Neil deGrasse Tyson  ‏@neiltyson
Politicians lie not because they're evil, but because they say what voters want to hear. So it's we who are the problem.
https://twitter.com/neiltyson/status/242656636177641472

Cartoon via:
http://gollygeeez.blogspot.ca/2010/02/liars-and-politiciansbut-i-repeat.html
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Arturo Gutierrez's profile photoeric peacock's profile photoDionne Waters's profile photoStephen Czaicki's profile photo
19 comments
 
I take minor issue with Dr. Neil on the grounds of false equivalence.  If both sides have only told one lie each in their entire history then the assertion all politicians lie is technically correct. However I dare say the scales of mendacity are skewed far to the right.
 
I like the phrase they use in the movie of the mask of zorro.
"A nobleman is nothing but a person who says one thing and thinks another"
 
+Don Denesiuk In my opinion, Neil's statement is ambiguous. He could be referring to all politicians or only to those who lie. It's a nitpick, yes, but I'm bored. :)
Ed Wiebe
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This isn't right at all. They lie. They lie to try to get ahead. They lie to seek advantage. They lie because they think they can get away with it. They lie because there are few consequences for lying. They lie because it's easy. I am not in any way responsible for the lies of a politician. I am the victim of their lies.

Let's not continue to let politicians get away with telling lies. Let's hold them accountable for what they claim.

Finally, people who tell lies as they try to get an advantage over others are evil. It's not murdering, raping and pillaging evil but it's still evil. These are not people we should have to trust to make decisions in our behalf.

The cartoon is cynical but sadly does seem to represent modern politics in the USA and elsewhere.
 
I have to wonder about the viability of a system that required all politicians to maintain fully transparent lives and limited their income. Would we see fewer people running for office? Would they just get better at hiding things?
 
You know how you don't let kids lie? You don't give them opportunity. Ask them "Did you have your hand in the cookie jar?" and they will lie (assuming they weren't supposed to have a cookie) tell them "I see you took a cookie" they will more likely fess up. Politicians who lie do it  because they can get away with it, just like kids, just like most liers - except I imagine the compulsive ones.
 
Thank you so much for saying that. I've been trying to get that point across for years. When you have an ignorant population, you get ignorant politicians. In an educated country the Republican Party wouldn't exist.
 
All politicians don't lie. There are some good ones out there.
 
As long as you have an audience who will believe the lies, it'll never stop. Repeat a lie often enough it becomes the truth to those who won't question anything.
 
This statement couldnt be further from the truth...Mr. Tyson you are sadly deceived.
 
Mr Tyson! Over the years, I've come to expect truth and wisdom from you. You are one of my favorite people to see on TV for that reason... but to say the population is responsible for the lies of politicians is leaning towards absurd.
+Ed Wiebe you sir are 110% right

+Phil Rounds. The only politician with integrity and honor and consistency I have seen on TV is Ron Paul. He is perhaps the only political figure who's statements today match exactly taped interviews from 20, 30 years ago.
Agree or disagree with the man, at least he actually has principles and sticks with them.
 
+eric peacock perhaps he should have said that we are complacent to their crimes? To blame us for what they do is a bit of victim blaming, and I'm not cool with that... I suspect his goal with this statement may be along the lines of a call to action to call politicians on their lies.
 
Dr Tyson is partially right here. Getting elected often requires telling people what they want to hear instead of the hard truth. An educated electorate would know the difference between self serving rhetoric and truth. The problem is many people would rather hear the lies that make them feel good than the true solutions that would ultimately improve their lives.

...and no, all politicians aren't liars. Anyone who isn't too lazy to check can tell the good from the bad. That's where "we" are to blame. When we don't educate ourselves about the issues or fail to use our "Baloney Detectors" the lies aren't apparent and we elect the liars. These people aren't born into office...we put them there.
 
Both valid points. I wish there were more we as private citizens could do to call out the liars and have them held accountable....
 
+eric peacock  Sorry.  RP's back-pedaled on everything from the racist comments in his newsletters, to the environment to women's rights and even the equal rights amendment. He takes money from white supremacist groups. I wouldn't vote for him if he were the last man on Earth.

You don't have to call out the liars. You just have to know who they are. Did you see the GOP convention? It was lie central!
 
Really? ..... Really? One of the few ppl ive done research on and im still that horribly misinformed?
How embarrasing
Laura W
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That's a terrible way to put it... that sounds like telling a victim of abuse that they are the problem not the abuser...

And I'm not saying that's the intent of the statement but it just doesn't sound very well thought out.
 
When you elect someone you are making the choice, not them. They speak and you get to agree....or not. What happens after that is YOUR decision. If you're well informed, you'll choose well. The penalty for lying or incompetance should be losing the election. As the American electorate, it's our duty to know the issues. This is essential to participating in a democracy.
 
I agree, like a fragment of a holographic plate:)) Our system is partisan, adversarial, competitive... They treat each other as opponents. They win races and reinforce our biases, and we celebrate it. so yes, we are to blame. But if we had no prejudices, no biases and facts ruled... omg, we would all wear white lab coats. and NASA would be fully funded, in a galaxy far far away. :-)
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