Only three other U.S. presidents since 1964 have won an election with fewer electoral votes than Donald Trump. Those are Nixon in 1972, Carter in 1976 and Bush in 2000 and 2004. And only one other president in that time has been elected while losing the popular vote. Bush lost by about 540,000 votes in 2000. Donald Trump lost this election by 2,865,000 votes.
Anyone who tries to claim that Trump had a landslide victory or has a mandate of the people is lying. We may be stuck with the most dysfunctional, volatile, unfit, dangerous petty tyrant ever elected in my lifetime, and perhaps in the history of our country, but we must continue rebutting the misinformation, fake news, conspiracy theories, and blatant lies he and his supporters spout. Our democracy depends on accurate public information. Trump was an inveterate liar during his campaign, lying far more than any other candidate, according to PolitiFact, and he has not slowed down. We expect and tolerate hyperbolic campaign promises and attempts to spin events and statements in a candidates favor. But lying about verifiable facts is unacceptable, especially once the campaign is over.
One of Trump’s most recent lies is his claim that the murder rate in America is the highest in the last 45 years. He has been spewing this falsehood repeatedly at the egotistical events he is organizing for his mindless minions. In fact, the murder rate is the LOWEST in the last 53 years. The homicide rate in the U.S. in 2014, the most recent year available, was 4.5 per 100,000, the lowest rate since 1963 when the rate was 4.6 per 100,000. It’s difficult to know what his agenda is for this lie. Perhaps his fearmongering was so successful in campaigning that he just can’t stop. Perhaps he believes if enough ignorant and gullible followers buy his lie, he can claim he lowered the rate when the truth comes out. Whatever his purpose, it is inexcusable for a President-elect.
Trump has said he gets most of his information by watching TV. At least three of his team and cabinet picks have been Fox News contributors. Considering that several independent research studies in the past few years have found that Fox News misinforms listeners more than any other network, that source of wise advisors for our President-elect is frightening.
Difference of opinion is a core element of our democratic republic. False information, fake news, and blatant lies will lead to its destruction. We each must resist that destruction with critical thinking, skeptical analysis, courageous rebuttal of lies in a persistent commitment to truth.