Editorial: Trump and the truth need closer relationship

Posted December 7, 2016

A CBC Editorial: Wednesday, Dec.7, 2016; Editorial# 8092
The following is the opinion of Capitol Broadcasting Company

Truth. What a concept! It’s not partisan. It doesn’t have an ideology.  It is self-evident.  It is demonstrably something everyone should agree upon.  It does not matter who holds office, what partisan label they carry or where they are ideologically.  In a democracy, we expect the truth.

These days, though, that notion of truth seems to have a “once-upon-a-time” sentimentality. In the dawning Donald Trump era, truth it seems is no longer absolute.

That is a BIG problem when the people who run the most powerful nation on the planet deal with other nations. Sharing the same reality can be immensely helpful.

Being literally, and figuratively, worlds apart when it comes to truth can have severe consequences. It is the stuff that starts wars – and that’s no exaggeration.

As alarming as President-elect Trump’s baseless and wrong assertions – such as his notorious tweet that “millions of people … voted illegally” -- are the enablers around him unwilling to corral the impetuous soon-to-be leader of the free world. They should be unveiling these distracting and irrational falsehoods, but instead they’re reinforcing them.

When asked on ABC News to either justify with fact Trump’s statement about illegal voters or acknowledge that it was a misstatement, Vice President-elect Mike Pence was belligerent. “I don’t know that that is a false statement, George (Stephanopoulos), and neither do you!”

Well, the Washington Post reported that in our just-completed election, there have been 4 identified cases of voter fraud. Four votes out of 127.8 million votes cast. Here in North Carolina there’s been an exhaustive examination of the 4.8 million votes cast without ANY proof of voter fraud.

Reince Priebus, the head of the National Republican Committee, who is set to be White House chief of staff, was once viewed as someone who’d be able to reign-in Trump’s tendency toward embellishment and fantasy. But Priebus has simply sunk to his new boss’ level.

On CBS’ “Face the Nation,” when asked about Trump’s wrong assertion about illegal voting, Priebus stonewalled with the same preposterous rhetoric as Pence. “I don’t know that that’s not true. … No one really knows.” The incredulous moderator followed with: “You think millions of people voted illegally?” Priebus replied: “It’s possible.”

Even House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, wouldn’t stand up to Trump’s misstep. "I’m really not focused on those things,” Ryan said, when asked about Trump’s statement on 60 Minutes.

Are you kidding? Can any reasonable human being believe that it would be possible for MILLIONS of people to vote illegally and NOBODY notice?

The only people who might fit in that category are the same ones who can’t – or won’t – see the lies spouting from Trump’s Twitter account.

The disregard for facts and assault on truth that springs forth from Trump and his handlers is the expedient stuff that festers in totalitarian states. It is the verbal currency of dictators and despots. Lies eat away the soul of a nation. Trump and his backers need to stop the lies and deal straight with the nation and the world.

While sometimes inconvenient, the truth strengthens our nation’s foundation. It is the bedrock of our democracy.


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  • Marvin Sanderford Dec 12, 2016
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    "Truth" is often defined by those on the losing side of history, as well as the winning side of history.

  • Cora Blue Dec 8, 2016
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    I've read better opinion pieces in the comic section! Dude, you are a soul (read as rear end)) hurt snowflake in an election which has revealed MORE truth than any we've seen in 20 years. In 2 years, when our economy is booming, industry is surging, and Americans are PROUD to be Americans...I hope you will have moved to Canada by then!

  • Jacob Young Dec 8, 2016
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    Very true. For instance, Obama saying about the ACA, "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan." Obama knew that wasn't true every time he said. He was lying through his teeth. We only later found out the extent of the lie after ACA architect Jonathan Gruber spilled the beans.

  • Clarence Hill Dec 8, 2016
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    When Trump said strange sounding things--thinking people listened and reasoned through to an understanding that caused them to elect him president--instead of Hillary. You have called Trump a liar. Is that liable? Careful!!! I assume you have documentation to prove he lied. Hillary was the proven liar. There is no such thing as a perfect cansiate. So, let's nove on.

  • Howard Roark Dec 7, 2016
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    Agreed. However, Trump even more so. Perhaps he's just had more opportunities..

  • Jim Smith Dec 7, 2016
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    WRAL and the truth need closer relationship

  • Mike Morin Dec 7, 2016
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    Funny how they never did an opinion piece on eight years of Obama lies. Then they wonder why the average American hates the media.

  • Randall Lamm Dec 7, 2016
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    I'm literally rolling on the floor, laughing!
    Hey POT, meet KETTLE!!

  • Edwin Duncan Dec 7, 2016
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    Wow, more poor reporting. No mention that Greg Phillips of VoteFraud.org started this and the fraud was alleged illegal immigrants voting. Trump did not pull this out of thin air. I read this originally in the Washington Post in a retraction article but can't find it now to cite it. Of course the real criticism is that Trump decided to repeat it without checking. On the other hand the only voter fraud auditing I saw in the NC state website was address to name not nationality or duplicate voters in another state. As there is no SSN or national voter id card there is really no practical way to tell. The truth is that many in the rest of the world are wondering what is going on with our voter process. Any search would have turned up the Grep Phillips angle. You are better served to start working on the truth in your own articles instead of muckraking.

  • Matt Clinton Dec 7, 2016
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    I honestly can't think of anything Hillary has ever said of any relevance that wasn't entirely or partially untrue whether about her own record, her actions, her beliefs, her party's stances and past, etc.