If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my Trump-supporting friends and family, it’s that the people who think he should be our next president are, without a doubt, the least factually informed people I’ve ever known. If I made a list of people I know who are well-informed about politics vs. the ones who I know aren’t — nearly every person I know whose political knowledge comes from memes they share on Facebook or what they were told by other poorly informed individuals is a Donald Trump supporter.
And it’s really amazing to see the stuff these folks post and actually believe. I’m not exaggerating when I say that nearly every single thing I see my Trump-supporting friends and family post is either not based on a shred of factual information or something that’s been taken completely out of context, creating a “story” that’s not remotely accurate.
One of the most ironic aspects to your typical Trump supporter is that they all believe that he’s one of the most honest people in the country — when he’s actually the most dishonest person elected to the White House in modern U.S. history.
But the truth of the matter is, it’s almost completely useless to fact check Donald Trump.
1. He lies so often that practically everything he says needs to be investigated and corrected: One of the odd things about fact-checking someone who lies nearly all of the time is that you almost burn people out by constantly doing it. It’s impossible for any one debunked lie to really stand out over another because they all start running together. Before fact checkers can even finish an investigation into one dishonest statement, Trump’s already made five more. After a while, it becomes nearly impossible to keep up.
2. The fact that he lies so often helps him perpetuate the conspiracies that the media and fact checkers are “biased” against him: While I’ve criticized the media for the way they’ve covered Trump, they’re in a difficult position of having to be impartial while covering someone whose entire administration is mostly based on pure fiction. The more the media focuses on debunking Trump’s seemingly endless list of lies, the more it looks to his supporters who believe the “media is out to get him” that they’re conspiring against him. Because he’s so dishonest, they almost need to pick and choose which lies they want to call out, otherwise they could spent nearly every minute of every day fact checking the lies he tells on a daily basis.
So, when you have a candidate who’s pushing the conspiracy that “the system is rigged against me,” the more the media actually discredits his lies, the more they’re fueling his conspiracy theories.
3. Most of his supporters only believe what he says: When the individual telling the lies is the only individual those supporting him will believe, they’re going to reject any information that contradicts something he’s said or done. Any evidence you use to disprove something Trump has said, they’ll either make excuses for or claim that whatever facts you’re using to counter his propaganda is all part of the media’s conspiracy against him. Which leads me to #4…
4. He’s running more of a cult based on conspiracies than an actual presidential campaign: The way many of his supporters act falls much more in line with the traits of those involved in a fringe conspiracy-based cult than voters supporting a politician. And as I’ve written numerous times before, it’s pointless to try to reason with conspiracy theorists because they only believe what they want to believe and will consider any evidence you use to counter their crazy theories as “part of the conspiracy.” Combine that with the fact that Trump clearly knows what these folks want to hear and it’s pointless to try to convince them of anything else.
5. Donald Trump’s administration is the first one in U.S. history where reality simply does not matter: Because of everything I just listed above, we’re witnessing a administration where they literally just make up whatever the hell they want. Whenever they get indisputable facts presented directly to them as they lie — they continue to insist that their lie is true. Not only that, but they fabricate “facts,” then claim there’s plenty of evidence out there to support their fabrications, yet they never provide any actual credible sources — then they lie about why they can’t provide the evidence they claim.
It’s the “thousands and thousands” of Muslims he claims to have seen celebrating 9/11 in New Jersey that the media has “video evidence” of but refuses to show; the letter from the NFL which Trump claims he received but the NFL said was never sent; it’s his campaign saying the birther issue has been “put to rest” and Trump hasn’t pushed the conspiracy in years despite the fact there are tweets all the way up to 2015 where he continued to perpetuate the myth that President Obama isn’t an American; it’s Trump saying he can’t release his tax returns because they’re being audited even though the IRS has said that doesn’t matter; the “millions” of illegal votes he claims cost him the popular vote — the list goes on and on.
This is the “Trump formula”: They invent lies about numerous people or events to fit the narrative of the campaign. Then when they’re accused of being dishonest, they lie about lying — while lying about the evidence they claim to be in possession of that “proves” their lies — then they lie about why they can’t show anyone that evidence.
It is insanity.
It’s still important to continue to call out Donald Trump and his endless stream of lies and propaganda, but for the most part, fact-checking him is useless when dealing with his supporters. You cannot use facts, logic, reason or reality to convince people something is true when they don’t believe in facts, logic, reason or reality. They choose to believe in nothing more than the Cult of Donald Trump.
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