More on Trump’s relationship to facts and truth

A brief follow-up to this morning’s post about Donald Trump’s relationship to facts and truth, and how it challenges the old norms on which the journalistic model of facticity was based.

On Monday, the president tweeted:

Sadly, it looks like Mexico’s Police and Military are unable to stop the Caravan heading to the Southern Border of the United States. Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in. I have alerted Border Patrol and Military that this is a National Emergy. Must change laws!

On Tuesday, pressed further on whether he had any evidence that Middle Easterners were using the caravan to sneak into the United States, he said:

“Well, they could very well be.”

When the reporter pressed on proof once again, Trump said, “There’s no proof of anything. There’s no proof of anything. But they could very well be.”

So, would an old-school, nothing-but-the-facts journalist be justified in writing that Trump admitted that he lied when he asserted that the caravan included “unknown Middle Easterners … mixed in?”

NBC News used it as an example of how Trump does this. The headline “Trump admits there’s no proof of his claims about the migrant caravan.” They didn’t say Trump had “lied,” because, as I mentioned in the previous post, calling something a “lie” used to border on going nuclear.

But Trump constantly says things, which sound like factual assertions, that turn out to be false. He often says something the next day that contradicts, or half-takes-back, what he said the day before. He either does not understand or has no respect for the old-school notion if you assert something that sounds factual, and that something is false, you are lying or, at least misleading.

We used to take honesty, about facts, especially from a president, seriously. With Trump that is impossible. So, do you say he “lied,” which in the old days was a serious charge? Do you say he misled the media, by stating something slightly ambiguous that he could not back up? Is it reasonable to assume that the misleading was intentional, which makes it pretty much a lie? Do you owe it to the office of the president to give him the benefit of the doubt that perhaps, when he said that “unknown Middle Easterners are mixed in” he meant that he didn’t know this but was speculating about something that was perhaps true?

This is just one puzzling aspect of life in the Age of Trump. But there is a point at which it is no longer reasonable to give him the benefit of the doubt. So, as I said earlier, it used to be a big deal to accuse the president of lying to the nation. Nowadays it’s more like trying to figure out what category of lie Trump has just uttered.

Comments (35)

  1. Submitted by Sonja Dahl on 10/24/2018 - 03:08 pm.

    Trump is campaigning, in the style of his mentors Roger Stone and Paul Manafort. He doesn’t understand the question about whether or not something is a lie because he equates campaigning with lying. His goal is to make up a story about scary brown people to get lower middle income white people to vote against their own economic self interest. If he succeeds and wins the election, it doesn’t matter if he “lied” during the campaigning. Winning is everything and he learned the formula to win in America from the best. Remember Lee Atwater, who did the infamous Willy Horton add against Dukakis and practically invented dog-whistle racism in campaigns? He also used to work at the lobbying firm of Roger Stone and Paul Manafort.

    • Submitted by Ray Schoch on 10/25/2018 - 10:49 am.

      To Ms. Dahl: It’s also useful to remember (keep in mind that I’m an old man) that the “Risky Business” photo op that destroyed Gary Hart’s presidential campaign in 1987 was set up by Mr. Atwater, who admitted the deed on his deathbed. There’s a fairly short article about the incident in this month’s “Atlantic.”

      As for Eric’s ruminations, a demagogue with dictatorial inclinations doesn’t care about truth. “If I, the President, said it, it must be true. If it turns out later not to be true, well, that’s not important.” The illusion of infallibility is something that often infects both political and religious leaders.

  2. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/24/2018 - 03:19 pm.

    One could say something like:
    ‘It was Trump’s unsupported opinion that ….’
    The problem is that a lie must be a definite statement that can be proven false. Trump avoids that sort of thing.

    • Submitted by Rosalie O'Brien on 10/28/2018 - 02:28 pm.

