One of my biggest issues with the modern-day Republican party is how little facts seem to matter to conservatives. Anytime I encounter my conservative friends and family I’m astonished at the nonsense they actually believe. These folks loathe President Obama based on things that aren’t even true. They truly and honestly believe he’s an anti-American, anti-Christian Muslim who’s trying to confiscate their guns and has made the economy worse.
It’s this complete disregard for the facts that’s been perfectly personified in the rise of the top two GOP presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Ben Carson. While the two men couldn’t be more different on many levels, they do have one thing in common – practically nothing they say is true.
Taking a look at each candidate’s scorecard on non-partisan fact-checking site Politifact paints a picture of two men who’ve built campaigns based almost entirely on fiction.
For those of you who might not be aware, Politifact fact-checks statements that politicians or pundits make, then ranks them on a six-step scale: True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False, False and Pants on Fire.
Whenever I break down scorecards I exclude anything considered “Half True” because the explanations are often subjective and convoluted. Instead, I consider True/Mostly True as being honest and Mostly False/False/Pants on Fire as being dishonest.
So let’s take a quick look at the two leading GOP candidates, shall we?
Of the 48 comments Politifact has investigated relating to Trump which haven’t been half true, only 10 percent (5 of 48) have been considered honest with 90 percent (43 of 48) being considered dishonest.
And it gets even worse when you look at Ben Carson’s file.
While he doesn’t have nearly the profile as Trump (because he hasn’t been a leading figure in politics long enough), of the 12 comments Politifact has investigated, absolutely none of them – zero percent – have fallen into either the True or Mostly True categories of honesty.
For contrast, let me break down the numbers of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, John Boehner and Paul Ryan. I wanted to include Boehner and Ryan to show that Politifact is, in fact, non-partisan when it comes to evaluating comments, as both men – staunch conservatives – score much higher than either Trump or Carson when it comes to honesty.
For Clinton, of the 107 comments they’ve looked into and found a distinguishing level of honesty or dishonesty, 64 percent (68 of 107) have been deemed honest with 36 percent (39 of 107) being dishonest.
When it comes to Sanders, of the 28 comments they’ve looked at, 68 percent (19 of 28) are considered honest with 32 percent (9 of 28) being dishonest.
Shifting over to the congressional Republican side, Boehner has had 58 comments with 36 percent (21 of 58) being rated as honest and 64 percent (37 of 58) being deemed dishonest.
Numbers for Ryan are fairly similar; he’s had a total of 38 comments looked at with 39 percent (15 of 38) truthful and 61 percent (23 of 38) coming from the land of fiction.
But the truth is, all of this makes perfect sense. Throughout my dealings in politics I’ve found that the more “conservative” one considers themselves, the less they seem to care about facts or reality. And in today’s GOP, where the ultra-conservatives have clearly taken over, the truth is only going to matter less and less.
That’s exactly how you get Donald Trump and Ben Carson, two of the most dishonest people running for president, as the overwhelming GOP frontrunners.