Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

9 Lies In Donald Trump’s Big Speech To The Republican Convention

At the beginning of his big RNC-closing speech, Trump called for “a straightforward assessment of the state of our nation,” and said he would “present the facts plainly and honestly.” He didn’t follow through on that promise.

Trump’s speech was much more scripted than his typically ad-libbed rally performances, which are riddled with falsehoods. But his formal acceptance of the nomination was also full of deception. Here’s a rundown of some of the misleading claims made by the man whose campaign statements were named the “lie of the year” by Politifact.

“America is one of the highest-taxed nations in the world.”

Trump has called the United States the “highest-taxed nation in the world” several times, but America is not even one of the highest-taxed nations in the world, as he said Thursday night.

Politifact found Trump statements like this objectionable enough to write several articles refuting this claim, culminating with one titled “For the third time, Donald Trump, U.S. is not ‘highest taxed nation in the world.'”

The fact-checking website looked at the most recent data from 2014 and found that it “shows that the United States wasn’t the most highly taxed by the typical metrics and actually places near the bottom or around the middle of the pack.”

“Decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed by this Administration’s rollback of criminal enforcement.”

Trump released “blizzard of cherry-picked statistics all directed at one purpose — convincing you that crime has run amok.” The reality is that “crime isn’t just on a downward trend, but it has been for a very long time.”

“In 2009, pre-Hillary, ISIS was not even on the map.”

The implication here is that Clinton is responsible for ISIS. In Trump’s first joint interview with Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN) with 60 Minutes on July 17, Trump said “Hillary Clinton invented ISIS with her stupid policies.”

This is false.

The roots of ISIS date back before the Obama administration and Clinton being named Secretary of State. Though the group did not exist as ISIS until 2010, the fact-checking website Politifact ruled that the idea that Clinton is responsible for ISIS is “false.” It was called al-Qaida in Iraq in 2004, and then the Islamic State of Iraq in 2006, before turning into the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
“I have seen firsthand how the system is rigged against our citizens, just like it was rigged against Bernie Sanders.”

The notion the system was rigged against Sanders is false. At the end of the primary season, Hillary Clinton had won 55 percent of the roughly 30 million votes cast, compared with Sanders’ 43 percent. That translated to 2,764 total delegates for Clinton and 1,894 for Sanders.

“Nearly 180,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records, ordered deported from our country, are tonight roaming free to threaten peaceful citizens.”

This figure comes from a letter the Department of Homeland Security submitted to Congress in response to questions from staunchly anti-immigrant Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), in which the agency said they have no way to determine how many “aliens” have criminal convictions.

The DHS, however, uses a very broad definition of “criminal.” Most “criminal” undocumented immigrants deported during the Obama years were actually convicted of minor crimes like traffic offenses or simply “illegal entry,” a petty misdemeanor under federal criminal law. Additionally, many immigrants ICE targets as criminals have no criminal conviction at all. Deportations of these “criminal” immigrants have risen drastically under Obama.

“My opponent wants to essentially abolish the 2nd amendment.”

In an interview with ABC last month, Clinton said she wants to strive for “common-sense gun-safety measures consistent with the Second Amendment.” Her website notes she believes “weapons of war have no place on our streets,” but she has never indicated she has any desire to do away with the right to bear arms.

“There’s no way to screen [Syrian] refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from.”

In fact, refugees are incredibly well-vetted. The process takes years, and involves submitting birth certificates, report cards from school, identification cards, driver’s licenses, passports, and old utility bills. As a result, refugees who have been resettled in the United States have a nearly spotless record.
“Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons.”

This is false. As ThinkProgress previously reported, the Iran deal has been successful in dismantling much of Iran’s nuclear program.

Since the economic sanctions on Iran were lifted, the government has responded quickly by reducing 98 percent of its uranium stockpile, dismantling thousands of centrifuges, limiting uranium enrichment and research, and filled its reactor with cement.

Unquestionably, the country is further away from obtaining a weapon than before the deal was struck.

“Household incomes are down more than $4,000 since the year 2000.”

This statistic is from 2014 and is badly outdated. The most recent report “shows median annual household income in June was $57,206, slightly below the income of $57,826 in January 2000, in 2016 dollars.”

So Trump’s statistic is off by $3400.

Original Article
Author: Aaron Rupar, Aviva Shen, Judd Legum & Ryan Koronowski

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