About 20% of your public statements are true

Dear President Trump,

I just read some astonishing figures; about 20% of your public statements are true and about 69% are clearly false. These numbers seemed about right to me but I reread it several times to give you the benefit of the doubt since it’s mind boggling someone could rack up that sort of percentage of falsehoods and not be in prison. I don’t know how the remaining 11% of your output was rated. Vacuous stuff like “We are going to make America great again!!!” is lie-like to me, but is so vague and points to such meaningless inchoate future actions that I doubt it was counted in the outright lie column. Or “I get two scoops of ice cream and you only get one because I’m president and you aren’t”, is one you might think belongs in the true column since you are president and no one else is right now, but since that’s not really why you get two scoops of ice cream while your guests get only one, I doubt it was counted.

An awful lot has been made of your apparent aversion to the truth and your administration’s manufacture of the idea of “alternative facts”. There’s a sense of alarm that you all are setting a new normal in public discourse, and because there are media outlets willing to pick up your grotty, sticky snot balls and pitch them at people, you have certainly gotten some traction with this approach. This is one of the most painful aspects of your presidency for me. It’s impossible to make sound decisions if we aren’t dealing with reality and our leader is telling us lies all the time. Right. It’s impossible to have a functional, democratic society if our leader is busy telling self-aggrandizing lies and in the next breath telling us down is up and up is down and anyone who doesn’t believe him is an enemy of the people. Pretty damn scary. The one bit of grace in all this is that you are a terrible liar; someone who lies about how many times they’ve been on the cover of Time magazine is just silly — anyone can go back and count it up. But maybe you are just the shtick front man who keeps everyone focused on your nutty lies while the Kochs and the Mercers and Putin do their things in the background. Sigh.

May we all be safe to call out liars.
May we all be happy to deal with actual reality.
May we all be morally healthy.
May our lives unfold and intersect with integrity.

Tracy Simpson


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