With Mr. Trump being considered by many political pundits and media outlets as the most prolific liar as President in modern day politics, it is stunning to observe his supporters continuing to stand by his side.
Case in point: The New York Times dedicated an entire cover to Mr. Trump’s lies, leading the Times reader and Trump supporter to write to the Editor of that outlet, issuing the following rationalization:
“Yes, but if you made a similar list for previous presidents, it would be just as bad.”
Therefore, in December, 2017 the New York Times accommodated the Trump supporter by comparing Mr. Trump’s lies with those of former President, Barack Obama.
Applying the same “conservative standard” to Mr. Obama as the publication applied to Mr. Trump, the Times found that Obama misled the American people a total of eighteen times during his entire eight-year term.
Mr. Trump however, was found lying ten times this amount in the first ten months of his term.
Other publications noticed this near-historic pattern of lying too. The Washington Post, for example, printed on November 14, 2017 that Mr. Trump, up to that point in time had made false of misleading claims a total of 1,628 times. To clarify: This was merely covering 298 days of Trump’s administration.
Time Magazine, in their January 2, 2018 edition prints how Mr. Trump had made over 1,950 false statements or misleading statements in his first year as President alone. ”
The publication further argues how these lies are having not only an effect on citizens’ trust in government institutions, but also in Mr. Trump as President, while citing a Quinnipiac poll reflecting how nearly 62% of Americans view Trump as a “dishonest man.”
In addition to Trump’s lies, his supporters must deal with the very factual aspect that he is also failing to deliver on the majority of promises made to them during the campaign.
To date, Mr. Trump has made good on a mere three promises out of 282 made to his supporters during the campaign. He has succeeded in lowering the corporate tax rate, withdrew from the Paris climate deal, and nominated a conservative justice, Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
A central campaign promise made by Mr. Trump among the plethora of others is his promise to build a wall along our southern border. Throughout the campaign, the Trump rally attendee was consistently told how Trump was “going to build a wall” while “making Mexico pay for the project.”
Often, Mr. Trump would ask those attending his rally: “What are we going to do,” only for rally attendees to answer enthusiastically, “Build a wall.” This rhetoric would most often be followed up with “Who is going to pay for it,” only for those same people to scream with wild abandonment, “Mexico.”
Watch the video to see various times Trump made this promise:
Pragmatism aside, one still must ask: why do Trump’s supporters continue to support his agenda, when it is clear he lies and fails to keep the majority of promises he has made to them? While theories abound, one thing is certain: Mr. Trump is lying to his base about keeping his promises. Case in point:
Last week, among all of the shuffling around with major news stories, such as Russia, Mueller, administration changes, and a host of other things, one specific issue did not receive that much coverage. During the tumult of the week, Mr. Trump sent out the following Tweet on March 28,TH:
“Great briefing this afternoon on the start of our Southern Border WALL!”
With pictures of a Wall standing being propped by cranes, construction workers hard at the task, and 116 thousand of his Twitter followers clicking the like button, there is only one problem: The Wall shown in the pictures is not Trump’s Wall.
According to the Los Angeles Times, who saw the earlier Tweet, corrected the record with the following headline: “Trump Tweets That His Border Wall Has Started: It Hasn’t.” According to the publication, the pictures of the Wall that Mr. Trump lifted were those from a portion of an existing Wall which was planned to be repaired back in 2009, due to it being “breached several hundred times badly in need of repair.”
In fact, Jonathan Pacheco, a spokesman for the Border Patrol’s El Centro Sector, told those attending a citizens academy earlier in the month the following:
“This isn’t the infrastructure that Trump is trying to bring in…. This new wall replacement has absolutely nothing to do with the prototypes that were shown over in the San Diego area.”
Of course, this led Mr. Trump and his Administration to correct the error, right? Wrong. In fact, when the Times contacted the Department of Homeland Security to clear up the confusion, they specifically asked whether “the Wall posted by Trump and the one spoken of by Mr. Pacheo were one and the same,” only to receive a one word response: “Yes.”
Adding insult to injury, prior to Mr. Trump leaving for Mar-A-Lago for the Easter break, he held a rally out in Ohio last week. During that rally he once again brought up how construction on the “Wall” had commenced citing the pictures he posted on Twitter, calling it a “thing of beauty.”
Watch Mr. Trump openly lie again about construction on the Wall:
Again: Democracy can only function when the information being shared in the public square is reliable and honest. Why? Citizens across this land make their decision of support premised on this information. Mr. Trump’s persistent lying has a corrosive effect not only on democracy, but our future, as children observe his behavior.
And what to make of Mr. Trump’s supporters? While, they are not dumb, naive, or ignorant, they simply cannot take him at his word anymore. Should they do so, they are like those suffering from battered wife syndrome and are as Eugene Robinson writes, “suckers.” You can only be lied to so many times before you begin looking like the fool.
Trump pathologically lies to his supporters and they do not seem to care one single bit. Why?
I’ll allow the reader to decide.
A social psychologist by day, political analyst and journalist by night, Dr. Mark Bear has built an established audience by printing facts, without click-bait, sensationalism, or hyperbole. He is married to his wife of 34 years, and both he and his wife, Susan, have a Schnauzer named Shadow. Follow along by connecting with Doc on Facebook or Twitter under the handle Dr. Progressive!