In the fantastical event that I am elected into public office, my tenure will be made of a series of disappointments to nearly everybody. However, I will have the distinction of being the most truthful politician in world history.

Why do politicians lie? It’s one of those inevitably unanswered questions. But the problem is not so much that politicians lie, and that they do not do what they say they will, but that politics is itself a lie.

A big lie needs several more smaller lies to sustain itself. In politics, these come in the form of your average Presidential fib, for example, “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”, and “there will be no carbon tax”. We all get very upset about these lies by themselves, but continue hoping that the next guy will be better.

The truth is that the very process is a lie: elections, committees, parliaments and congresses. It all deserves a ‘pants on fire’ rating from PolitiFact.

What does submitting a vote admit about the system? That it is good and right that one should threaten others with force if they don’t do what we want. I, as the voter, have some idea about how others should lead their lives, and what is best done with their property, and in turn make a declaration that I want a bunch of people with clubs, tasers and guns to enforce it.

And we’re expected to buy the oxymoronic notion that this system can be worked out peacefully. We are told that, admittedly, the political system is not perfect, and the problems that do exist can be ironed out given certain reforms are implemented or certain people are elected. Then, finally, the systematic use of aggressive violence will run without a hitch.

The assumption behind most political campaigns is that the candidate in question, out of all the others in the running, most represents the general desire of the public. The difference between, say, the American Democrats and Republicans, is supposed to be, not differences of worldview, but the methods in which they will realise the will of the nation. Presidential debates and election commentaries are groaning with nonsense about ‘who would be the better leader’, and who is the better patriot: we all know what needs to be done so who will be the one who will actually do it?

The fallacy is accentuated once in office, for we are stuck with the candidate, and the implication is that ‘things as they are’, the office-holder is simply trying to keep the country running efficiently. We totally assume that there is an obvious, universally agreed-to objective to all of this, the realisation of which will benefit everybody. This has been a common play by President Obama and his supporters, who have continually attempted to convince the public that we all know what we need to do to fix America, that the Republicans are stubbornly making things more difficult to achieve it, and that the President is doing his best.

It doesn’t take much thought to understand that, what with differing ideas of what is ‘best’ for the country, it is of no surprise whatsoever that POTUS is thwarted in creating his Obamatopia in which everybody was finally happy. Perhaps the reason why the Republicans are so intent on destroying Obamacare is not that they just hate the President and want to see him fail, to the detriment of the nation, but that they (shock, horror!) disagree that it will actually achieve anything?

Society consists of a vast array of varying opinions and cultures with unique ends that can not all be satisfied. Each individual has a spectrum of preferences that differ widely from the next individual. And we’re supposed to come to an agreement about how to run the world without running into snags? It is hardly feasible to expect a husband and wife to agree what to have for dinner ever night of the week, let alone 50 million people elect someone to successfully guide a program of national prosperity without upsetting anybody.

‘Obvious stuff’, you’re thinking. Oh, but is it? Unfortunately, most have not put that modest amount of thought into it, thus, the cycle of election followed by disappointment continues unabated.

Another good demonstration of the pure impossibility of politics is the debate between creationists and evolutionists. Think about how the aims of these two sides could possibly reconciled? Both sides want complete control over the other. The creationists want creationism to be national public curriculum and the evolutionists want evolution to be national public curriculum. Neither is backing down without a fight, and there is no clear solution that can be rectified by political means. Conflict of interest is inherent in societies greater in size than that of one person.

No matter what, somebody is going to miss out. The idea that there is one candidate that can be the Santa Claus to everyone is misleading and wrong. In reality, the best a political party can hope for is to cater to the largest and most influential special interests available for business. Inevitably, a large number of people will be disappointed, but the hope is that the group one caters to is at least larger.

Thus politics is revealed as a mad scramble for power over others, and politicians as desperate salesmen attempting to ensnare the most influential target market possible. Usually this means we are subject to the lowest common denominator. Our ‘leaders’ are merely puppets on a string dancing to the tune of big corporations and big labour.

Congressman James Smith, on the other hand, would break the trend and tell everyone whats what. Let’s put aside the obviously low likelihood of being elected on this platform for the moment. Let’s imagine that by some miracle, I am in office, and I tell the public straight up: I will not please you. In fact, 99% of you or more are likely to be disappointed by my policies.

This is not merely a matter of my political principles, because what I would say is the truth, even if I was a Socialist or a Conservative. Clearly, the direct beneficiaries of corporate welfare, food stamps and subsidies will be disappointed, but all of this is totally irrelevant to the truth of politics. Socialists can no more provide what the public wants than a libertarian can.

Consider the apparently immortal call for higher taxation on the rich to pay for some public service or other wealth redistribution. The politician that says he’s going to do this might be very sincere and well-meaning, but he can never succeed; at least not to the extent that he and the special interests desire. This is down to the inherent conflict between the two parties: the taxed wish not to be taxed, and the recipients wish to get as much as possible. But the state cannot create wealth, it can only siphon off a portion of market-generated profit. Shaving too much off the gains of the wealthy inhibits their ability to create wealth, thus cutting off the state’s revenue.

Say the state manages to tax the rich at a rate in which it is sustainable for a reasonable amount of time. The rich won’t like it, that’s a given. But there will be endless conflict over what form the redistribution should come in, and to which sets of people, how much, in what currency and in what time frame. The poor will want more, the religionists will want it restrained to a particular class of citizen, others will want drug tests, others still would like it diverted to public spending programs to get them back to work. So even if by some supernatural occurrence, the rich decide that they don’t mind being taxed a lot after all, the problems for the redistributionists are legion.

The plain truth of the matter is that sometimes people should not be given what they want. For some reason we are expected to be careful to acquiesce to children angrily demanding sweets, yet assume what the general public ‘wants’, demonstrated by their protestations and voting habits, is inherently good.

This has yet to be proven. If, say, the public majority was demanding the murder of one innocent individual, the principle of ‘what the majority wants is good’ would be more difficult to justify. But demanding the taxation of one societal group to pay for another is no more justifiable. We are still talking about aggression and a violation of property rights. To argue otherwise is to support the principle of ‘might is right’ . An elected James Smith would not tolerate such barbarism, and tell the masses that they ought to go back to work and leave everyone else alone, as would any grown adult to overly-demanding children.

Of course no one can run a government for long with this behaviour. Is the answer, then, to abandon these extremist notions of ‘liberty’ and ‘property rights’? 99% of anyone who has ever been involved with politics thinks so. But seeing as this has not yet provided society with any substantial gains, perhaps it is time to try a different tack. After all, liberty and property rights are truthful in the sense that they can be upheld with little to no conflict, and are morally and logically consistent. So let’s start leaving people alone, practicing freedom in our daily lives, and when election time comes ignore those blasted ‘leaders’ as much as possible.

The solution to this conundrum is to not seek a solution. Stop trying to plan society. Stop trying to tell people what to do. “Humanity is something more than a flock of sheep”. The spontaneous order of inter-personal exchange is infinitely wiser than than a single individual, or group of individuals, pontificating on the grand society.

If it’s between politics and the truth, I pick the truth.