Column: Should it be illegal for politicians to lie while campaigning for office?



Imagine that a state creates a “ministry of truth” whose job it is to referee elections to make sure that candidates and activists didn’t insinuate, exaggerate or otherwise spin their messaging. Any political speech the truth-o-crats determined to be insufficiently candid would carry criminal penalties.

Sounds like a parable about the dangers of taking “clean elections” too far, right? Or a short story by George Orwell or Kurt Vonnegut?

In the American tradition of political free-for-all, the idea that an omnipotent censor would vet stump speeches and ads against some government-designed Truth-o-meter is a joke.

 

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