More than anything else, what I find most ridiculous about the ascension of Donald Trump to the top of the Republican party’s presidential ticket is the fact that almost nothing he says is true. And it’s not just that he lies, it’s that he seems to just make stuff up as he goes along. Then to top it all off, he’s so damn arrogant I can’t remember a time where he’s ever admitted being wrong about anything – despite the fact that he’s wrong about damn near everything.
His most recent fairytale concerns the “thousands and thousands” of people he claims to have seen celebrating in the streets of New Jersey as the World Trade Center towers fell, a claim that’s literally not supported by a single shred of evidence… anywhere. Not only that, but he insisted that there was extensive coverage of the “thousands and thousands” of people he witnessed celebrating – yet no one can seem to find any of it.
This is one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen; a leading presidential candidate blatantly exploiting 9/11 to push anti-Muslim propaganda following the horrific terrorist attack in France based on pure, made up nonsense. This isn’t a matter of perspective, partisanship or even opinion – what Donald Trump is saying he witnessed never happened.
End of story.
Well, in the spirit of Trump’s pathological idiocy, I thought I’d do an update on just how dishonest this racist bigot is. When looking at his scorecard on non-partisan fact-checking site Politifact, the numbers are shocking.
Politifact’s ratings system is based on six metrics: True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False, False and Pants on Fire. The way I calculate numbers is everything that’s True/Mostly True I consider truthful, everything that’s Mostly False/False/Pants on Fire I view as being dishonest and I ignore Half True statements because often the conclusions are subjective and convoluted.
So, how does Trump rank?
According to Politifact, of the 71 comments they’ve fact checked, only 7 percent (5 of 71) of what Trump says is truthful (all 5 of those statements are rated as Mostly True).
Meanwhile, 75 percent (53 of 71) of what they’ve fact checked has been a lie.
For those who don’t feel like doing the math, 18 percent (13 of 71) of his comments were rated as Half True.
While his overall scorecard is atrocious, when you look at some of his Pants on Fire comments, the absurdity he spews is shocking.
All the following Trump quotes were rated Pants on Fire, which means there wasn’t even the smallest shred of truth to them. I’ve added a bit of commentary in bold after each quote:
“I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down. And I watched in Jersey City, N.J., where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.” (Trump completely made this up.)
“The number [in reference to our nation’s unemployment rate at the time of 5.3 percent] isn’t reflective. I’ve seen numbers of 24 percent — I actually saw a number of 42 percent unemployment. Forty-two percent.” (This would mean nearly 1 out of every 2 working-age Americans are unemployed – just think about the ridiculousness behind actually believing that.)
“I don’t think the 11 million — which is a number you have been hearing for many many years, I’ve been hearing that number for five years — I don’t think that is an accurate number anymore. I am now hearing it’s 30 million, it could be 34 million, which is a much bigger problem.” (Net immigration is actually down since 2010 and no credible expert supports the notion that there are 30 million illegal immigrants in the country.)
“Our current president came out of nowhere. Came out of nowhere. In fact, I’ll go a step further: the people that went to school with him, they never saw him, they don’t know who he is. It’s crazy.” (Yes, he apparently thinks both Harvard and Columbia are lying about President Obama being a graduate.)
“The last quarter, it was just announced, our gross domestic product — a sign of strength, right? But not for us. It was below zero. Who ever heard of this? It’s never below zero.” (GDP fell for one quarter, but it was not “below zero” – that’s essentially impossible to even accomplish.)
It goes beyond basic dishonesty with Trump to outright propaganda. Anyone who runs for public office is going to slant and distort the truth from time to time, but Trump doesn’t just distort reality – he flat-out makes up his own.
And the worst part is, his supporters actually believe he’s honest. You cannot convince these folks that he’s full of crap because most of them are every bit as delusional as he is.
I guess if there’s one positive thing that’s come from Donald Trump running for president, it’s that he’s generously given plenty of job security to fact checkers.
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