Letter to the editor: ‘You can’t trust a word Trump says’


To the editor:

Paul Ray’s letter to the editor in the July 29 Delaware Gazette (“Clinton ‘has lied, gotten away’ with scandals”) starts out with the charge that Hillary Clinton lies. He says he could see people voting for her if she were halfway truthful. The claim that Hillary Clinton is an inveterate liar is, in fact, a lie that (Donald) Trump and others have said often enough that some people think it’s true. Instead of Mr. Ray’s sweeping generalizations, I suggest he think of the following facts about which of our presidential candidates is the real “huge” liar.

If Mr. Ray were to go on line to PolitiFact (as did the Columbus Dispatch) he would discover a chart that shows Mr. Trump’s statements are 71 percent “mostly false or worse” — more than three times the figure for Clinton. Moreover, when I looked at the chart, 18 percent of Trump’s lies were “pants on fire” terrible lies, and only 2 percent of Hillary’s were.

The Dispatch mentioned that analysts have pointed out that the two lie in quite different ways. Clinton’s defensive lies in response to attacks are regarded as “more legitimate” than Trump’s “offensive and self-promotional lies.” So, Mr. Ray, concerned about lies, should encourage people to vote for Hillary Clinton over “pants on fire” Donald Trump with his 71 percent lie rate.

I was already looking into the question of Trump’s lies when I saw Mr. Ray’s letter. A Google search had discovered pages of citations. Of those I read, the best site for a one-page summary and then an extended explanatory article was at FactCheck.org. I’ll cite one item: “Trump said ‘there’s no way to screen’ Syrian refugees to determine ‘who they are or where they come from.’ But all refugees admitted to the U.S. go through an extensive vetting process that takes 18 to 24 months to complete.”

The Wall Street Journal? On Trump’s claim that the U.S. is “one of the highest-taxed nations in the world,” it writes: “Compared with other large industrialized nations, the U.S. is, in fact, a low-tax country. In 2014, according to the most recent data, the U.S. federal, state and local governments collected a total of 26 percent of gross domestic product in taxes, below the average of 34.4 percent for about 30 nations, which also typically provide more generous social benefits.”

Politico.org examines “Trump’s RNC address: Fact or fiction?” Of Trump’s dark, troubled view of America, Politico notes: “The GOP nominee rolled out a series of frightening statistics about the state of the nation. They ranged from accurate to incomplete to outright false.” …

The moral is: You can’t trust a word Trump says. And you may not like his values very much either.

Corinne Lyman