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Editorial

The “Political Lie” – Machiavelli’s Revenge

From the time of diplomat and philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527), but even before, the question of whether or not (and to what extent) politicians should tell the truth to the people has been asked.

Although this question seems simple, it is not.

This is a difficult question because societies and citizens, while insisting they want to hear the truth from politicians, usually punish the messenger who brings them bad news.

It is no coincidence, then, that ‘political lies,’ as they are called, are usually the way in which a politician communicates with his constituents to secure their vote.

Political falsehoods have grown over the centuries – and the more politicians benefit from them, the bigger they get.

The facts of the events of January 6 – when the mob invaded the Capitol looking for, among other things, the vice president's head on a platter and causing the death of five people – should have been indisputable. It was unthinkable that politicians would deny such facts.

And yet. A lawmaker from Texas – despite photos showing that his own life was in danger – claimed that the mob raid was like a "normal tourist visit" to the Capitol.

And when a vote was held in the House of Representatives for an investigation about the January 6 events, only 35 Republicans voted in favor – although it passed 252 to 175.

In the Senate, it will take 10 Republicans ‘to cross the line’ for it to pass, however, which is impossible.

They are closing their eyes because they are afraid of the wrath of former President Trump, whom they want to protect from the possibility that discoveries will reveal the extent of his responsibility for the events that took place on that horrific day.

But when politicians refuse to acknowledge reality, events that they themselves lived through and that were recorded everywhere, with the news projected on a global scale, then what will they acknowledge?

And if the people are so vulnerable to political lies – knowing that their elected representatives are lying, but to be indifferent to it – then they have no one else to blame but themselves.

Machiavelli is the political philosopher most often criticized as “the perfect immoralist,” known for the idea that "the end justifies the means."

This is exactly what some politicians believe. They are brazenly lying in order to secure a better political future for themselves, ignoring the consequences for the country.

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