While there’s no sure-fire way to rate the overall honesty of a politician, Politifact is regarded by most rational and level-headed individuals as one of the more reliable (and in-depth) fact-checking organizations out there. After all, they have won a Pulitzer Prize. I have found moments where their “ratings” (or conclusion of the truthfulness of a statement) were somewhat questionable, but for the most part I’ve always found their analysis to be very solid.
Well, I decided to head on over to the site to check out the scorecard for GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump after I heard Bobby Knight refer to him as the most “honest” person running for president.
And – wow.
I’ve known for quite a while that nearly everything Trump says is pretty much a lie, but it’s still a bit shocking to see how dishonest he is put into context the way Politifact does.
For those of you who might not know, the site uses six different metrics for rating the overall honesty of a statement: True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False, False and Pants on Fire.
Well, here are Trump’s ratings as of writing this on April 29th, 2016:
- True: 2%
- Mostly True: 7%
- Half True: 16%
- Mostly False: 15%
- False: 43%
- Pants on Fire: 18%
To put it in another way, if you consider True/Mostly True as “honest” and Mostly False/False/Pants on Fire as “dishonest” (omit Half True for the sake of clarity), Trump is only “honest” 9 percent of the time while he’s “dishonest” a staggering 76 percent of the time.
This isn’t based on just a handful of statements. As of writing this, Politifact has investigated 134 things related to statements Donald Trump has made, meaning that only 12 of 134 have been rated True/Mostly True – with only three being completely True. On the other hand, 101 of his 134 statements have been deemed “dishonest.”
Not only is Trump the overwhelming GOP presidential frontrunner, but he’s a candidate who many of his supporters have flocked to because they believe “he tells it like it is” and is “honest” – despite the fact that he’s, by far, the most dishonest candidate in the race.
Hell, he makes Cruz look like an honest person by comparison, and he’s flat-out pathological. Here’s Cruz’s scorecard numbers:
- True: 7%
- Mostly True: 16%
- Half True: 12%
- Mostly False: 31%
- False: 28%
- Pants on Fire: 7%
To summarize those numbers the same way I did Trump’s earlier, Cruz is “honest” 23 percent of the time and “dishonest” 66 percent of the time. So, while the Texas senator has been one of the most dishonest people in our government since before he was even elected to the Senate, Trump has seemingly managed to lie more often than he does.
It’s sickening that the two candidates who are easily the most dishonest people running for president are the top two GOP candidates.
For comparisons sake, here are the “honest/dishonest” summaries for Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and John Kasich:
- Hillary Clinton: Honest – 49% Dishonest – 29%
- Bernie Sanders: Honest – 51% Dishonest – 31%
- John Kasich: Honest – 53% Dishonest – 30%
Looking at those numbers, I found it rather interesting that you can literally rank the GOP candidates by their “honesty rating” with the most honest (Kasich) coming in way… way behind Trump and Cruz in delegates, votes and states won. This seems to indicate that the best “path to success” a Republican can take is to lie as much as possible.
And if Republicans nominate Donald Trump (which seems to be what’s going to happen), they will have essentially proven that they don’t really want a candidate who’s honest, they just want someone who tells them what they want to hear – no matter how dishonest (or vile) they actually are.