When Does A Lie Matter?

When Does A Lie Matter?

The House Judiciary Committee will meet this week on the Impeachment “Inquiry”. They asked President Trump to attend, maybe even testify as a star witness. As you might imagine, Trump considered it. (“Wow! A star! The ratings would be boffo!”) 

His lawyers were pretty sure he’d be caught lying to Congress. So, the star declined.

Jeez, poor Democrats!  Just can’t get the ratings.

There are various estimates of the total number of lies told by Trump since he got elected. But most are above 10,000 or more. His supporters are not bothered by them; his opponents are very bothered by them. 

Here’s the Merriam Webster definition of a lie: “marked by or containing untrue statements: FALSE”. 

And here are a few examples – in no particular order – from the last few years.

         November 21, 2019 – “Today I opened a major Apple Manufacturing plant in Texas that will bring high paying jobs back to America.” (Fact: The plant opened in 2013.)

         October 16, 2019 – “The Kurds are much safer now.” (Fact: Scores of Kurds have been killed, thousands displaced since U.S. withdrawal.)

         June 5, 2018 – Philadelphia Eagles players stayed  “in the locker room for the playing of our national anthem” or “were kneeling”.  (Fact: None of the Eagles kneeled.)

         October 16, 2019 – speaking about immigration cases, Trump said, “We have thousands of judges.” (Fact: There are around 400 immigration judges in 63 courts.)

         April 22, 2018 – North Korea has “agreed to denuclearization” (Fact: They haven’t agreed.)

         December 11, 2017- “Black homeownership just hit the highest level it has ever been in the history of our country.” (Fact: It’s fallen almost yearly since 2004.)

         March 3, 2019 – “The FBI said (former national security advisor Michael Flynn) wasn’t lying. ” (Fact: Flynn admitted to lying.)

         January 21, 2017 – “A reporter for Time magazine — and I have been on their cover 14 or 15 times. I think we have the all-time record in the history of Time magazine.” (Fact: Trump was on the cover 11 times, Nixon 55 times.)

         February 7, 2017 – “And yet the murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years, right? Did you know that? Forty-seven years.” (Fact: It was higher in the 1980’s and 90’s.)

         February 16, 2017 – “We got 306 because people came out and voted like they’ve never seen before so that’s the way it goes. I guess it was the biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan.” (Fact: George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama – all won bigger margins.)

         February 24, 2017 – “Obamacare covers very few people — and remember, deduct from the number all of the people that had great health care that they loved that was taken away from them — it was taken away from them.” (Fact: Obamacare increased coverage by a net of about 20 million.)

         May 5, 2017 – “We pay the highest taxes anywhere in the world.” (Fact: Belgium and at least 14 others pay higher income tax rates.)

         January 26, 2017 – At the GOP retreat on Jan. 26, Trump saidthat Philadelphia’s murder rate is “steady, I mean just terribly increasing.” (Fact: The homicide rate in Philadelphia has been steadily declining over the past decade.)

         July 25, 2017 – “We have nearly doubled the number of veterans given approvals to see the doctor of their choice.”  (Fact: The increase was 26 per cent.) 

In today’s world, with lies flying all around us from big pharma, big oil, big chem, big…whatever – does it even matter? So, one excuse for Trump is, “Get over it!  It’s all around us.”

But you know where it isn’t? At the ground level, where you and I and most Americans live. Whether conservative or liberal, we rarely lie to each other, and if we do, it isn’t in excess of 3000 times a year.  

It’s because of something most Americans – really most peoples – share: the need to trust each other. And our leaders.

And that does matter.

(If you like this, pass it on. If you don't, pass it on anyway. Why should you suffer alone?)