By Steven Baron
In last week’s issue (Gazette 1068) Ronnie Nathan made multiple claims about President Trump and his presidency. This article will refute each claim.
Mr. Nathan stated, “There has simply never been such a prolific liar in the White House in the history of the Republic.” Let’s examine two of these alleged lies. The website PolitiFact lists 225 lies attributed to Trump. Two of these so-called “lies” include the following examples: On April 16, 2016, Trump said that professional football coach Rex Ryan “won championships in New York.” On October 11, 2016, Mr. Trump incorrectly identified a Newsweek journalist who claimed that the Benghazi attack was “almost certainly preventable.”
Merriam Webster defines the word “lie” as “an untrue statement with intent to deceive,” and the word “misspeak” as “expressing oneself insufficiently clearly or accurately.” These are two examples of Trump misspeak that the media incorrectly define as “lies.” Does anyone believe that Mr. Trump purposely misrepresented on these two occasions?
The media routinely classifies Trump misspeaks as lies. During a campaign stop in 2008, candidate Barack Obama said he had “visited 57 states.” The mainstream media did not castigate Mr. Obama for this verbal blunder. What if Donald Trump had said the same thing during the 2016 campaign? The media would have jumped on that statement as proof that Mr. Trump is an ignoramus.
Of interest, PolitiFact lists 61 Obama lies, but not Obama’s infamous statement, “You can keep your insurance plan, and your doctor too.” Notwithstanding that Mr. Trump may have truly lied, and not misspoke on occasion, can you recall any lie that Trump has uttered that has had such a profound negative effect on the American populace? The point is clear: Mr. Trump often misspeaks, and the media routinely classifies Trump’s misspeaks as lies. Since the populace routinely gives credence to the media, the notion that Trump is a habitual liar has proliferated.
Mr. Nathan asserts that the Trump presidency is a disaster. What about these administration accomplishments?
*Confronting China by demanding trade reciprocity, and an end to industrial theft.
*Election of two constitutionalist judges to SCOTUS.
*Tax cuts leading to economic prosperity.
*Eliminating burdensome rules and regulations allowing businesses to thrive.
*Ending the disastrous Iran nuclear deal.
*Entering dialogue with North Korea to hopefully lead to their nuclear disarmament.
*Destroying the ISIS caliphate.
*Increasing jobs for all Americans.
*Defending national security by insisting that a wall be built along our southern border.
Mr. Nathan asserts that President Trump normalizes, flaunts and expresses no shame for what Nathan claims are “questionable campaign tactics,” a foreign policy based on selfish personal interests, and paying hush-money to prostitutes. Has the paradox escaped Mr. Nathan as to why Mr. Trump would pay hush money if he normalizes and flaunts his indiscretions?
In regards to Mr. Trump’s extramarital liaisons, he is in company with three former presidents, including Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, and Bill Clinton – all known White House philanderers. Mr. Trump’s indiscretions occurred long before his presidency. I do not condone his behavior, but have little interest in what Mr. Trump did years ago before his election.
Mr. Nathan believes that Mr. Trump undermines the moral authority of the presidency, and that Trump has convinced his constituency that his behavior is inconsequential, and that he has destroyed the moral compass of America. The term “moral authority of the presidency” is MEANINGLESS. Where in the Constitution is the president bestowed “moral authority”? What defines “moral authority”? The moral compass of America has been destroyed since the 1960s when the “don’t trust anyone over 30” crowd, to America’s everlasting regret, came into prominence.
Mr. Nathan diatribes against Trump supporters, accusing them of blindly supporting Trump’s foreign policy of “crass self-interest” and acquiescing to Trump’s lies. The implication of Nathan’s remarks is that Trump supporters are a homogeneous, blindly loyal, almost cult-like group. To quote Mr. Nathan, “…that America stands for nothing other than what Donald Trump tells them it stands for.” Nothing could be further from the truth! Trump supporters think for themselves. Within the conservative enclave, there is a diversity of opinions on virtually every issue.
Mr. Nathan is perplexed why Evangelical Christians, and by extension, religious Catholics and Jews, support Donald Trump. The answer is not difficult to comprehend. During the 2016 presidential election, we had a choice between two candidates whose personal characters were highly suspect. The slogans attributed to Mr. Trump (“Let’s Make America Great Again”) and his campaign promises (“We’re going to cut taxes and end Obamacare”) appealed to more of the electorate in key electoral states than the specter of an Obama-like presidency under Hillary. Trump supporters are under no illusion that Mr. Trump is a saint. We realize that there is no moral perfection in our political candidates. We vote for imperfect individuals whose ideas and visions for America most closely align with our ideas and values. In other words, we vote with reality in mind.
Mr. Nathan poses the following questions: “Will America survive Donald Trump?” I’m betting on it, just as I am betting that the earth will still be habitable in 12 years. “Will America discover its moral compass as a society and culture?” Yes, when the country adopts Judeo-Christian values. In contrast, Mr. Nathan believes that a moral revival “will likely depend on the character, charisma, and competency of our next president.” Many of us thought that would occur in 2009 upon the election of Barack Obama. How did that work out?
My advice to wishful thinkers: Be careful what you wish for!