Trump’s fake news

The greatest purveyor of “fake news” in America today is President Donald Trump. Like all good propagandists, Trump understands that misinformation and its close cousin “alternate facts,” even after being discredited, have lasting influence with some Americans. Too bad he doesn’t have Pinocchio’s nose, growing longer with each lie.

Presidents have lied to the American public before — Ronald Reagan didn’t know about the Iran-Contra arms deal and Bill Clinton did not have sex with Monica Lewinsky.

However, Trump has brought lying to a level that we have not seen since Richard Nixon. Trump is a serial liar. Time magazine documented him lying to us 1,950 times in 2017; 70 percent of his statements were false. His reasons? To congratulate himself, to denigrate others, to score political points with his core supporters, or to divert attention from his failures and faux pas.

Here are a few notable discredited Trumpisms: President Barack Obama was not eligible to be president. The 19 sexual assault and harassment claims against him have been debunked. Hillary Clinton did not win the popular vote. The tax bill is going to cost him millions. Obama ordered the phones at Trump Tower tapped. Trump’s inaugural crowd was the largest ever. Global warming and evidence of Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election are hoaxes.

Trump’s routine lies and dissemination of fake news poses a serious threat to our democratic form of government, which relies on a level of public trust and confidence in that government, including the president, if it is to function.

Pinocchio stopped lying; Trump can’t. As citizens we need to continue to call Trump out, make sure our congressional delegation doesn’t buy into his fictional universe, and rely upon well-vetted, objective news and information sources upon which to base our personal political opinions.

George Seel

Belgrade