Michael Blake revisits Presidential lies

Submitted by Kate Goldyn on
President Joe Biden - Win McNamee Getty Images

In 2020, Michael Blake wrote for The Conversation about accounts of former President Trump’s frequent lying and making misleading claims. He examined the fact that every U.S. president has lied and that these lies can be morally defensible. Critics of President Joe Biden are now insisting that he, too, is a liar, and that the media is ignoring pointing out his false statements. Blake has revisited the issue in a new article.

The frequency of these criticisms would seem to indicate that most people do not want a president who lies. And yet a recent study of presidential deception found that all American presidents – from Washington to Trump – have told lies, and knowingly so, in their public statements. The most effective of presidents have sometimes been effective precisely because they were skilled at manipulation and deception.

As a political philosopher with a focus on how people try to reason together through political disagreement, I argue that what matters most is not whether a president lies, but when and why he does so.

Presidents who lie to save their own public image or career are unlikely to be forgiven. However, those who appear to lie in the service of the public are often celebrated.

Read the entire new article on The Conversation: “All American presidents have lied – the question is why and when.”

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