The Washington Post’s latest Fact Checker estimates indicated President Trump has ramped up his penchant for misleading claims in the last year, especially around the subject of his impeachment: Ukraine.
As the President has spewed 600 of the false or misleading claims about the Ukraine investigations in just two months, his total thus far in office is an astounding 15,413 wrong or misleading claims in 1,055 days, averaging 15 such claims every day.
According to the Post:
“The president apparently believes he can weather an impeachment trial through sheer repetition of easily disproven falsehoods.”
Either that, or he knows the people like Senate Majority Leader McConnell will go so far as to abandon their oaths of office to acquit Trump?
Trump has repeated an astonishing 80 times that his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was “perfect,” even though not even his staunchest supporters have been able to get on board with that one.
Meanwhile, Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, continue attempting to spread disinformation about Joe Biden and Ukraine. The Post indicates that there is no bottom to the stream of lies on this topic.
“Three claims about the Ukraine investigation have now made it on our list of Bottomless Pinocchios. (It takes 20 repeats of a Three or Four Pinocchio claim to merit a Bottomless Pinocchio, and there are now 30 entries.) Besides the claim about the whistleblower, the two other claims on the Bottomless Pinocchio list are that Biden forced the resignation of a Ukrainian prosecutor because he was investigating his son Hunter and that Hunter Biden scored $1.5 billion in China after hitching a ride on Air Force Two with his father.”
Even though Trump’s habit of spreading what is essentially propaganda is certainly pervasive, that doesn’t mean that even Republicans are buying the lies.
The Post found that:
“Fewer than 3 in 10 Americans believe many of his most-common false statements, according to a Washington Post Fact Checker poll published in 2018. Only among a pool of strong Trump approvers — about 1 in 6 adults in the survey — did large majorities accept several, although not all, of his falsehoods as true.”
Blissful and willful ignorance
What’s notable here is that even though the Fact Checkers have been dutifully tracking and publicly displaying Trump’s falsehoods, many Republicans continue to support him, although they must know he is lying. In cases of outright acceptance, it seems probable that supporters have been exclusively receiving biased news from stations like Fox, which is still no excuse.
It appears to be a case of blissful ignorance, but that ignorance is also completely willful. If Trump’s lies aren’t affecting them personally, perhaps they are willing to forgive and forget readily. However, there are indications that the bubble may eventually pop.
Trump’s most repeated claim, accounting for 242 of the total, is that “the U.S. economy is the best in history.”
However, the Post notes:
“By just about any important measure, the economy today is not doing as well as it did under Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson or Bill Clinton — or Ulysses S. Grant. Moreover, the economy is beginning to hit the head winds caused by Trump’s trade wars, with the manufacturing sector in an apparent recession.”
The economy doesn’t justify lies
Even if the economy somehow remains stable despite Trump, that doesn’t exonerate Republicans for giving Trump a pass on his constant, documented lying. They seem to be happily excusing this President’s “Twitter finger,” foul mouth, and 15,413 recorded falsehoods. Maybe they have allowed themselves to believe this somehow works in their favor. However, it most certainly does not work in America’s favor.
The person holding one of our most prestigious offices should never be excused for lowering the bar this far. In almost any job in America, that person would find themselves fired in short order. A job working at most any business, from a burger joint to a Fortune 500 Company would tend to aspire to far more integrity.
Republican or Democrat, we must demand that a president’s character is not that of a pathological liar. In fact, such an addiction might be considered an abuse of power, all in itself, even without any quid pro quo with Ukraine. It’s also embarrassing, humiliating, and degrading to all Americans.
It’s time for Republicans to stop giving Trump a pass and dig down into the cavernous trench they created and begin to lift the bar from its dark depths. Is there any light left to see down there, and can they come together before it sinks out of reach forever?