When Donald Trump’s supporters beat and kicked a protester at a Trump rally recently, The Donald seemingly cheered them on, saying, “Get him the hell out of here, will you, please? Get him out of here. Throw him out!” Afterwards, The Donald said on Fox News Channel, “Maybe he should have been roughed up, because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing. I have a lot of fans, and they were not happy about it. And this was a very obnoxious guy who was a trouble-maker who was looking to make trouble.” For the record, the protestor was saying, “Black lives matter.”
Let The Donald’s treatment of this protestor serve as a metaphor for his treatment of the truth: tell the truth to “get the Hell out of here,” and the truth “should be roughed up.” WC will examine three specific Trump claims.
The United States is about to take in 250,000 Syrian refugees.
“OUR PRESIDENT wants to take in 250,000 from Syria,” says Donald Trump, falsely. “Think of it, 250,000 people. And we all have heart, and we all want people taken care of and all of that, but with the problems our country has, to take in 250,000 people — some of whom are going to have problems, big problems — is just insane.”
It is not insane. It is an intentional lie. It is a lie that Mr. Trump repeats, even as fact checkers and reporters point out that it is wrong.[^1] It’s an example of the Big Lie, a statement that is so outrageous, so over the top, that people believe it because they can’t believe anyone would lie about something so serious. It is, quite literally, Hitlerian demagoguery technique. In fact, in four-plus years to the Syrian civil war, the U.S. has admitted into the country something less than 2,000 Syrian refugees. President Obama has announced the U.S. will accept a total of 10,000 carefully vetted Syrian refugees. In fact, the U.S. only admits 70,000 and 80,000 people annually world-wide. The Donald is beating and kicking the truth.
African-Americans are responsible for most white homicides.
The Donald claims that African-Americans are responsible for “most white homicides.” He even retweets a graphic – so disgusting WC won’t reproduce it here, but will only provide a link. The cited authority for the graphic doesn’t exist; there’s not such thing as “The Crime Statistics Bureau – San Francisco.” The real data – FBI crime statistics – show The Donald’s claims to be an outrageous, racist lie:
Trump’s Figures v. Real Data
|Blacks killed by whites||2%||8%|
|Whites killed by whites||16%||82%|
|Whites killed by blacks||81%||15%|
|Blacks killed by blacks||97%||90%>|
You can see that The Donald has inverted the data; he as reversed the Whites killed by Blacks” and the “Blacks killed by Whites.” That is patently racist. That’s George Wallace territory. And it is stupidly false.
During the 9/11 attacks, “thousands and thousands” of people in an unnamed “Arab” community in New Jersey “were cheering as that building was coming down.”
The Donald has repeated this whopper a couple of times. His claim is, “I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down, and I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down.”
The problem with his claim is that it didn’t happen. There may very well have been Muslims in the Near East who celebrated the terrorism. But not in New Jersey. If WC may borrow from the late Carl Sagan, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. So let’s see some extraordinary evidence to support a claim no one else remembers happening. How about a video clip from 2001 showing what The Donald claims. No?
Otherwise, it’s a stupid lie, intended to bias The Donald’s supporters into anti-U.S. Muslim sentiment.
Despite these lies, all rated by Politifact as “Pants on Fire,” Donald Trump remains the most popular Republican candidate for President. Which doesn’t speak well for the Republican electorate, who don’t understand that a racist demagogue might not make a very good president, or that the majority of Americans may be a little smarter, a little better at critical thinking, than a Trump supporter. WC hopes so, anyway.