Starting from the not-so-improbable premise that politicians lie, perhaps we should score the lies by quality, their impact on the nation, rather than the quantity as cited by the progressive socialist Democrats.
To begin our comparison, let us look at some of the most “consequential” lies told by the previous president …
Those affecting your healthcare: <Source>
So make no mistake, the status quo on health care is not an option for the United States of America. It's threatening the financial stability of families, of businesses, and of government. It's unsustainable, and it has to change.
I know a lot of Americans who are satisfied with their health care right now are wondering what reform would mean for them, so let me be clear: If you like your doctor or health care provider, you can keep them. If you like your health care plan, you can keep that too.
But here's what else reform will mean for you—and this is for people who have health insurance: You will save money. If you lose your job, change your job, or start a new business, you'll still be able to find quality health insurance that you can afford. If you have a preexisting medical condition, no insurance company will be able to deny you coverage. You won't have to worry about being priced out of the market. You won't have to worry about one illness leading your family into financial ruin. That's what reform means, not just for the uninsured but for the people who have health insurance right now.
And the naysayers and the cynics still doubt that we can do this. But it wasn't too long ago that those same naysayers doubted that we'd be able to make real progress on health care reform. And thanks to the work of key committees in Congress, we're now closer to the goal of health reform than we have ever been.
Those affecting national defense: <Source>
- Under this deal as well as under the Nonproliferation Treaty, Iran is never allowed to develop nuclear weapons.
- This deal ensures IAEA access when needed, where needed to verify the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program. “Anytime, anywhere” inspections are simply unnecessary thanks to the deal.
- There are no secret "side" deals between the P5+1 and Iran.
- Won’t Iran get $150 billion from sanctions relief, and won’t that money go straight toward terrorist activity in the region? No. First, the $150 billion figure is entirely off base: the Treasury Department estimates that, should Iran complete its key nuclear steps and receive sanctions relief, Iran will be able to freely access about a third of that figure in overseas foreign reserves — a little over $50 billion …
And there are many, many others.
So why highlight lying now?
Trump Trauma -- Trump Led American Politics Is Swamped by Epidemic of Unprecedented Lying
Trump will soon tell his 2,000th lie as president. Seventy-one percent of Alabama Republicans believe Roy Moore.
Americans are drowning in a sea of political lies—and depending on their politics, they don’t notice, don’t care, and if they do care there’s little anyone can do about it.
There’s even competition for the worst daily lie. As Time magazine’s recent headline noted, “71 Percent of Alabama Republicans Don’t Believe Claims Against Roy Moore.” Then there’s this headline from a Friday Washington Post commentary, “I study liars. I’ve never seen one like President Trump,” which cites WaPo’s (apparently fruitless) fact-checking department and says Trump is on track to cross the 2,000-lie mark before New Year’s Eve. That’s five a day. “President Trump has made 1,628 false or misleading claims over 298 days,” they said.
This race to the bottom only gets more dismal from here. Of the 71 percent of Alabama Republicans who don’t believe Moore’s accusers, that poll from CBS News and YouGov found “92 percent of those who said they do not believe the allegations say it is because Democrats are to blame for them, while 88 percent said the media was,” Time said. So blaming political opponents and messengers augments falling for expedient lies.
If you think this is only an Alabama phenomenon, think again. A Quinnipiac University poll after fellow Democratic senators called on Al Franken to resign following sexual harassment allegations against him, “asked Americans whether a lawmaker facing multiple sexual harassment accusations should resign,” WaPo noted. “While just 51 percent of Republicans agreed, a full 77 percent of Democrats agreed.”
So not only is there a tidal wave of lies swamping the nation’s political shores, there’s more political froth dampening any truth-telling, especially if that stands in the way of politically expedient goals. This slimy dynamic is increasingly dominating the political world under Trump, and it stands in stark contrast to other areas of public life where the law—yes, rules passed by the same people who traffic in lies—has made lying a crime.
