My Fellow Americans,
Today we face a time of great challenges and opportunities. Our generation is confronted with both great promise and peril. The only way that we will meet these challenges is by moving forward.
Unfortunately for too long we have been held back by my political opponents who lack my courage at confronting these challenges with sensible common sense solutions developed by political activists in secretive conferences.
These racist extremists continue to divide our great nation by accusing me deceptiveness and dishonesty. They politicize every scandal involving me while refusing to accept responsibility for all the scandals about them that I have politicized.
Let me take this opportunity to address one of their slanders. It was shouted at me by a member of Congress in a moment that had no parallel since Reconstruction.
Yes I have lied. And I am not ashamed of it.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to lying. There are some who say that I should lie all the time and there are others who say that I should never lie at all.
It seems clear to me that both approaches are unrealistic.
I have far too much respect for the American people to lie to them all the time. Far too much respect. And constantly lying to the American people would undermine our system of democracy which I wholeheartedly believe to be the finest in the world.
But at the same time, I cannot tell the truth all the time. No elected official can.
Great presidents like Abraham Lincoln, FDR and JFK have all lied to the American people. And I think that it is shameful of my political opponents to demean history’s greatest leaders by implying that there is something wrong with my constant lying.
I am reminded of Thomas Jefferson who said, “Deceit is the grease that lubricates the wheels of democracy.” Or of Thomas Paine who wrote, “Never trust a president who does not lie.”
We no longer live in a simple world in which there are clear differences between lies and truth. As the world becomes more complex, there are no longer easy answers. Sometimes in dealing with the difficult issues that confront us, the truth turns out to be a lie. And the lie the truth.
To tackle the challenges of a new world with its social networks of infrastructures and its intangible elements, we must lie in order to tell the truth. And we must teach our children to lie so that they will be prepared to cope with the challenges of tomorrow.
Every great man in history has also been a liar. To lie is to explore the creative possibilities that every situation has to offer. If we are going to compete for our place in history in a more complex world, we must think outside the box, we must push the limits.
We must lie.
That is why I have lied. I did not lie to protect myself. You can believe me when I say that. I lied for the greater good. I lied so that our children would have health care, so that veterans would avoid being burdened by unnecessary lifesaving tests and so that those who obstruct our common vision for a better future would be shut down by the IRS.
I lied because I believed that we are capable of more. And that is why I ask you to join me in lying for a better tomorrow.