicians to lie to them in preference to telling them the truth if the truth is unpleasant. We get the politicians we deserve and should stop complaining about them. But that would require facing the truth so forget it. Or as mark Twain said: “A ______  [fill in the blank] is human, worse I can say of no man.” But I wouldn’t get depressed about all this; it (whatever is troubling) won’t last long – nothing does. Get a really good hamburger with fries.

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