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Tracking falsehoods

United States President Donald Trump made 56 false claims last week. This is even lower than his weekly average of 59, according to network giant CNN, which since last year has been counting the non-truths the president has been spewing.

This week, Mr. Trump made false claims on immigration, the economy, his political rivals the Democrats, the investigation liking him to Russia, and on health care and impeachment. He lied when being interviewed, when speaking before supporters and ordinary citizens, and when meeting with governors.

Tracking falsehoods

According to CNN, the President has made 1,873 false claims since July 8.

Among the most egregious claims is that he did not win the popular vote in New Hampshire state: There were hundreds and hundreds of buses of improper voters, he said, that were shipped up from Massachusetts. He also said that the funds to build the border wall would be coming from redemption money from illegal aliens. But there is no such thing as redemption money, immigration experts say. And then he retweeted a columnist who wrote that his approval rating climbed 10 points. Except that, in his tweet, he said she said he gained 20.

Many will say it is useless to expect Mr. Trump, or any other leader with a propensity to bend the truth to suit their own purposes, to start being more truthful. They have always been this way, so the best response is always not to take their words at face value and rather regard them as accessories that make up a larger-than-life personality.

It could be for self-aggrandizement, to escape blame or liability, to claim credit where none is due, to malign opponents, and many other reasons. It does not mask the fact that such leaders who lie in small things can do so in big things.

But must a people lower their standards for the truth just because their leader is notorious for falsehoods?

We can imagine how keeping track of Trump’s statements just to check his words against the truth could be exhausting. But it is a job that should not even be there in the first place. People should always be able to take their leader’s words at face value. They should not make allowances for the state of mind, or body, he is in, if he is speaking literally or figuratively, or if there is a chance he is misinformed, or just piqued, or just toying with his listener’s minds.

Life is difficult enough as it is. Keeping track of lies, and then deciding which words to believe and which to be wary of, are unnecessary exercises, and huge impositions by an unworthy leader.

Topics: Editorial , Tracking falsehoods , United States President Donald Trump , CNN
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