I sometimes wonder how non-Americans view our political process, especially those with shorter election cycles and more stringent rules on what can and can’t be said. For instance, the major Republican candidates are in South Carolina and claiming the others are all liars. It is nothing new in our politics, of course, but the thing is, they aren’t wrong. All of our politicians are liars; some just do it less.
I would think that one of the top traits we would look for in a President would be honesty, but apparently I am wrong! The top three candidates on the Republican side according to the most recent polls conducted in South Carolina has the three least honest at the top, discounting Ben Carson, who by all accounts should have dropped out by now. I know Republicans don’t believe in fact-checkers or even facts that they don’t make up, but these are the stats that PolitiFact has for each of them according to their truthfulness.
I am only counting truthful and mostly true as truthful statements on their truth-o-meters, because a half truth is obviously a fact taken out of context or one that doesn’t really apply well to the situation. In other words, it’s a politician’s favorite kind of lie. So, let’s start with the leader of the pack, Donald Trump.
According to PolitiFact, Donald Trump only tells truthful statements 6% of the time. Ted Cruz does it 19% of the time. Marco Rubio tells truthful statements roughly 36% of the time. It isn’t until we get to Jeb Bush at 47% and John Kasich at 52% that we actually start to see numbers that approach fifty percent. That is awfully shameful, but not nearly as bad as poor Mr. Carson, who drags in at the bottom with a measly 4% truth rating. In case you’re wondering, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were about as truthful as Jeb and John, but no better.
So where does this leave us? None of these candidates are overly truthful. Honestly, none of them are going to be. Part of the President’s job is to keep secrets from other nations when they are negotiating, and sadly even from the people when they absolutely have to. It’s a prerequisite for the job, but we do need to pick someone with integrity.
That means those candidates who are now habitually lying out there on the campaign trails just to get ahead of their competition, need to have their support cut by the American people. We need to wake up and tell our countrymen who these people really are, what they’ve said, and what their plans will really do to them if they get into office. Because in the end, all that really matters to most people is what will happen to them and the country as a whole, but mostly them.
The only problem I see with supporting even Jeb Bush or John Kasich is that they both support the biggest lie of all — trickle-down economics. We have overwhelming evidence from numerous sources here, here, and here that prove over and over that it doesn’t work, and yet they want to continue to lie to us and say it will. In fact, all of the Republican candidates want to expand on it. Until this changes, I cannot in good conscience vote for any of them because that lie hurts us all.