We can’t be sure why Donald Trump says things that are either outright lies or at least things for which there is no supporting evidence. He may be a crazy conspiracy theorist, or me may say outrageous things to co-opt the news cycle and divert attention from his negatives. Whatever the reason, it weakens America.
Let me remind people some of the outright false or highly questionable statements from Donald Trump (Politifact documented over 100).
- Muslims in New Jersey cheered the 9/11 attacks
- There’s something fishy about Barack Obama’s birth certificate, and blamed the stories on Hillary Clinton
- Global warming is a Chinese hoax to weaken America
- Barack Obama personally ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower
- 3-5 million persons illegally voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election
Perhaps the reader is like me and has become habituated to Trump’s nonsense and just files it under “stuff not worth bothering with.” Yesterday I realized just how wrong that is. The instance involves the US missile strike in Syria. This action by the Trump administration may be the only arguably positive thing Trump has done since becoming president. It shows the resolve of the United States regarding the use of chemical weapons, but the international leverage gained by that action is diluted because the Russians have essentially labeled the “Assad chemical attacks” story fake news; they say it was the rebel factions who used the chemical weapons. So who is the world to believe, the Trump administration who regularly puts out fake news, or the Russians who regularly put out fake news?1
Every time the government and its leaders lie, the credibility of the United States suffers, and the world is less likely to believe them when they tell the truth.
1We took a similar hit when George W. Bush used fake evidence (sale of “yellow cake”) to justify the invasion of Iraq.