I’ve been trying to wrap my head around our current political situation. My president issues a litany of lies and personal attacks on a daily basis and is rewarded with high approval ratings from members of his party. How did we get to a place where truth and decorum no longer matter?

I realize that American politics has always been plagued with duplicity and mudslinging. But Donald Trump has crossed lines and gone way beyond typical partisan rhetoric. He’s told more than 3,000 falsehoods, according to an analysis by The Washington Post, in the first 18 months of his presidency. He averages as many as nine false statements a day. He’s also ridiculed POWs, the disabled and families of fallen soldiers. He’s insulted our long-time foreign ally leaders while placating ruthless dictators.

Despite his lies and lack of propriety, Republicans overwhelmingly support him. They’ve stood behind him throughout the controversies and scandals. Most Americans, according to an NBC/Survey Monkey poll, feel Trump is regularly untruthful. This includes 22 percent of Republicans. Yet, according to the poll, these Republicans still support him.

It’s important to consider Trump’s motives for lying. Many of his lies serve to feed his ego and reinforce the support of his followers. For example, he has repeatedly claimed that his tax bill resulted in the largest tax cuts in American history. It hasn’t. In fact, his cuts rank eighth. He’s claimed that his border wall has already begun to be built. It has not. He’s claimed that the size of his inaugural audience was the largest in history. It was not. He’s claimed millions of illegal voters participated in the 2016 election. They did not.

Trump will deny the truth even when it’s staring us all in the face. Remember when he refused to admit knowledge of his attorney’s $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels? In fact, Trump knew all along and reimbursed his attorney for the payment.

His false claims are often easily refuted. It makes little sense for Trump to lie when photos, documents or basic facts can undoubtedly prove him wrong. Yet, he repeats them over and over. The problem: Too many people believe too many lies just because they have been repeated too many times.

Trump also uses false statements to undermine our democratic institutions. Some of his lies are truly egregious and dangerous. For example, every time he claims Russia had no involvement in the 2016 election, he places our democracy in jeopardy and weakens law enforcement and intelligence agencies. He has even publicly defended Russian dictator Vladmir Putin over his own national security advisers.

Similarly, Trump’s attempts to undermine Mueller’s Russian investigation threaten our judicial process. He uses words like “fake news” and “witch hunt” to describe the inquiry, led by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, into possible collusion between his campaign and Russian agents. He attacks our free press when it does any reporting he dislikes; threatens to end the investigation; and even brags about possibly pardoning himself and his political allies. Despite Trump’s insistence that there was no wrong-doing, Mueller has already indicted 23 individuals, five of whom have pleaded guilty.

Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, is currently being tried on a dozen counts, including tax evasion, money laundering and failure to disclose lobbying work for a foreign pro-Russia political party in Ukraine.

As Mueller’s investigation heats up, Trump and his attorneys are clearly moving the goalposts on presidential accountability. For example, Trump’s team has long denied collusion between his campaign and Russia. Now, they claim collusion is not a crime.

Trump is a skillful politician who has discovered how to stir up his base, discredit his detractors and create doubt when needed. He certainly is not the first politician to lie or tell a falsehood. All politicians, of all political backgrounds, have bent the truth in some form or another. Trump has simply perfected the practice.

Trump manufactures information that his supporters want to hear, and in return, they overlook his crude behavior and dishonesty. Republicans are quick to condemn Democrats for crossing the line or simply responding to Trump’s outbursts, but literally cheer Trump’s blatant lies and childish insults. Unfortunately, it appears winning now trumps basic values and decency.

(Faraguna is a founding member of Susquehanna Valley Progress.)

(1) comment

Schreff

[yawn]Wow folks, now we have Fake News and Super Fake News. Sorry Nicole Faraguna but I can’t let you get away with wrapping your head around a blue frozen flagpole. It might get stuck.

First you wonder how we get to a place where truth no longer matter? As a progressive you should realize that President Obama was perhaps the greatest teller of glib lies ever in his White House. He was the worst President in recent history even outdoing Jimmy Carter. The lies are too numerous to mention but I will share the ones that affected us directly. Remember Obama saying you can keep your own doctor and insurance and your insurance premiums will go down by two thousand dollars? Or perhaps we should have another beer summit to heal the nation O divide? Obama’s Swamps got bigger and his Sanctuary Chicago is bloody and falling. California and the other progressive far left basket cases are the real threat to our Country along with open borders.

If it wasn’t for Fake News and the destruction of journalism, President Trump would have record approval ratings just like his record employment numbers for blacks, Hispanics, and women, the cooking economy and markets, the removal of strangulating regulations, the Keystone Pipeline, the regaining of respect throughout the world by leading from the front not from behind, the fighting for fair trade not trade deficits, the re-building of our great military, Trump’s great picks for Supreme Court, the restoration of faith, and so many other accomplishments he promised and kept.

I feel sorry for those who believe FAKE NEWS and the poles. The once great Gray Lady has turned blue and is near death. The Swamp Post is owned and controlled by the radical far left. 90% of the print news is biased, the tube news is filled with only hate Trump junk, and social media has been proven to play games by treating conservatives unfairly. It is not good to have our youth being brainwashed by socialist teachers and radical Goebbels like Fake News.

You cite certain instances where our President has perhaps gone overboard in exaggerations but the facts which go unreported are realized by those who search for the truth. You evidently do not and many don’t have the time. It is hilarious that you support Mueller’s Russian investigation which is not only a waste of tax dollars but also should be targeting the top crooks within Obama’s FBI, CIA, and State Department. The real collusion was with the FBI, State Department, CIA, DNC and Hillary of which I am sure you are aware. All this will eventually become clear but will you and your organization accept the truth? I doubt it.

Susquehanna Valley Progress should attempt to help the local economy now that the national economy doing great and setting records. Perhaps now is the time for all true Patriots to stand for the National Anthem, Salute the Flag and our Military, recognize our Founding Fathers, stop illegal immigration, protect our borders, turn hate into love, bring God back into our lives, and make public education great again.

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