      Paul, that’s an interesting point. Certainly there is something unusual about the statements uttered by our Chief Executive, but I don’t know that it’s limited to a finely-honed ability to avoid statements that are not quite susceptible of being proven false. It feels more sinister than that, as though he has managed, beginning with many years of appearances on mindless entertainment TV, to create a persona that allows him to spew disinformation, propaganda, and just plain hogwash of whatever kind he chooses without paying any price, because that’s the kind of character he has created and because there seems to be some kind of need for that kind of expression. Personally, I don’t find it hard to believe that such a character can exist; what I find nearly impossible to believe is that he could have been elected president of this country. That, unfortunately, is a commentary on our society at least as much as on him.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/29/2018 - 09:00 am.

      Actually Paul your criteria for identifying a lie in this case is faulty. The idea that a lie can only be a provably “false” statement is incoherent because logically no one can “prove” a negative. I can’t prove there is no spaghetti monster on the moon but that doesn’t mean your not lying when you tell us you’ve seen one. And I don’t prove there is NO spaghetti monster in order to know you’re lying… all I may have to prove is that you’ve never been to the moon so you couldn’t have seen one even it’s there.

      Obviously there are different types of lies, and Trump issues all of them. So when he says for instance that there ARE criminals and terrorists or Middle Easterner’s in the caravan, the question isn’t whether or not we can prove there aren’t. The question is whether or not he had a legitimate reason to make the claim in the first place. When asked, he himself said: “No”. He had no information of any kind whatsoever to support the claim when he made… and he knew THAT. He didn’t say there “could” be… he said there IS. That was a fabrication and fabrications are lies.

      If I said for instance that there ARE vampires in that caravan, you don’t have to prove there are no vampires to know I’m lying, you just have to ask how I know that or what my source of information is. If I have no information I’m fabricating the claim. Even if I “believe” it to be true, when I say unequivocally that vampires are in the caravan, I’m still lying because I know that while I may believe what I’m saying, I have no real basis to say it. Trump knew he had basis for his claims when he made them so his claim was a lie.

  3. Submitted by Arthur Swenson on 10/24/2018 - 06:36 pm.

    We have learned over the past three years: Trump LIES

    At every opportunity, Trump LIES.

    Even when the truth would help him, Trump LIES.

    Trump couldn’t recognize the truth if it hit him in the head. Trump LIES.

  4. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 10/25/2018 - 08:11 am.

    I’m having trouble waiting for November 6th to pass. First, I’m hopeful voters will send a strong message to Trump and his fellow Republicans that their fairy tale is over. Secondly, I think Mr. Mueller will be occupying Trump with enough facts, facts that Trump will find very inconvenient, and he won’t have as much time to motivate the ugly side of America. Yesterday’s display of bombs being sent to a number of people is directly relatable to Trump and the incendiary language he uses to feed his massive ego problem, narcissism by another name, which is a mental disorder. Nothing is about right or wrong with Trump it is only that he can call it a personal win. Republican’s think because Trump can call it a win for himself that they too can call it a win for them. Republicans are not a majority in America. They are just a, let’s use Trump’s term, boisterous “Mob”. The way to fix their boisterous “Mob” mentality is to vote on November 6th. You just have to look at the campaign ads and realize the sickness of Trump has spread throughout the Republican Party. The way to fix that is vote and make them pay a price for their falsehoods. I have learned to listen to Republican’s and I assume the exact opposite of what they say is the real truth. When they have nothing to offer they must rely on lies to try and move themselves forward. Republican principles, morality, ethics, and a desire to work for the good of the whole country have evaporated all because of one man’s ego and no Republicans strong enough to buck him. Trump has taken the entire Republican Party right down the rabbit hole with him.

  5. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 10/25/2018 - 08:38 am.

    To Trump, words are wonderful–they cost nothing to utter, and if people believe his words, its all to his benefit.

    Truth, knowledge and facts do not come into the equation. Free exhalations of air with proper lip and tongue formations leading to what he wants–that’s all that matters.

    It’s how he worked as a huckster selling real estate, steaks, water, college, casinos, etc.,–in every one of those deals his free words were fraudulent but lead to what he wanted, but also led to thousands of lawsuits by counter-parties that believed his exhalations.

