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Quotes of the day

Published Wednesday, August 08, 2012 @ 8:06 AM EDT
Aug 08 2012

The unrelenting, unchallenged mendacity that completely permeates Mitt Romney's campaign efforts prompts today's collection of quotations on lying.

A big lie is more plausible than truth.
-Ernest Hemingway

A gaffe occurs not when a politician lies, but when he tells the truth.
-Michael Kinsley

A liar in public life is a lot more dangerous than a full, paid up Communist, and I don't care who he is.
-Harry S Truman

A little lie is like a little pregnancy- it doesn't take long before everyone knows.
-C.S. Lewis

All men can be led to believe the lie they want to believe.
-Italo Bombalini

All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies.
-John Arbuthnot

Americans detest all lies except lies spoken in public or printed lies.
-E.W. Howe

Among all the world's races, some obscure Bedouin tribes possibly apart, Americans are the most prone to misinformation. This is not the consequence of any special preference for mendacity, although at the higher levels of their public administration that tendency is impressive. It is rather that so much of what they themselves believe is wrong.
-John Kenneth Galbraith

By means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people believe that heaven is hell- and hell heaven. The greater the lie, the more readily it will be believed.
-Adolf Hitler

Do not consider it proof just because it is written in books, for a liar who will deceive with his tongue will not hesitate to do the same with his pen.

Half a truth is often a great lie.
-Benjamin Franklin

How is the world ruled, and how do wars start? Diplomats tell lies to journalists, and they believe what they read.
-Karl Kraus

How many times do you get to lie before you are a liar?--Michael Josephson

How readily do we believe a lie when it fosters in us a high opinion of ourselves.
-Charles H. Spurgeon

I always divide people into two groups. Those who live by what they know to be a lie, and those who live by what they believe, falsely, to be the truth.
-Christopher Hampton

I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point- race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.
-Molly Ivins

I don't believe the Democrats or Republicans are lying to us. I think that every dirty, rotten, lowdown thing they say about each other is true.
-A. Ray Lambson

I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends... that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.
-Adlai E. Stevenson II

I have never used an illegal drug in my life. Also, I have never told a lie.
-Tom Lehrer

I like to do my principal research in bars, where people are more likely to tell the truth or, at least, lie less convincingly than they do in briefings and books.
-P.J. O'Rourke

If forty million people say a foolish thing it does not become a wise one, but the wise man is foolish to give them the lie.
-W. Somerset Maugham

If you begin by saying, “Thou shalt not lie,” there is no longer any possibility of political action.
-Jean-Paul Sartre

In politics, a lie unanswered becomes truth within 24 hours.
-San Francisco Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr.

It is always the best policy to tell the truth, unless, of course, you are an exceptionally good liar.
-Jerome K. Jerome

It is better to be defeated on principle than to win on lies.
-Arthur Calwell

It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place.
-H.L. Mencken

It is sometimes necessary to lie damnably in the interests of the nation.
-Hilaire Belloc

It's not a lie, it's a terminological inexactitude.
-Alexander Haig

Liars can mask their lies, but no man can put on the look of simple honesty.
-John Gardner

Loyalty to your country should never require you to lie about it.
- Joseph Sobran

Lying is an elementary means of self-defense.
-Susan Sontag

Lying is the same as alcoholism. Liars prevaricate even on their deathbeds.
-Anton Chekhov

Lying to ourselves is more deeply ingrained than lying to others.
- Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky

Men are liars. We'll lie about lying if we have to. I'm an algebra liar. I figure two good lies make a positive.
-Tim Allen

Men hate those to whom they have to lie.
-Victor Hugo

My father had a deep and lifelong contempt for politicians in general. “They tell lies,” he used to say with wonder, “even when they don't have to.”--Gore Vidal

Never ask a question when you know the answer is going to be a lie.
- Chuck Lorre

No one ever lies. People often do what they have to do to make to make their story sound right.
-William Ginsberg (Monica Lewinsky's lawyer)

People do not believe lies because they have to, but because they want to.
-Malcolm Muggeridge

Political language- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
-George Orwell

Reason is poor propaganda when opposed by the yammering, unceasing lies of shrewd and evil and self-serving men.
-Robert A. Heinlein

Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.
-Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle which fits them all.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes

The average between a lie and the truth is still a lie.
-Walter Mears

The best time to listen to a politician is when he's on a stump on a street corner in the rain late at night when he's exhausted. Then he doesn't lie.
-Theodore H. White

The cruelest lies are often told in silence.
-Robert Louis Stevenson

The first thing a man will do for his ideals is lie.
-Joseph A. Schumpeter

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie- deliberate, contrived and dishonest- but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.
-John F. Kennedy

The liar's punishment is not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else.
-George Bernard Shaw

The man who fears no truths has nothing to fear from lies.
-Thomas Jefferson

The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell the truth.
-H.L. Mencken

The more lies are told, the more important it becomes for the liars to justify themselves by deep moral commitments to high-sounding objectives that mask the pursuit of money and power.
-Bertram Gross

The polygraph looks for abrupt increases in heart rate, blood pressure and perspiration. The polygraph is, therefore, a highly reliable detector of orgasms. But does it detect lies? Only if you're lying about having an orgasm.
-Robert Park

The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.
-Andre Gide

The truth about a man lies first and foremost in what he hides.
-Andre Malraux

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.
-Terry Pratchett

There are people who lie simply for the sake of lying.
-Blaise Pascal

There is no point in asking a man a question until you have established whether he has any reason to lie to you.
-Ken Follet

There is no worse lie than a truth misunderstood by those who hear it.
-William James

They say that in the end truth will triumph, but it's a lie.
-Anton Chekhov

They should have picked a different city to name after a man who reputedly never told a lie.
-Doug Larson

Under current law, it is a crime for a private citizen to lie to a government official, but not for the government official to lie to the people.
- Donald M. Fraser

Well, sure, the government lies, and the newspapers lie. But in a democracy, they aren't the same lies.
-Alexis A. Gilliland

When two opposite points of view are expressed with equal intensity, the truth does not necessarily lie exactly halfway between them. It is possible for one side to be simply wrong.
-Richard Dawkins

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