Tuesday, June 20, 2017
The theme that "Trump lies" are all over the internet and the media, almost always without reference to specific lies. Yes, Trump has been known to exaggerate, but as far as I know he has not told any specific lies.Consider also the most frequent lie about Trump – the claim that he himself is an extraordinary and inveterate liar, somehow even worse than his predecessor or his defeated electoral rival. But the “lies” Trump is accused of telling fall mainly into the category of opinions over which the left differs with him, or the exaggerations of a salesman who makes off-the-cuff claims without bothering to check the facts (not the same thing as a lie proper). The most memorable case of such overreach seems to be his claim that he lost the popular vote to Hillary because of voter fraud committed by illegal aliens. Since no one can seriously claim that voter fraud is non-existent, the “lie” consists in the number of fraudulent votes – three million or so – that Trump seems to have plucked out of the air. Obviously, Trump doesn’t know that there were three million fraudulent votes cast in the 2016 election. But neither do his critics know there weren’t, since there has never been a national survey of voter fraud, while Democrats have done everything in their power to prevent a system of voter identification from being put in place. In other words, both sides are sustained by unsubstantiated claims, although it is Trump alone who has proposed to settle the argument through a new commission that will look into voter fraud across the fifty states.Trump has never been accused of telling a lie with the life-altering consequences of Obama’s claim that “ISIS is on the run and al-Qaeda is on the path to defeat,” or that the Benghazi attack was over a video, or that you can keep your doctor if you like him. These led to electoral victories, complacency in the face of terrorist attacks and massive legislative programs. Nor has Trump lied to the FBI, the Congress and the American people about the existence of classified documents which he exposed to America’s enemies, as Clinton has.