The mistruths of politics

By Tom Purcell, Special to the Katy Times
Posted 2/23/23

There are no small number of accusations lately that—shocking as it may be—some of our politicians are lying to us.

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The mistruths of politics


There are no small number of accusations lately that—shocking as it may be—some of our politicians are lying to us.

Some Republicans shouted the “L” word during President Biden’s State of the Union Address, when he said Republicans wanted to end Social Security and Medicare.

Freshman Republican George Santos spun a lot of yarn during his campaign and many of the things he claimed—such as where he went to high school and college and many other things—were simply untrue.

And Biden himself, reports Reason, makes claims about his policies that makes his even supporters roll their eyes.

Reason refers to last summer's Inflation Reduction Act, which the president claimed would tame inflation, which does nothing to tame inflation, according to CBS News.

As Reason points out, all of our recent presidents have practiced in their share of mistruths:

“… Joe Biden hardly invented political lying, especially among presidents. His recent predecessors in the Oval Office lied about everything everywhere all at once (Donald Trump), health care policy (Barack Obama), pretexts for war and torture, (George W. Bush), and sex (Bill Clinton).”

And the truth is politicians tell mistruths because we want them to.

When advancing our country’s interests around the world, we want our leaders to be more clever than the dictators we want them to outwit, and cleverness often requires deception.

We punish politicians who tell us we are going to have to cut back on spending or the country will go broke—as we reward those who tell us not to worry about our $31 trillion debt and that we can most certainly afford more goodies for all.

I just wish we could be more honest about all of our mistruth.

If you are a Republican and can only see mistruth happening on the Democrat side—or a Democrat who only sees misinformation happening on the Republican side—you are not paying close enough attention.

How can you call Republican politicians “election deniers” for questioning the 2020 election without also referring likewise to the Democrats who made the very same claims about the 2016 election? Or vice versa?

How can you think that the 2016 election was the most corrupt in history (because your candidate lost) but the 2020 election was the most accurate, well-run election ever conducted (because your candidate won)?

I suppose the only thing that really is true about Republicans and Democrats was said by the great humorist Will Rogers:

“The more you read and observe about this politics thing, you got to admit that each party is worse than the other.”

What it comes down to is we get the leaders we deserve, and if we want them to tell us mistruths, we will keep not addressing our very real challenges—but we will be entertained by fictional solutions that won’t do any of us any good.

I suppose the only saving grace is that the often ridiculous promises and claims that are made by our politicians are never as bad as they could be, as the federal government is the most inefficient organization on the face of the earth.

As Will Rogers explains, that’s something we should be grateful for:

“Those who complain about the high cost of government should be glad we’re not getting all the government we’re paying for.”

Purcell, creator of the infotainment site, which features pet advice he’s learning from his beloved Labrador, Thurber, is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist. Email him at