    To expect anything else is expecting a snake to dance. It is unfortunate that his exhalations are leading to far more serious and consequential damage than over-priced meat.

  6. Submitted by Arthur Swenson on 10/25/2018 - 09:21 am.

    Mr Rovick has hit upon an excellent way to view trump’s words. Always the Best wordz — Bigly!

  7. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 10/25/2018 - 11:00 am.

    I’m coming the think there’s been a reason journalists avoided using the word “lies” in reporting about politics and government. “Lies” are confused by many people with exaggeration, broken promises, “misspeaking”, wrong opinions and other things. I don’t think that a lie is limited to the statement of a statement that can be proven false. A person can say something which can be proven false without lying about it because they are mistaken. At the same time, a person can lie about something that cannot be proven false but can be shown to be so unlikely that the person or a reasonable person cannot reasonably believe it to be true. A person can lie without even making any comment under the right circumstances. I don’t have any problem with Eric Black calling the current occupant a liar because the President of the United States has a duty to measure his words and use them carefully. When he flagrantly and expansively flouts his disregard for that duty, repeating lies on a routine basis, he becomes a liar.

    • Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 10/25/2018 - 11:36 am.

      I’m going to add to Jon Kingstad’s comment the idea that Donald Trump’s use of his unsecured iPhone depends both on his ignorance of national security details (he doesn’t read, and pays little to no attention to his daily national security briefings) and his known tendency to speak totally off the top of his head–inventing stuff that’s not true–to NOT be considered treasonous.

      Yesterday it was revealed by the White House staff that Trump has many land phone lines that are secure, and three iPhones, two of which have been made secure by our national security agencies. Trump doesn’t like to use them, however, because only his unsecured iPhone has his contacts list so he can speed dial his pals. The NSA has revealed that the Chinese and the Russians have been routinely listening to Trump’s unsecrued phone calls to his buddies.

      He’s maybe not revealing a whole lot, because he really doesn’t know a whole lot of detail about vital national secrets. But the
      Chinese are actively using what he says to friends to have friends of friends attempt to influence Trump with suggestions about policy.

      This is the guy who is still pumping up his political rallies with “Lock her up!” screams that Hillary Clinton used a private internet server while she was Secretary of State in 2009-2013. She revealed no secrets, that’s fact.

      But the current president has loose lips. on an iPhone just like yours and mine, But what he says on his phone may sink ships.

      Do people understand how huge this revelation is? Trump is going beyond lies.

  8. Submitted by John Edwards on 10/25/2018 - 12:13 pm.

    Under the standard you are advocating, MinnPost also runs lies. Sam Brodey’s column on Oct. 11 quoted Carleton College Professor Steven Schier saying: “not everyone can get away with Trump-style rhetoric. He did lose the popular vote. He has yet to crack 50 percent job approval. All these things matter.”

    On Oct. 5, 8 and 9, 2018 the Rasmussen Poll had President Trump’s approval rating at 51 percent all three days. One could argue effectively that Schier lied because it is inexcusable that a political science professor is unaware of the Rasmussen Poll, which was the most accurate of the major polls in 2016.

    • Submitted by Ray Schoch on 10/25/2018 - 01:38 pm.

      …But was it the most accurate poll in October, 2018?

    • Submitted by Mike Chrun on 10/25/2018 - 01:48 pm.

      Seriously, that’s the best you have? Arguably, the most powerful man on the planet who has no qualms about lying whenever and you’re trying to deflect by comparing it to a statement by an obscure college professor. At least you didn’t somehow work Hillary lying about Benghazi into it.

    • Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 10/25/2018 - 01:57 pm.

      Strictly speaking ad under the conventional standard, a lie is a statement (which can be under circumstances, silence) which a person subjectively knows to be false when the statement (or silence by one who’s under a duty to speak) at the time. (“How dare you accuse me of being unfaithful!”)

