Even Compulsive Liars Can Become President of the United States

Throughout history US politicians have been misleading people and lying their way into the  presidency and government positions. Demagogy and lies have been their best weapons to win US elections over the last two centuries.

By: Lázaro Fariñas

Email: digital@juventudrebelde.cu

2012-10-17 | 14:19:42 EST

Most US politicians are inveterate liars. Throughout history they’ve been misleading people and lying their way into the presidency and government positions. Demagogy and lies have been their best weapons to win US elections over the last two centuries. They will make whatever promises you’d like if it means winning your vote.  

In addition, the US electoral system makes it easier for politicians to change and adapt their fabrications depending on the state they are campaigning in. This is because electoral votes in the US are awarded on a statewide, winner-take-all basis, meaning voters are not allowed to vote directly for the president.

In some cases, the president-elect is not the candidate who won the most votes nationally. In 2000, for instance, Al Gore won the popular vote for president ─ nearly half million votes over Bush─ while being denied victory over George W. Bush because of a second-place finish in electoral votes.

It means that US presidents are not necessarily elected by a majority vote. The state’s electoral vote is what matters in the end, and that is where politicians concentrate their efforts. Depending on the state, politicians transform their campaign focus and demagogic speeches to adjust to the reality of particular territories.

What both sides recognize is the effect that the winner-take-all rules have on campaigns. Candidates who are far ahead or far behind in a state have no reason to waste time and money on them. Seemingly, some states matter more than others.

But Republican Party candidate Mitt Romney’s compulsive lying is just too much. In a recent debate, Barack Obama’s rival for the US presidency fought tooth and nail to defend everything he had attacked in his presidential campaign over the last year, in the hope of getting Republican support for his candidacy.

When campaigning for the Republican primaries, Romney said and did no matter what to win the approval of the ultra-rightwing and reactionary Tea Party, which at first was hesitant about endorsing the candidacy of the Massachusetts ex-governor for not considering him conservative enough. But he finally got them to endorse his presidential candidacy by expressing his views as conservatively as possible.

However, after verbally attacking half of the US population with uncaring remarks, Romney most likely won’t stand a chance at winning the November election. Whether we like it or not, Barack Obama seems the lesser of two evils to become the US president. 

*Lazaro Fariñas is a Cuban journalist who lives in Miami.  

Translated by ESTI

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