The Contemporary Presidency: Presidential Lies



In a republic based on the consent of the governed, citizens need accurate information to make informed decisions about elections and public policy. The purpose of this article is to present some examples of lies in the modern presidency and argue that there is a range of lies, from those that are justifiable to those that are unacceptable. The presidential lies under consideration will be broken into three broad categories: justifiable lies, lies to prevent embarrassment (including some serious breaches of the public trust), and lies of policy deception. The article concludes that we, as citizens, have the responsibility to examine the context of each lie before judging how it should be weighed in the overall assessment of a president.