#Donald Trump has become a peddler of lethal lies and is the commander of #Fake News - a worrisome problem for which he exclusively blames the media. His administration is in the throes of an all-out war with the mainstream media and integrity of journalism, going so far as to label the press the “enemy of the American people.”
The mainstream media is merely the enemy of conspiracies and misinformation. PolitiFact, the Pulitzer-prize-winning independent fact-checking organisation, awarded Trump the 2015 Lie of the Year accolade. In an assessment of Trump's assertions and claims thus far, PolitiFact scored a mere 4 percent of what he says as true, while 20 percent is mostly false, 33 percent totally false and 17 percent is 'pants on fire'. It was Adolf Hitler who said any lie big enough, told frequently enough will ultimately be believed.
The era of conspiracies and lies
Why are Trump supporters not more concerned with the validity and accuracy of his rhetoric? Here are just a few examples of his callous claims that have been proven to be patently false:
- Barack Obama faked his birth certificate,
- thousands of Muslims celebrated the fall of the Twin Towers in New Jersey,
- Ted Cruz's father was connected to Lee Harvey Oswald, vaccines cause autism, and
- three to five million people voted illegally in the 2016 election. None of those claims are true.
The day after Trump's inauguration the internet was flooded with pictures of comparisons between this year's crowd size and that of Obama's in 2009. They showed that Trump's audience was significantly smaller than Obama's. For days the comparison bothered the president, so he ordered the National Parks Services (NPS) to release their photographic records of the gathering on 20th January 2017, believing the images would prove his crowd was bigger. His request backfired when the NPS acquiesced and published the records, which showed that the original images used by the media were 100 percent accurate and his crowd was much smaller than the former president.
Last week a right-wing political commentator, Mark Levin, put forward a conspiracy theory that former President Barack Obama had ordered a wiretap on Trump's phones in Trump Tower. Levin has subsequently provided no evidence for his claims. If proven to be false, Trump's actions would be impeachable and not protected by the First Amendment which doesn't protect false and defamatory speech.
Trump's lies are lethal
According to the Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC), merely days after Trump won the election hates crimes all over the U.S. spiked dramatically. Since then they have recorded over a thousand cases so far. In New York specifically, hate crimes have increased by 42 percent since the election. From the graffiti of swastikas in public, the desecration of Jewish graves, and random shootings of people suspected of being Muslim, the SPLC directly attributes the rise to Donald Trump's rhetoric. There is no denying that hate-fuelled rhetoric runs the risk of empowering those who have already been looking for reasons to act on their fear and hatred.
A scandalous administration
One of the most famous and common proverbs in humans history reminds us that the truth hurts. In this case, the truth is hurting the President, often leaving gaping wounds that he has to scramble to cover up lest his easily influenced supporters turn on him.
We are not even two months into Trump's presidency, and yet there have been a few game-changing scandals. From the Muslim ban to the inadequate ObamaCare replacement to the potentially devastating revelations about this administration's ties with #Russia, the time for critical thought and examination has never been so necessary.
Separate Donald Trump's lethal lies and fake news from hard facts. Wait for confirmation of the validity of lies and conspiracy theories before blindly accepting them as truth. For if we don't, these very same lies and conspiracies may very well lead to consequences direr than any of us can imagine.