Commercial advertising, for example, is not allowed to lie or mislead the public. Anyone testifying in court is not allowed to lie on the witness stand; that’s a crime. Anyone being questioned by law enforcement is also not allowed to lie—they can assert the right to stay silent. That’s a distinction Trump’s team is learning the hard way, after lying while being questioned by Robert Mueller’s federal probe of campaign collusion with Russia.
That brings us to the present, and 2016’s election, where the most influential mainstream media—starting with the New York Times, according to an exhaustive investigation by the Columbia Journalism Review—trafficked far more in political gossip and horserace coverage than substantive policy analysis and truth-telling. Their headline give you the gist, “Don’t blame the election on fake news. Blame the media.”
So where are we slightly less than 11 months after Trump took office? The liar-in-chief is poised to cross the 2,000-lie threshold by New Year’s Eve. There will be no believable resolutions there. Nearly three-fourths of Alabama Republicans don’t believe women accusing Roy Moore of sexual harassment and assault—and may elect him to the Senate next week.
Meanwhile, mainstream media, including the most popular social media platforms—led by Facebook and Google (which includes Instagram and YouTube)—have launched an anti-fake news crusade. They are fine-tuning their algorithms to grade media content, using brain-imitating artificial intelligence to grade content and act as the censor that the government isn’t allowed to be. Three weeks ago, Facebook added a “trust indicator” feature to its newsfeed, “to give people additional context on the articles they see.”
But, of course, Facebook is a giant capitalist corporation in a capitalist society. So its partnership with the biggest mainstream media organizations, leading advertising groups and Silicon Valley platforms, is an emerging and self-reinforcing bubble where all of the participants have more concealed motives. Silicon Valley wants to ward off government regulation, after its social platforms were open invitations for 2016’s most propagandistic messaging. The mainstream media wants to reassert its dominance in an era where online competition has grown and questions its authority. Advertisers want to keep selling ads.
Meanwhile, political lies and liars in high office are proliferating. The best anyone can do is try to pay attention, look to a range of sources outside official channels—including the newest Silicon Valley content police—and decide for themselves what’s real and what isn’t. And nobody should expect the lying to stop or liars to go away. ‘'
“Most of us use the internet acronym LOL to mean ‘laugh out loud,’” James Cusick, the political correspondent for the UK-based Independent and The Independent on Sunday wrote in 2015. “But in U.S. political circles, where campaign strategists are supposed to have superpowers, it stands for ‘lie or lose’—the public doesn’t like the truth, and those who flirt with telling it don’t stand a chance.”
Sometimes it takes an outsider, a foreign observer like Cusick, to see American politics for what it is—the last thing those who practice its dark arts will admit.
“There is no such thing as an outright political lie,” he wrote. “Instead there’s distortion, exaggeration, misrepresentation, deception, half-truth and overstatement. The assumption is that the risk is worth it. Hubris and narcissism mean the consequences of a politician getting caught are outweighed – they think – by the benefits of telling voters what they want to hear. They know we seek support for our preconceived notions, and avoid information that challenges established views.”
That was before Trump launched his presidential campaign and Americans even heard of fake news. And what does he say about media efforts to filter and censor content?
“The primary role of the Fourth Estate, the media, is to act as a lie detector, and that—more than courts—acts as a deterrent to politicians,” Cusick wrote. “Do papers behave? Not always. Russia had a century of Pravda—that means ‘truth’ in English.”
Steven Rosenfeld covers national political issues for AlterNet, including America's democracy and voting rights. He is the author of several books on elections and the co-author of Who Controls Our Schools: How Billionaire-Sponsored Privatization Is Destroying Democracy and the Charter School Industry (AlterNet eBook, 2016).
Bottom line …
Politics is a process of choosing the liars you wish to believe.
There is no doubt that Trump lies, lies about lying, and when confronted by the actual videotaped evidence, blows the lie off by changing subjects. However, nothing that President Trump has said has damaged America and Americans like the lies told by former President Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, While you cannot excuse bad behavior by pointing to bad behavior, fairness demands that we look at the proportionality – the amount of damage those lies did to “We the People.” By any measure, except quantity, the hypocritical progressive socialist democrats lead the race that is heading toward the point of no return and the plunge into the abyss.
We are so screwed.
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius