Can anyone become president without lying? Without misrepresenting their opponent? Without using people as a means to an end? I don’t think anyone can. And I have no idea how a nation would go about reversing the ratchet effect successfully.
Mataconis categorizes types of lies:
Lying in order to cover-up a potential crime, for example, is still political suicide, as are the kind of lies that John Edwards told about his personal life. Fourteen years ago, Bill Clinton learned that lying under oath could lead to an Impeachment proceeding, though most Americans came to believe that his particular form of lying should not be punished by removal from office. But when it comes to telling a “lie” about a piece of legislation, or misrepresenting the facts for political purposes, which we have come over the last two decades or so to refer to as “spin,” though, the American people do indeed seem to have just decided to accept the fact that politicians lie and there isn’t a whole lot they can do about it.