One of the big issues in this campaign appears to be honesty.
Just looking at the facts, the answer is obvious.
As tracked by Politifact, Trump tells the complete truth only 3% of the time. Clinton tells the complete truth 23% of the time. It isn’t even that Trump is telling a nuanced truth. 60% of the things he says don’t have a shred of truth. These aren’t just little lies either. 19% are pants on fire whoppers.
Here’s just a sampling.
Crime is rising. It’s not.
“I watched in Jersey City, N.J., where thousands and thousands of people were cheering” as the World Trade Center collapsed. Trump appears to be the only person who saw this.
“Frankly, (Hillary Clinton) doesn’t do very well with women.” She leads Trump with women by the largest margin in history.
The question has to be why some polls give Trump higher marks than Clinton on honesty when the facts simply don’t support it?
Some of it might be the fact that Clinton only recently clinched her party’s nomination. Since that time her overall polling numbers have been going up.
But something else is going on here.
When we dig into the responses regarding Trump, what emerges is that some of those supporting Trump feel that he is more genuine that Clinton. His willingness to speak in an unfiltered way causes them to assume that he is speaking from the heart. Clinton on the other hand is a professional politician. She is schooled in the sort of cautious speech that some people associate with fear of “telling it like it is”.
This is also reflected in the Trump’s assault on what he and his followers call Political Correctness. His willingness to offend virtually every special interest group in the country for the entertainment of his white male audience wins him points for authenticity.
Perhaps this is how he actually feels. It is also possible that he is sincerely expressing his unfiltered opinion, though that opinion appears to change based on the reaction that it generates.
IMHO nothing could be further from the truth. His “authenticity” is an act. It is the result of his talent as con man. He built a following pointing out that the conservative working man has been duped by the Republican Establishment. Trump, however, is also playing them for suckers by channeling Triumph the Insult Dog and letting them fill in the blanks based on their own fears and biases.
Those who support him, however, have such deep animus for Clinton, that they have latched onto to this difference to justify their support. They say that he is just “Donald being Donald”. That he doesn’t really mean all of the things that he says. He will ultimately make “deals” that are in the best interests of the country.
Let’s look at some of those deals from the perspective of what is best for the country.
The most obvious is the Supreme Court. Whomever is the next President will have at least two and perhaps three vacancies to fill.
Clinton will nominate liberal judges. The result of that will likely be reversing the narrow Citizen’s United decision. That will allow new limits to be placed on private money in elections. Trump supposedly shares this interest. He claims that his own personal fortune means he can’t be bought. But the judges he has proposed nominating support the view that corporate money is free speech.
Instead Trump has promised that he will appoint judges who will overturn Roe v. Wade. Whether or not this is even possible, packing the court based on an abortion litmus test sets a very dangerous precedent.
Clinton has put forward solid policies to both reduce the debt and improve the job prospects for the very people who are supporting Trump. Trump has only said that he will be the best job’s president the country has ever seen. It also came out recently that he routinely fails to pay his own workers and contractors.
None of this information will likely alter the minds of those who already have cast their lot with Trump. They are so deep in their denial that there is little that Trump can do between now and the election to lose their support. The rest of the country, however, who approach their job of picking the next President more analytically will discover that the Trump campaign is a sham. They will reject the violence, xenophobia, and cult of personality that Trump has created and select Clinton because of her policies.