Barack Obama recently called Mitt Romney a bull******* in an interview. This, of course, tells us more about Obama than it does about Romney. But what does it say about us? The Founding Fathers knew.

It’s been noted, mostly by humorists, that Romney continuously expressed his agreement with Obama across a range of issues: drone warfare, Iran, Afghanistan, even Iraq. He tried to manufacture differences by suggesting that he would have done more sooner. But this all sounded flaccid; Romney seemed desperate to draw some contrast with a foreign policy that he embraces.

One of the best-kept secrets in American education is that the 26 letters of the English alphabet stand for only 44 sounds. Learning to read with phonics programs helps students recognize the different letter combinations that form the various sounds.

Are electronic voting machines really a good idea? Sure, after the 2000 election, with its hanging chads and Florida early-bird-special voters who couldn’t distinguish between Pat Buchanan and Al Gore on a ballot, there was a drumbeat for modernization. “Why is the United States in this day and age still using paper ballots?!” they asked. “We need cutting-edge technology.” But they call it a paper trail for a reason. Do we really want to trade this for an electron trail?

By looking at such diverse thinkers from the past as Machiavelli, Mosca, and Schumpeter, I show, first, that truth is not a virtue in politics and, secondly, why this is so.

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