Before we get to the list, forget party lines for a minute. Forget “Libtard” and “Rethuglican” and Fox and MSNBC and guns and gays. Just answer this one question. How do you feel when you hear a lawmaker say something that you know is patently false?
Need some help? Remember when Todd Akin said victims of “legitimate rape” rarely get pregnant? Or when John Edwards relentlessly insisted he didn’t have an affair? Be honest with yourself. How did you feel?
If you are ok with it, you are everything that’s wrong with this country. Please tell that to anyone you know who feels the same way. You can blame it on us.
The rest of us probably feel some variant on frustration, resignation, or rage. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Americans have a psychotic relationship with liars.
A sports legend lies and we shame them to oblivion. Seriously, how many people have come to the defense of Lance Armstrong? Barry Bonds? Where is Tania Harding now? How about Pete Rose? Yerrrrr outa here!!!
We used to treat politicians the same way. Remember the Watergate scandal? Richard Nixon resigned. 69 people were indicted, including many members of his administration. 25 people went to jail. There were very few people in this country who had any sympathy or tolerance for what they did.
Why do we hold sports stars to such a high standard, but don’t apply that same standard to our lawmakers?
Look at who lies the most.
PolitiFact.com has been rating the truth of political statements since 2007. We grabbed the 2000 or so pages of people who had listed affiliations of Democrat, Independent, or Republican, kept only those who had at least 20 statements rated, ran a few python scripts, and produced this list of the ten most honest and most lying politicians. The “Honesty Index” is our invention (it’s the weighted average of how many truths and lies each person told) where 1.0 means they always told the total truth, and 0.0 means they only told pants-on-fire lies. “Percent Lies” is just that: what percentage of their statements were rated as Mostly False, False, or Pants On Fire.
That’s right. The ten biggest liars in American politics are all Republican. In fact, 18 of the top 20 liars are Republican. On the other hand, only 2 of the top 10 most-honest politicians are Republican.
Until the last day of the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump was liar #1. He only moved to #3 because he told a few things in his acceptance speech that weren’t false. He still has the most pants-on-fire lies (33) of anyone PolitiFact follows.
So Republicans just nominated one of the most dishonest people in American politics as their candidate for President of the United States. Oh, and Mike Pence (the Republican VP candidate) is #20 on the biggest-liars list. That’s quite a ticket.
Meanwhile, Trump has the cojones to call Hillary Clinton “perhaps the most dishonest person to have ever run for the presidency.” Trump’s supporters lap it up. How many Republican pundits do you think have bothered to verify that claim? Probably zero, because that doesn’t win votes.
America, why the hell are we letting this happen?
Every voter is a legislator for a day.
Back to that question we asked. How do you feel when a lawmaker says something completely asinine or patently false? If you were elected to office, would you ever do that? If you’ve read this far, the answer if probably “hell no!”
We’re being flooded with articles from major news organizations with titles like Why Voters Don’t Seem to Care Whether Candidates Tell the Truth. Fact-checkers heads were exploding during the RNC last week. I actually heard a Republican lawmaker tell NPR that it was journalists’ job to fact check what he said, not his job to tell the truth (I so wish I could find that clip, but it was years ago).
On what planet is this ok??? Apparently right here.
Stop putting up with it. When you vote, you are a lawmaker for a day. Act like it. To paraphrase Gandhi, one of the greatest examples of how one person can change the world, be the change you want to see.
Don’t just believe something you hear because you like how it sounds. Verify it. Now that everyone has a smartphone, it’s really easy to do. Expect honesty. Deal in honesty. If your candidate lies, own it. And think long and hard about whether you want that kind of person in office.
Do you have friends who put up with these lying liars? Call them out for it. Tell them they are each individually responsible for the radical stupidizing of our entire political process. Shame them for each time they’ve blindly repeated one of these lies, turned a blind eye to blatant chicanery, or even worse, made excuses to justify why it’s ok.
One last question: How can you trust lawmakers to faithfully represent you if you can’t even trust them to be honest?
Stop letting them get away with it. Republicans and Democrats alike. Stop electing liars. Be the change you want to see.
This is part 1 in a continuing series to critically examine Donald Trump’s presidential bid.
- Who Are The Ten Most Honest And Lying American Politicians?
- Why Can’t You Believe Hillary Clinton Is Inherently Honest?
- Trump Bankruptcy Reveals Chilling Details
- `Crooked Hillary?’ That Time Donald Trump Destroyed Email Evidence
- Caught Again: Trump Still Hiring Foreign Workers Over Americans
- Donald Trump’s Secret Plan To Bring Back Jobs: He Can’t
- Trump’s Ponzi Scheme To Bankrupt The U.S. Economy
- Trump’s Service Record Speaks For Itself
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