      It’s obviously often unclear whether anyone other than the speaker can determine that the speaker knows they are lying. But we often can and there are often ways of checking it. It’s often possible to tell when a person is lying by their body language or their “tell”. Some “bald faced liars” are hard to pin down and often get away with their lies.

      No one could reasonably accuse MinnPost of “running lies” for publishing Professor Schier’s comment which might have been wrong because he probably didn’t know about one (maybe outlier) poll from a few days before he wrote a comment which was substantially (98% true) when he wrote it anyway. Of course, an unreasonable, ridiculous or irresponsible person accuse anyone else of being a liar or running lies without any justification at all any time they choose.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/25/2018 - 02:04 pm.

      In other words, no need to accept criticism when there is some way, however strained, of pointing the finger back.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 10/25/2018 - 02:12 pm.

      As a professional, Professor Steven Schier knows that you don’t judge a poll by its most recent prediction. Rasmussen has a well known rightward bias, in in the long run has not been the most accurate.
      ‘Even a stopped clock is right twice a day’.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/29/2018 - 08:32 am.

      “On Oct. 5, 8 and 9, 2018 the Rasmussen Poll had President Trump’s approval rating at 51 percent all three days. One could argue effectively that Schier lied because it is inexcusable that a political science professor is unaware of the Rasmussen Poll, which was the most accurate of the major polls in 2016.”

      Sure, you can make that argument if you want, it’s a legitimate critique of Scheir’s credibility. But that can in no way excuse any of Trump’s lies or determine whether or not he’s lying. If you want to claim that Schier is being dishonest, fine, go ahead, but then you HAVE to accept the fact that Trump is lying based on the same criteria. How could a US president NOT know that the Russian’s were/are behind the cyber attacks in 2016 and now? How could any US president make all of the false claims that he’s been making for two years?

      The moral reasoning that suggests that anyone else’s dishonesty can in some way exonerate Trump fails for a number of different reasons. We can talk about some professor’s dishonesty if you want but Trump is the president, not the some professor.

  9. Submitted by John Evans on 10/25/2018 - 04:27 pm.

    Whether any statement of Trump’s is technically true or not is not really the issue. It’s not an issue for him or his supporters, so why should it matter to you?

    The issue is that that everything Trump says is propaganda; it is motivated and calculated to create exploitable divisions. It is easier to divide than to unite. It is easier to destroy than to build.Your attachment to verisimilitude has been turned into a weakness, not a strength.

    Pass me that kool-aid, I’m thirsty.

  10. Submitted by Curtis Senker on 10/25/2018 - 06:34 pm.

    “On Tuesday, pressed further on whether he had any evidence that Middle Easterners were using the caravan to sneak into the United States..”

    Listening to an interview with Kirstjen Nielston, Homeland Security Secretary, right now.

    She said about 3000 Middle Eastern & N. Africans ( she said Somalis) are intercepted illegally crossing the border each year. She said that although she doesn’t know the exact makeup of the caravan, she believes these people are among them.

    She did say the Mexican authorities informed her they have identified criminals and gang members in the caravan.

    The facts say Trump is right.

    • Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 10/26/2018 - 11:15 am.

      Mr. Senker, look at what you just posted: Kirstjen Nielson says she doesn’t know the composition of the members of the Honduran/Guatemalan refugee caravan making its way north.

      But she “believes” (not fact-based, but emotion-based) that there are Africans (black/brown) and Middle Easterners (brown) in it. Because over ALL our border entry points in any year, there are some Africans and Middle Easterners among those trying to enter our country without papers.

      She doesn’t know data about the caravan. And Trump doesn’t know, either. Pure racist bunkum meant to frighten people.

      • Submitted by Curtis Senker on 10/28/2018 - 11:08 pm.

        Me. Sullivan, you look at what I wrote, and please take as much time as it takes to comprehend what it says.

        Mrs. Nielson believes, because we apprehend 3000 Middle Eastern and Africans illegally crossing the border each year (the Southern border), it’s reasonable to assume there are some in the mob making its way North now.

