Trump’s Big Lie

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On a daily basis we’re left to ponder whether this President of the United States will tell the truth. We know that presidents and politicians in general will lie and mislead at various times. Frankly, it comes with the territory. But this particular President stands out above all others in his seemingly endless struggle at being honest with the American people. Some of what Mr. Trump says are outright lies. Other things are simply misleading or omit facts. The Washington Post has done a pretty thorough job of listing Mr. Trump’s historical disregard of the truth and it’s an excellent resource. However, rather than going through some of Mr. Trump’s most outrageous claims, which would literally fill an entire book, the aim here is to highlight what is quite possibly his most egregious lie that he has told and continues to tell: that in the last election millions of illegal immigrants fraudulently cast votes for Hillary Clinton. From day one he has made this claim and just a few days ago he made it again at a conference he was attending in West Virginia. Not only is this an outright lie but for a sitting President of the United States to make it clearly presents a danger to the heart of our democracy.

Many on the conservative right have made this claim in the past. Fox News, a news outlet also known for their aversion to the truth has continuously made these claims. In addition, not long after the election Mr. Trump appointed Kris Kobach to head a commission to look into these claims of illegal immigrants voting en mass. The Brennan Center took an extensive look at this commission and the problems surrounding it.

What the Brennan Center points out is how study after study, including by individual states and the federal government itself, have shown no widespread fraudulent voting. That in fact where there were irregularities, most were unintended and done by mistake. Mr. Kobach’s commission, after months of controversy and court challenges was disbanded by Mr. Trump in early January who even at that point refused to state that the commission couldn’t find a single case of fraud.

This is dangerous territory. We have never had a president so willing to lie to the American people and it’s clear his main reason for making the claim is the fact he lost the popular vote to Mrs. Clinton by nearly three million votes. And we must also conclude his rabid base of support is a willing recipient of this claim, a base he clings to with reckless abandon. Either the intended result or unintended, democracy is harmed. Voters are left to wonder whether the process is legitimate. Many voters will stay home or question the results. A sitting president cannot be allowed to make such claims without a complete and utter rebuke. Instead of spreading fear and discontent amongst the electorate, this President and the complicit Republican Party should instead work with their Democratic counterparts in Congress to safeguard our election process and expand voting, not suppress it. Our democracy depends on it.


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