Face the Facts: Lying During the Presidential Campaign

By Nick Tulli

Ask any average citizen about their stance on big issues in American politics, like tax cuts or foreign policy, and I can assure you that you would finish the discussion more confused than when you started.

Politics is rapidly evolving into a cheap game of “he-said, she-said,” and both presidential candidates this year seem to be experts.

In the rapidly expanding world of multimedia, political fact-checking websites and companies have gained popularity among those concerned with United States politics. For instance, PolitiFact.com, a non-partisan political fact-checking website and winner of a Pulitzer prize, has a Twitter page that has accumulated more than 150,000 followers.

But my question is why should political fact-checking websites be necessary in the first place?

During just an hour and a half of the presidential debate on Tuesday, October 16, PolitiFact.com spit out 43 tweets. Not counting tweets that were website advertisements, 33 tweets in approximately 90 minutes were compilations of fact checks, each containing up to about 10 fact checks per tweet posted. What’s even worse is the high number of statements that the candidates made that were found to be false. Now, PolitiFact deserves a round of applause for its hard work checking facts during the debate, but if these candidates are battling for a position as enormously important as the President of the United States of America, shouldn’t they be expected to tell the truth?

Right now, and for centuries, the United States has been comprised of believers in the Christian faith. Currently, over 50 percent of the country calls themselves Christians, including one of the Presidential candidates, Barack Obama. Mitt Romney is a Mormon, a faith that teaches morals and ideals very similar to . If both of these men believe in such morals, why is lying such a big part of their campaign?

I would argue that the candidates know when they’re lying. I’ve heard the argument that they don’t enough times already and would like to toss it aside now. Let’s face it, if Mitt Romney and Barack Obama really don’t know the facts, we have a bigger problem on our hands than whether they’re purposely lying.

This issue no longer belongs to one side of the political spectrum or the other. Conservatives and Liberals, Democrat and Republicans alike, the game of American politics has officially taken a turn for the worse. Though many in Penn Manor High School have very pronounced political stances (myself included), people of all beliefs can see that this new form of politics isn’t a very pretty one.

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