Do facts still matter in the campaign?
To the editor:
Last Friday, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump acknowledged that President Obama was born in the United States.
After five years, of spearheading the so-called “birther” movement, Trump made a 180 degree turn, stating simply that “President Obama was born in the United States. Period.”
In short, it now appears, Trump’s birther campaign was less of an ideological movement than a five-year marketing stunt to garner enough national attention to galvanize his base and jump start his run for President of the United States.
Any other candidate, who would have pulled off a similar stunt would have been disqualified and vanished into oblivion.
But when it comes to Mr. Trump, the public has become so used to exaggerated claims and straight out falsehoods, that most people appear to just shrug their shoulders and laugh it off with, “Oh, yes, well, that’s just the Donald.”
During the primary, Trump termed most of his adversaries liars, including Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Ben Carson. But, as some media outlets have pointed out, there’s only one massive liar in this race: Donald Trump. The website Politico once analyzed 4.6 hours of Trump told speeches, and found that he lied, on average, once every five minutes. The Huffington Post catalogued his lies over the course of just one town hall event, they came up with 71 lies.
Strangely, supporters of Trump appear comfortable with the way Mr. Trump has repeatedly stretched the truth on the campaign trail, while maintaining an unshakable belief that when it comes to the promises he has made to them, he will be a man who stands by his word.
Mr. Trump has promised to ‘make America great again.’ Yet, the corner stone of his economic policy emphasizes tax cuts that will largely benefit the wealthy, with little tangible benefits for the downscale Americans (you and me) for whom Mr. Trump claims to speak.
He promises $4.4 trillion dollars in tax cuts, but offers no plausible way to pay for these, creating the potential for vastly increasing the already bloated national debt.
He promises to eradicate the national debt by stimulating economic growth at 3.5 percent per year – a number which is widely considered unrealistic by economists.
In short, Mr. Trump offers up a plan for ‘making America great again, based on the same fanciful rhetoric characterizing his campaign.
This may all be well if you’re a billionaire with deep pockets, who will greatly benefit from the tax cuts proposed under the Trump economic plan.
But as the 2008 economic crisis showed all too clearly, in the very real world of economic realities in which the rest of us live, facts, indeed, do matter. Trust is the corner stone of the society in which we live. Let’s not risk undermining that foundation by putting blind, unfounded trust in a candidate who has repeatedly shown that he will let us down.
– Terry Smith, Fairfield