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The Court of Public Opinion

Reader comment on item: From "Not a Crook" to "Not a Liar": A Potted History of Political Denials

Submitted by Dave, Jun 9, 2017 at 17:31

In a democracy, all politicians must be judged favorably by the voters in order to be successful. The main means of keeping on John Q Public's good side is to emphasize the positive: The great accomplishments during your tenure as well as the even rosier future that you will bring about. If you are a newbie in the running, you make all kinds of fantastic promises - like moving the embassy to Jerusalem. You are selling yourself, and a good sales pitch is always expansive and upbeat.

When the rubber meets the road, however, sometimes there's a mishap. Maybe you got caught giving your son-in-law a big job, or some of your staff were in cahoots with dictators, or some shady business dealings came to light. Your strategy is to ignore it all in the hope that it will go away, and then vehemently deny it. If you're at the point of protesting the purity of your character in the light of the allegations, then it's probably because the evidence to convict you in the court of public opinion is so overwhelming that you are desperate enough to drop the smile, and must finally go negative. Your poll numbers will plummet.
In the court of public opinion, you are innocent until you say that you are not guilty.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (3) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
The Court of Public Opinion [218 words]DaveJun 9, 2017 17:31239537
Not Limited to Politicians [18 words]Joel LevineJun 9, 2017 13:01239533
I'm not a liar [36 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Jan KaoterJun 9, 2017 10:52239529

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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