PoliticalProf has some thoughts. A snippet:
I want to suggest that there’s a different, more persuasive account for why politicians lie: They lie because we make them lie. They lie because when they lie, we reward—meaning vote for—them. And when they don’t lie, we punish them—by voting for the other candidate—who, of course, lied to us.
My point can be made in a single, dramatic example, although I am sure that many will resist. In his Democratic presidential nomination acceptance address in 1984, Walter Mondale famously said: “Let’s tell the truth. It must be done, it must be done. Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won’t tell you. I just did.”
Walter Mondale went on to lose to Ronald Reagan in the greatest electoral college defeat of all time, 525-13. After his reelection, Ronald Reagan raised taxes multiple times, including a massive shift in tax burden from corporations to individuals as a consequence of the 1986 tax reform act.
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