        It’s a fact based conjecture.

        I’ll also remind you that African or Middle Eastern is a geographic description, not a race.

  11. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/26/2018 - 12:35 pm.

    I don’t see a dilemma here. You don’t nave to decide whether not you want to accuse of lying when says there are criminals and middle Easterners in the caravan, you can simply report that he’s manufacturing another false claim and has no information of any kind to support this claim. When asked to provide any basis for his claim, he couldn’t… that makes it a false claim. I don’t see how the style of reporting converts this into a dilemma? If you want to report accurately what is going on here… your options are obvious aren’t they?

    The fact that journalist want to assume a certain level of honesty with dealing with presidents has actually been huge problem. From missile gaps to WMD’s and criminal caravans presidents have been lying forever. Even Roosevelt was lying when he said he was trying to keep America out of WWII. All governments lie. Never ASSUME presidents or politicians are telling you the truth, THAT’S exactly how “objective” reporters produce poor journalism… that’s how “objectivity” becomes its own form of bias. That was never a valid assumption, it was just a comfort level for status quo journalism.

  12. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/27/2018 - 08:02 am.

    By the way, while this discussion about the media and Trump is kind of interesting, Trump isn’t on the ballot, and he isn’t the only dishonest politician on the block. Minnesota Republicans have unleashed a fusillade of dishonest attack adds full of lies and deliberate distortions in this election cycle. It’s a predominate feature of Republican campaigns in this cycle yet I’m not seeing any coverage here on Minnpost and little of any coverage beyond the occasional “fact check” elsewhere.

    It would seem the “news media” still has some issues in this regard. I thought Minnpost was supposed to be our election “central” for coverage? Not a peep about attack adds that accuse Tina Smith of having illegal offshore bank accounts, or Phillips of being complicit in sexual harassment? Not to mention the sudden Republican promises to champion pre-existing condition coverage that they’ve been voting to eliminate for a decade?

    I see that campaign donation levels a regular feature but I doubt many readers find THAT to be the most important feature of this election cycle. And of course there’s nothing “objective” about ignoring Republican dishonesty on the local level.

  13. Submitted by Gary Fredrickson on 10/28/2018 - 12:46 am.

    Presidential lies:
    If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor
    What we said was, you can keep [your plan] if it hasn’t changed since the law passed..
    The average family will save $2500 per year on health insurance.
    The attacks in Benghazi were caused by a video
    No family making less than $250,000 a year will see their taxes increase.
    I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits, now or in the future.
    I will have the most transparent administration
    The IRS is not targeting anyone
    I will close Gitmo
    I am not spying on American citizens
    The list goes on.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/29/2018 - 03:37 pm.

      #Zzzzzzz . . .

      Is Barack Obama still President? Is there any realistic constitutional scenario under which he could become President again? No? So why are you still talking about him?

      As has been so frequently pointed out, elections have consequences. The consequence of the last election is that an amoral liar and swindler was installed in the White House. The other consequence is that his electoral base is not just “not bothered” by his mendacity, but sees it as a good thing. Whine all you like about how much Obama lied (trotting out the same tired old lines each time) and the liberals still loved him for it. Trump lies as reflexively as most people blink. His fans just can’t get enough of it.

  14. Submitted by Gary Fredrickson on 10/28/2018 - 01:53 am.

    Washington is full of liars.Whether it is misstatement of facts or out and out purposeful lying the swamp produces mass amounts of crap from both sides of the political spectrum. The fact is that the mainstream media only sees one side because of their own political blinders. I believe the author of this piece may be in this category. Trumps opponent in the last election was probably the most corrupt and untruthful candidate ever! Considering all the candidates in previous elections including Trump, that’s saying a lot!! But hey, we had to pick one.

  15. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/28/2018 - 09:25 am.

    We have one president of the United States at any given time, it’s not “bias” to report THAT presidents lies, duplicity, and criminality. It would be negligent and irresponsible to ignore any presidents dishonesty. You can worry about Obama’s dishonesty of you want, but neither Obama or Hillary Clinton are our President at the moment.

