No matter what any of us might think about any politician we support, they all lie — every single one of them. I don’t put all of the blame on them considering, as someone who’s spent countless hours writing about and covering politics, as much as we all claim to want “honest politicians,” that’s not really true. What most people seem to want are politicians who tell them what they want to hear, whether or not what they’re being told is actually true.
However, while all politicians lie, that does not mean that all politicians are equally as dishonest. There are definitely politicians who lie much more often than others. It’s not only how often they lie, but what kind of lies they tell.
Enter Donald Trump, possibly the most dishonest politician I’ve ever seen. Many of his lies aren’t remotely based on even a shred of truth. He literally just makes things up because he’s read enough comments sections of right-wing blogs to know that his ridiculous lies are what his supporters want to hear.
To prove this, I decided to do a breakdown of the “Pants on Fire” lies Pulitzer Prize winning Politifact has compiled on Trump as well as 11 other well-known Democrats and Republicans.
For those of you who might not know, Politifact has six metrics on which they rate comments: True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False, False, and Pants on Fire. Obviously, “Pants on Fire” is a statement that isn’t even the slightest bit true.
First, let’s start with prominent Democrats and see how their “Pants on Fire” numbers stack up:
- President Obama: 9 of 591 (2%)
- Hillary Clinton: 5 of 237 (2%)
- Joe Biden: 4 of 74 (5%)
- Bill Clinton: 3 of 59 (7%)
- Nancy Pelosi/Harry Reid: 6 of 53 (11%)
I combined Pelosi and Reid because individually they didn’t have enough comments that had been looked into to provide a decent enough of a sample size.
Alright, now for the Republicans:
- Paul Ryan: 2 of 62 (3%)
- John Boehner: 2 of 69 (3%)
- Ted Cruz: 8 of 114 (7%)
- Jeb Bush: 2 of 79 (3%)
- Sarah Palin: 6 of 62 (10%)
From President Obama all the way to Sarah Palin, two people who couldn’t be more different, none of these “Pants on Fire” numbers are particularly extraordinary or “shocking.”
Now let’s take a look at Donald J. Trump:
- Donald Trump: 41 of 218 (19%)
In other words, about 1 in 5 things Donald Trump says don’t contain a shred of truth.
It’s even worse when you factor in his “False” rating which puts him at 120 of 218, or 55 percent of his statements Politifact has fact-checked. Yes, over half of what Trump has said is not remotely factual. In fact, only 33 out of 281 Trump statements (15%) have been deemed “True” or “Mostly True.”
However, if you want to put this information in another way: If you combined the “Pants on Fire” ratings for 11 different Republicans and Democrats — it would barely beat Donald Trump’s score by six.
That’s astonishing. Especially when you consider that pathological liars like Cruz and Palin are among those 11 politicians.
But this is what people mean when they say that Donald Trump lies in a much different way than other politicians. It’s not just that he’s incredibly dishonest, it’s that his lies aren’t based on any known reality other than whatever pops into his head while he’s speaking. It’s not as if he twists numbers, cherry picks data or takes something out of context — he just makes things up.
Though it is telling that Donald Trump — by himself — has told nearly as many “Pants on Fire” lies as 11 well-known Democrats and Republicans… basically in just over one year.
It’s like I’ve said before, he’s not just a liar, he’s probably the most dishonest politician we’ll ever witness.