A few days ago we presented the top ten most honest and dishonest American politicians, based on my analysis of rating by the Pulitzer-Prize winning news site PolitiFact.com. I am utterly astounded at how many Conservative readers ranted and raved, either against the veracity of the list or that no amount of evidence will change their minds that the two people they hate most in the world, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, rank among the top ten most honest politicians.
I make no apology for being a bleeding heart liberal. But I’m also a scientist, and I know that any data-based conclusions I make have to be reproducible. The data have to be publicly available and trustworthy. That’s why I turned to PolitiFact in the first place. They give a painstakingly exhaustive presentation of the fact-checking involved in each and every one of their ratings. It is all open source, available for anyone and everyone to read and verify for themselves. And they don’t hold back.
Donald Trump has a total of 202 statements rated by PolitiFact as of July 25, 2016. Only 14 statements predate his campaign announcement of June 16, 2015. In other words, they have a very complete record of his political statements as a Presidential candidate.
Hillary Clinton has a total of 225 statements rated as of July 25, 2016. Her file starts on Aug. 1, 2007, and therefore covers two candidacies and her time as Secretary of State. In other words, they have a very complete record of her political statements as a Presidential candidate and government official.
Below are the percentages of their statements that were rated in each of six categories: Pants-on-Fire lie, False, Mostly False, Half True, Mostly True, True. You can verify the numbers for yourself with the links above.
PolitiFact isn’t the only group keeping tabs on honesty. They are just the easiest one to search, by construction, as opposed to The Washington Post and FactCheck.org, both of whom are quite reliable, but want you to read their analyses (to get ad revenue). But the results don’t change. For example, in a July 15 news analysis of 52 Trump claims versus 32 of Clinton’s, they rated a whopping 63% of Trump’s statements as false and only 14% from Clinton.
Trump is a liar. Clinton is not.
However you figure it, Donald Trump consistently rates in the top 5 biggest liars of the 3,390 people and organizations that PolitFact has tracked. He added another lie in the time it took me to write this. The conclusion is inescapable: Trump is a voracious liar. On the other hand, Clinton always places in the top 10 for honesty. Out of a sample of 3,390!
Those aren’t my opinions, by the way, nor my beliefs or convictions or the way I want the world to work. Look, I didn’t want Clinton to be the Democratic nominee. I actually supported Martin O’Malley. So I’m not writing this as an ardent Clinton supporter. I grab the data, I analyze it, I report it. Trump is a liar. Clinton is not.
Why is it so hard to believe that Clinton is basically honest?
Doesn’t it seem just a little odd that it is overwhelmingly Trump – our current liar-in-chief – who calls Clinton crooked and dishonest? He’s a marketing genius. How else do you rip off so many people for so much money such a long career? Well, it’s working. The latest CNN poll has 68% of respondents saying Clinton isn’t honest and trustworthy.
There are loads of news analyses on why that is the case, which mostly boil down to people disproportionally fixating on the small number of lies that Clinton told, while essentially brushing all of Trump’s under the rug as inconsequential. They insist that Clinton’s few scandals are more damning than Trump’s many. It seems that people want Clinton to be a liar, and really don’t care that Trump actually is one.
Smart people change their minds.
For years, the entire medical community dogmatically insisted that ulcers were caused by stress. They treated the acid, the ulcers subsided, but usually came back. Two Australian upstarts named Robin Warren and Barry Marshall went against established convention when their research showed ulcers came from the bacteria Heliobacter pylori. No one believed them. “I don’t care what they say, ulcers are caused by lifestyle” the medical community responded. To prove it, Marshall actually infected himself with the bacteria, gave himself a massive ulcer, and cured it with antibiotics. The medical community realized it was wrong; doctors changed their mind. The duo won the Nobel Prize for medicine in 2005.
You know what makes a person smart? It doesn’t matter whether or where you went to school. GPA, SAT, GRE, MCAT, JD, MBA, MD, Ph.D., FRS, MENSA, Nobel Prizes be damned. Smart people listen to evidence, think critically, and change their mind when that evidence shows they are wrong. If it weren’t for smart people, you’d be living in the dark ages instead of reading this on your smartphone.
In the face of overwhelming evidence, there is nothing noble about dogmatic stubbornness. Do you hate Hillary Clinton? More power to you. But you can’t buy Trump’s bogus claim that she’s “perhaps the most dishonest person to have ever run for the presidency.” You certainly can’t go repeating it.
Not convinced? Look your mother, your sister, your daughter in the eye, and tell her “I’ve just been shown the evidence that Trump is the biggest liar in current American politics, and Hillary Clinton is one of the most honest, and I refuse to accept it.”
This is part 2 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
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