    Anyone who tells us we can ignore or disregard Trumps dishonesty by pointing to someone else’s is telling us they have no functioning moral compass. The immorality of one person cannot justify that of another. Most people learn this basic moral fact when they try to “explain” to their parents that they weren’t the only ones throwing eggs at the neighbor’s house. If you think you can produce a list of Obama’s lies and use that as an excuse to support Trump’s lies, you have no coherent sense of morality or civic responsibility.

    Sure, all presidents lie… that’s actually a problem not a justification for continued deception.

    We could talk about the differences in quality between lies (all lies are NOT equal) but THAT conversation would be a waste of time with those who trip over the most basic moral principle to begin with. Suffice to say that those who continue to support Trump and his duplicity at this point may actually become a threat to the nation. This isn’t a mere partisan issue it’s on the verge of becoming an existential threat.

  16. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/28/2018 - 09:47 am.

    Look, to put a finer point on it, if you think the lies or criminal behavior of one president justify that of any subsequent president then Nixon wrote a blank check for everyone. But then you’re telling us that you think criminal and dishonest presidents ought to be a systemic feature of our government then you’re tell us you’d prefer to tear up or Constitution and replace democracy with a mafioso regime. There’s actually a term for that… it’s been called Nationalism or Fascism… and it’s been tried. You want to try it here in the United States?

    • Submitted by Gary Fredrickson on 10/28/2018 - 07:43 pm.

      You miss the point. The media should call out any lies by anyone in the government. I wasn’t excusing anyone, just pointing out that some people get a pass while others get slammed for anything they say.
      Of course you can’t justify one persons bad behavior by pointing to another’s bad behavior but you can point out the hypocrisy of railing about one and dismissing the other. You are right to say we could talk about the quality between lies but that would require us to agree on facts. Right again, probably a waste of time.
      You question my moral compass. It is just fine.Obviously you did not vote for Trump or Clinton because your own moral standards are so high. I applaud you for that. I chose not between the lesser of two evils as I so often do, but between a known evil and an unknown. In reality the choice was between the two. I will choose capitalism over socialism every time. I support Trump not for what he says but for what he does.
      I know you think Trump is a fascist but I believe you are way off base on that assertion. You may say that he is a nationalist but that doesn’t have to be in a negative sense.Many people could be called nationalists. Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, Charles de Gaulle, Winston Churchill or maybe Gandhi.
      Back to the MAIN POINT. The media excuses some while lambasting !others for the same things. That’s all.
      P.S:Yes, I believe in the constitution and judges who follow it.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 10/29/2018 - 08:22 am.

        I’m afraid the point is eluding you Mr. Fredrickson. Sure the media should call out anyone, but that’s not “slamming”, and as I pointed out, Obama isn’t in the government, and he’s not the sitting the president, nor is Hillary Clinton. Again, pointing to Clinton or Obama as some kind of excuse for Trump is morally obtuse. I don’t have a problem with a media that focuses more on the sitting president than ex-presidents and failed presidential candidates… but that’s just me.

        Hypocrisy isn’t issue and the fact that hypocrisy exists no more excuses Trumps dishonesty than the allegations against anyone else. It doesn’t actually matter whether not a hypocrite, or a liberal, or a conservative is reporting Trump’s lies… what matters is that he’s lying. Again, if a hypocrite tells you 2+2=4 you don’t get to dismiss that fact because a hypocrite is revealing it, and you don’t claim it’s NOT a fact or offer an “alternative” fact that 2+2 actually equals 6.

        I don’t actually care who you voted for but I will say I think it’s morally and civically irresponsible to vote for a candidate you nothing about, as you claim to have done. Voting for unrecognized evil is just as immoral as voting for a known evil. Furthermore, if you think you can use ignorance as an excuse after the fact, I would point out that that didn’t work so well for the German people after the war.

