Our president is a liar. The Washington Post Fact Checker counted 10,111 false or misleading statements in the 828 days from assuming office through April 27, 2019. On average that’s an even dozen lies each and every day from the president to the citizens of the United States.
Republican politicos aren’t bothered in the least by the lies; they mostly just smile and give a no-answer answer when asked about the most recent fib from the prevaricator in chief. They are not about to kick the hornet nest. And to whom are the lies really directed? His base. Trump has shown he will say anything he needs his base to believe in order to keep his power. For as long as the base sticks with him, moderate Republican senators and representatives are too scared to stand up to him. Does his base even know Trump lies to them repeatedly? Well, either they do not, or they don’t care, which is troubling either way.
It is then disappointing, if unsurprising, when Trump supporters like Forum columnist Ross Nelson practice the same presidential methods of deception. In his May 11 column, a response to Alan Davis’s April 30 letter to the editor, Nelson leaps to the president’s defense using omission, deflection and, one of Trump’s favorite things, denigration of all liberals.
Seeking to create the impression that Obama’s practices of detaining children at the border are equivalent to Trump’s, he accuses Davis of “failing to shake off the shackles of ignorance” and failing to strive for intellectual integrity. Nelson’s beef is that Davis failed to note that Obama also detained children of immigrants at the border and kept them in the same wire cages the Trump administration is using today; however, there are two major differences. Obama’s administration only separated children from their parents when there was a question as to whether the adults were actually the parents or guardians of the children, or when a parent was found in possession of drugs.
Nelson then abandons any premise of point/counterpoint and resorts to full bore deflection: Let’s talk about Bill and Hillary Clinton! Again. Because Bill Clinton had female accusers, we should ignore Trump’s lies about paying hush money just weeks before the election to keep his extra-marital dalliances with a porn star and a Playboy bunny quiet? And just mention any one of the plethora of investigations into Trump and you won’t be able to count to three before Trump will shout “investigate Hillary!” Deflection is the sport of the guilty.
Even Republican Robert Mueller is on the hit list. The story Nelson relates was first related by Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and parroted by such reliably rightwing sites as The Daily Caller and Patriot News Alerts. Trouble is, the story is not true according to the federal judge, Nancy Gertner, who presided over the case against the government for falsely imprisoning four men in Baltimore in the 1980s. In a New York Times opinion piece Judge Gertner said Mueller had nothing to do with the case.
Shake those shackles, Mr. Nelson. Don’t be afraid to actually read or study anything outside of your own bigotry. Your words, not mine.