Placing a Trump/Pence sign in one’s yard is intellectually equivalent to wearing a “South Dakota Is Big Cock Country!” cap. Trump signers flip the bird at civilized people with a schoolboy smirk, as if cloaking their impulse to offend in technically inoffensive language represents a great achievement in honest civic discourse.
Alas, any state that votes for Trump would more accurately erect a sign reading, “Big Crock Country.” A Politico analysis of the Republican Presidential nominee’s speeches last week finds Trump “averaged about one falsehood every three minutes and 15 seconds over nearly five hours of remarks”:
Trump’s misrepresentations range from false pronouncements (he again wrongly said he opposed the war in Iraq before it began) to the petty (he insisted Clinton had copied him by holding rallies with her plane in the background and insinuated she was “sleeping” when she held no public events).
He contradicted his own policy on providing health care to the poor, overstated the ad spending discrepancy between his campaign and Clinton’s and exaggerated the size of his primary victories and polling leads [Kyle Cheney et al., “Donald Trump’s Week of Misrepresentations, Exaggerations and Half-Truths,” Politico, 2016.09.25].
The same Politico analysts find that Hillary Clinton’s falsehood rate over the same period was a little more than a quarter of Trump’s. The factual slips Politico lists consisted more of matters of interpretation than of flat falsehood. For instance, Politico flags Clinton’s claim that Trump’s call to repeal the estate tax would cut Ivanka and Donnie Jr’s someday taxes by $4 billion. Team Clinton bases that claim on Trump’s claims about his own new worth, which are generally believed to be greatly exaggerated. Team Clinton tells Politico, “If Donald Trump admits he is lying about his net worth we will happily revise the estimate down.”
Meanwhile, Trump has gotten plain facts wrong:
- Trump claims that manufacturers are “out of business for the most part” in the U.S., while manufacturing remains 11.8% of U.S. GDP, down from 13.1% in 2006.
- Trump claims NAFTA brings no jobs to the U.S., when NAFTA has actually brought three million jobs here.
- Trump claims Michigan, Ohio, and North Carolina are “getting killed” in the Obama economy, when in fact those states have all seen unemployment drop by around half to below 5% (better than what Mitt Romney promised them in 2012 by this time).
- Trump claims we don’t tax Chinese imports, when in fact we do.
- Trump continues to claims that Hillary Clinton and her policies started ISIS, when we can trace the roots of ISIS to 2004, pre-Clinton, pre-Obama.
- Trump claims “the word has no respect for our country. The world has no respect for our President whatsoever.” World opinion about the United States and the American President have recovered significantly since Barack Obama took office in 2009.
- Trump continues to outright lie about the number of refugees Clinton has proposed resettling in America by a factor of 10.
- Trump continues to perpetuate (as did Drew Dennert at Saturday’s candidate forum in Aberdeen) that there is no vetting process for refugees. There is.
- Trump lies about his call for profiling Arab and Muslim men.
Hillary Clinton makes numerous debatable statements about policy. Donald Trump tells whoppers. His candidacy is a crock, as is any suggestion that his deceit, conceit, and unfitness for office are no worse than Clinton’s.