Lesson that President Carter’s successors have learned “was not to tell the American people hard truths”

If you listen to Carter’s Oval Office addresses on inflation, energy, and the nation’s “crisis of confidence,” the level of honesty is shocking, and deflating. No President has ever spoken that way since. The lesson he taught all his successors was not to tell the American people hard truths. Instead, Reagan set the tone. He forced American politics to be played on his turf—a rhetorical achievement that continues today.

George Packer, “The Uses of Division”, The New Yorker (11 & 18 August 2014), 86.