Political fact-checking website Politifact has given out it’s 2016 “Lie of the Year” award and the title went to Donald Trump’s entire campaign!
Out of 77 statements from the candidate that the website fact checked, 76 of them were rated Mostly False, False, or Pants on Fire — a rating reserved for only the most egregious of false claims.
His first and only “true” fact-checked statement was when he recently asserted that Russian President Vladimir Putin has a high approval rating.
The website wrote that while trying to decide on the Lie of the Year, the only real contenders came from the GOP front runner, and that his lies also lead the reader polls on the worst of the worst. There were so many outrageous lies to choose from, that Politifact opted to just give one big trophy for his entire campaign.
“To the candidate who says he’s all about winning, PolitiFact designates the many campaign misstatements of Donald Trump as our 2015 Lie of the Year,” Politifact reporters Angie Drobnic Holan and Linda Qiu wrote for the announcement.
The website then listed some of the former reality-television star’s worst Pants on Fire moments of the year.
- “I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down,” he said at a Nov. 21 rally in Birmingham, Ala. “And I watched in Jersey City, N.J., where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.” Pants on Fire. There is no video of thousands of people in Jersey City cheering. Weeks later, Trump continues to stand by his claim but has not been able to point to evidence to back it up. Public safety officials on the ground in New Jersey say it never happened.
- “The Mexican government … they send the bad ones over.” Pants on Fire. There’s no evidence to show the Mexican government encourages criminals to cross the border. Most illegal immigration comes from people seeking work. Recent estimates show illegal immigration from Mexico dropped off dramatically during the recession and has remained low.
- “Whites killed by whites — 16%. Whites killed by blacks — 81%,” said an image he shared on Twitter. Pants on Fire. Most people are killed by someone they know, and someone of the same race. The correct number for whites killed by whites was 82 percent in 2014, while the number of whites killed by blacks was 15 percent.
They didn’t stop there however, they also noted that their first fact-check of Trump came in 2011 as he toyed with the idea of a 2012 White House bid against President Barack Obama. During that time, Trump aligned himself with conspiracy theorists who do not believe that the president was born in the United States by declaring that people who went to school with him “never saw him.” Politifact rated that claim Pants on Fire.
While the insanity of a campaign based on lies leading the polls may seem slightly hilarious — unfortunately, no matter how hard the media catches him and calls him out on his bogus claims, his devoted base continues to lap it up. His hateful and dangerous rhetoric, though based on falsehoods, is seemingly what that portion of America really wants to hear.
Greek historian Polybius believed that any democracy will eventually come undone at the hands of demogogues. He wrote that they bring “a government of violence and the strong hand,” leading to “tumultuous assemblies, massacres, banishments.”
Sounds about right.
Trump’s pants are heavily on fire, we must not let the flames spread, time to put it out.
Featured image via Flickr