        Of course then there’s the problem of ANYONE claiming they didn’t know who and what Donald Trump was when they voted for him. One would have had to deploy a remarkable regime of isolation in order to avoid knowledge of Donald Trump since he was a constant feature of any and all media coverage for months.

        I usually suspect that those who offer the “known” vs. “unknown” excuse for voting for Trump are just being dishonest. They knew exactly who and what they were voting for, and if they didn’t, they were voting irresponsibly.

        The 2016election isn’t actually the issue (I’m sure I don’t have tell anyone what year it is today), we’re talking about the Trump presidency. It doesn’t actually matter who we voted for or why, the problem at hand is duplicitous POTUS who’s inflicting serious damage on our nation. You can complain about Clinton, or Obama, but that’s missing the point. That would kinda be like blaming Nazism on Bismark.: “Sure, Hitler was no Saint but Bismark…”

        I thought I covered this with my illustration of childhood moral reasoning, i.e. “I wasn’t the only one throwing eggs at the neighbor’s house”… your response seems to be:”No, you don’t understand, it’s not that I wasn’t the only one throwing eggs at the neighbors… the point is this isn’t the first time someone has thrown eggs at a neighbor’s house”… oh, well THAT makes more sense?

        Speaking of Nations… no, you can’t actually refer to the founding fathers as “nationalists” in any knowledgeable way. They designed a legal framework, not an “identity” for the Nation. The idea that a government, or a president, would establish and enforce a national identity was completely alien to their mentalities. If you want to find a Nationalist of some kind around that era you have look more at someone like Napoleon Bonaparte. People who don’t understand the difference between Napoleon and Jefferson can always claim to “believe” in the US Constitution (and they often do), but more often than not they don’t actually understand that Constitution and they wouldn’t know a judge who follows it if one sat on their lap.

      • Submitted by ian wade on 10/29/2018 - 01:36 pm.

        Hillary Clinton was a socialist? Wow…

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/29/2018 - 01:45 pm.

        “Back to the MAIN POINT. The media excuses some while lambasting !others for the same things. That’s all.”

        You’re missing a more fundamental point: Donald Trump is the current President of the United States. Not Barack Obama, not Hillary Clinton, not any other right-wing scapegoat. It’s Donald Trump. He is the one whose truthfulness we judge.

        Dredging up old resentments as a method of deflection is just getting tiresome. You can rant for days about how that Obama fellow said [insert standard list of conservative gripes] and the media still loved him for it, but it doesn’t change anything. It most certainly does not excuse his habitual lies, nor does it cast a flattering light on those who believe or overlook them.

  17. Submitted by Gary Fredrickson on 10/30/2018 - 12:53 am.

    The point is not eluding me Mr Udstrand. You say I am missing the point at the same time you miss the point. Of course the media should focus on Trump now as he is in office now.I did not say they shouldn’t. The SAME media focusing on Trump’s truthfulness did NOT focus on Obama’s or Hillary’s when they were in office. NOT NOW…… THEN! I can only assume that you miss that point intentionally.
    Your egg throwing argument is the same. I don’t say I shouldn’t be punished for throwing eggs but my two brothers standing beside me were doing the same with no punishment. That would be pointing out the
    hypocrisy of the one handing out the punishment.
    As far as the nationalist argument, I mentioned five people. Only one was a founding father. I assume you agree with the other four? Forget it. We could argue forever.
    Mr. Holbrook. I did not dredge up old resentments. I pointed out things overlooked by the same people who seem so horrified at Trump now. You can rant for days about what that Trump fellow said [insert the standard list of progressive gripes] and the media will help you because they have given up on decorum and have chosen sides. Voters can choose sides but the media should at least attempt a little balance
    Mr. Wade. Yes she is..

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 10/30/2018 - 02:32 pm.

      Why does it matter what was overlooked by anyone? By your reasoning, Fox News and its viewers should keep their mouths shut about anything Obama or any Clinton said because they are so willing to overlook Trump’s many lies and generally skeevy behavior.

      Sauce for the goose.

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