As is likely unsurprising to many, the second night of the Republican National Convention (RNC), which is unfolding this week, was full of lies. The outright lies covered topics ranging from the economy to funding for law enforcement to gun control. The night included addresses from folks like the president’s son Eric Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, whose speech is under Congressional investigation for potentially violating a federal prohibition on officials participating in political events while on the job. Few if any of the speeches were lie-free.
Noting that during Melania’s speech, the First Lady insisted that Americans should get “total honesty” from the president, CNN summarized the proceedings as follows:
‘We certainly haven’t received total honesty from President Donald Trump. And we certainly didn’t get it on Tuesday night. The convention programming was littered with false or misleading claims, including some from the President’s son Eric Trump, as well as a number of other claims that were missing important context.’
One speaker, former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, even lied about a topic that’s already gotten the president impeached: the Bidens and Ukraine. She claimed that a company that Joe Biden’s son Hunter worked for “was being investigated by a Ukrainian prosecutor” and Joe, as vice president, “threatened to withhold aid to Ukraine unless that same prosecutor was fired.” CNN notes, however, that the prosecutor in question — Viktor Shokin — was not investigating Burisma at the time of his firing, and on top of that, his firing was supported by many other folks, because he was “was widely seen as ineffective and corrupt,” CNN notes.
Eric Trump’s speech also had some notable outright lies. He claimed, for instance, that “wages went through the roof” under his father’s leadership, which is not accurate. In 2016, median weekly earnings stood at $347, CNN reports. By 2019, before the Coronavirus pandemic and associated economic chaos, median weekly earnings hit $359 — which is not exactly a huge dramatic increase, like Eric suggested. Meanwhile, Eric also claimed that “Biden has pledged to defund the police,” which is an outright lie. Asked about the matter on June 8, Biden said, “No, I don’t support defunding the police.” How much clearer can he get? He did note that he supports “conditioning federal aid to police based on whether or not they meet certain basic standards of decency and honorableness” — but that’s not at all some blanket pledge to “defund the police.”
Eric also claimed that Biden “has pledged to… take away your cherished Second Amendment,” which is again, a lie. Although Biden has supported a ban on assault weapons — who needs high-powered guns laying around anyway? — to suggest that he wants to throw out the Second Amendment entirely is just completely ridiculous and wrong. He does not support some kind of unilateral repeal of the right to bear arms. He doesn’t even support an across-the-board “buyback” for assault weapons that are already on the streets in the event that he’s able to enact a ban — he would opt for a voluntary “buyback” program in which those who don’t want to have their weapons “bought back” by the government must simply register them.
Do these Republican speakers even care about basic facts to begin with? They’re not appealing to truth and facts — they’re appealing to lie-based paranoia.