lies

The Washington Post, which has featured a running list of lies issued by President Trump since the beginning of his presidency, just ticked their numbers up again. The most recent tally is now set at an unbelievable 6,420 as of Oct. 30, 2018.

When accounting for the 649 days Trump has been president, that’s an average of nearly 10 lies every day.

According to the newspaper’s overworked Fact Checker staff, a lot of the more odious lies are on repeat, and never really got straightened out, no matter how many times the president was corrected by critics and the press.

The president has boldly and incorrectly proclaimed that his ambitious border wall is already under construction 74 times (so far this hour). He has also falsely claimed that he has personally passed the biggest tax cut in U.S. history at least 120 times, and has deceitfully bragged that the U.S. economy is at its very historical best about 80 times, despite sluggish wage growth, blasé productivity and 2.4 percent average economic expansion, which rates below the U.S. boom years of the 1950s.

Many of the fabrications spouting from the president’s lie-maker are the weirdest things that nobody would expect to have to look for, such as his claim that he has imposed no new tariffs upon the nation, despite having personally heralded (and lauded) some of the most notorious tariffs in decades. These are tariffs that triggered a trade war that is undeniably striking hard at farmers in the heart of Trump country.

While many voters look to the White House and shake their heads at the dismissive dishonesty, it turns out that a morally bankrupt leader could prove detrimental to a healthy functioning democracy. Just ask the people of Brazil, who now find themselves led by a fascist despot just recently after losing faith in their government.

Brazil’s incoming president Jair Bolsonaro rode in on a wave of scandal that washed top officials right out of government. As the Council on Foreign Relations explained, a nationwide corruption investigatio resulted in more than 200 convictions “for crimes including corruption, abuse of the international financial system, drug trafficking, and money laundering.” Still another investigation revealed a total of 1,829 politicians accepting bribes from meatpacking firms, in exchange for allowing companies to ship spoiled or unapproved meat to customers.

The investigations cultivated the perception of corruption that put residents into a rabid “throw the bums out” mentality that got applied to the entirety of representative Brazilian democracy.

Wake Forest University Philosophy Professor Christian Miller said he believes the voting public generally imposes a lower standard of honesty when it comes to politics, which allows politicians more wiggle room for lies than we would normally give our own family members.

“There’s an odd paradox, really. Honesty is one of the traits we value the most in our friends and family, but we don’t seem to penalize (politicians) that much for their dishonesty,” Miller told Grit Post. “It’s like it comes with the territory. They may claim there was a huge turn-out for a certain event, when in fact there was a much smaller turn-out, and we don’t penalize them, so long as the politicians are achieving what we want them to achieve.”

He added, however, that voters have a snapping point, and that they can go feral if these very same politicians fail to deliver on bread and butter issues.

“If we think they’re conducive to economic growth or the building of society, we’re willing to tolerate it. On the other hand, if they’re … making our society worse or increasing national insecurity, then we won’t,” he said.

Brazil’s economy, according to multiple reports, was sinking, reflecting multiple years of stagnant growth. It is a situation with echoes in the U.S. as wages stagnate, and Trump brags of a booming stock market owned primarily by the richest 10 percent of Americans.

 

Adam Lynch is a part-time “word-puncher” in Jackson, Mississippi. Battle with him on Twitter @A_damn_Lynch. He’s also on Facebook, if that’s still a thing.

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