POLITIFACT issues an annual “Lie of the Year” which takes all of the false statements they’ve fact-checked, and picks the worst of the worst. This year, no surprise, the honorable recipient of this award was Donald Trump, but not just for one lie, for all of them because there are too many to choose from.
The award is being given as Republican candidates begin to fret about the very real possibility of Trump winning the Republican nomination. Recently Jeb Bush and Chris Christie have been campaigning harder than ever in the early primary state of New Hampshire in efforts to tear down Trump’s lead and keep their campaigns in the ring. Despite their best efforts, none of the candidates have been able to shake Trump’s lead as he pulls in around 40 points, more than the next 3 combined.
“Career politicians”, as Trump likes to call them, have fallen out of favor with the Republican base in exchange for more free-speaking candidates like himself and Ben Carson. All the Republicans up for nomination do their fair share of lying, but they do it in a subversive way so as not to risk their political careers in the process. Mr. Trump’s success in the polls so far can be attributed to his lack of fear for backfire when talking about ‘Mexican rapists’ and ‘temporarily banning Muslims’ because he has no political career on the line. His supporters call him a straight talker, which is certainly true when it comes to his willingness to put his bigotry and volumes of false information on a display.
Why is there no uproar over Trump’s lies? If there was any way to take him down, wouldn’t it be by exposing him as a liar? None of the Republican campaigns have capitalized on the weakness thus far, yet Hillary Clinton was attacked for months over her Benghazi email “scandal” which turned out to be much less questionable than the Republican’s made it seem. There appear to be different standards that Democrats and Republicans are expected to follow. Republicans don’t call Trump out because doing so would be shooting themselves in the foot. All of them have an unhealthy dependency on being able to straw man, pick and choose data to paint false images, and to flat out lie. These tactics are the best way that they can keep a straddle on our government. Donald uses them just as much as the rest of the candidates, so if they were to debunk Trump’s ample supply of lies, theirs would be open for attack too. It’s better for them to just lie and let lie.
After so many years of blatant lying, deception, and name calling, having to deal with Trump is exactly what the Republican party deserves. Trump reveals the true ugliness of the Republican voter base and has no problem in exploiting it for political support. We are at a turning point in American politics where the Republican Party as we know it is collapsing under the weight of its own foolishness, and the future of our democracy may well be determined by the success of this new Republican reality. Will a party that has brought prosperity to the top 1% at the expense of the bottom 99% continue to sit behind the steering wheel as we approach the cliff? Can a party that puts up a neurosurgeon that can barely spell “politics” and an entrepreneur who has a business to run be expected to fight for the average American? Republicans have dominated our political system for as long as they have because their ulterior motives are pushed through under disguise of good reason and intention. Donald has the potential to wreck the Republican party because he has no fear of pushing much of the same old agenda, but without that protective guise of reason. This election may be an eye opener for much of the American people, where they say “hey, this party isn’t what I remember it being”. This election will have to be an eye opener because if this isn’t, what will?