There’s just so much ugly garbage to sift through before you can make a decision.
But I’m qualified for the dirty job. I fact checked every word uttered by this President from his inauguration day in January 2017 until September 2020 — when the daily number of lies got so unmanageably high that I had to start taking a pass on some of his remarks to preserve my health.
The most telling lie: It didn’t rain on his inauguration
Trump began his presidency by lying about the weather.
The President would say things that we could see with our own eyes were not true. And he would often do this brazen lying for no apparent strategic reason.
The most dangerous lie: The coronavirus was under control
A year into the crisis, more than 386,000 Americans have died from the virus.
We can’t say with precision how the crisis would have unfolded differently if Trump had been more truthful. But it’s reasonable to venture that his dishonesty led to a significant number of deaths.
The most alarming lie saga: Sharpiegate
Trump tweeted in 2019 that Alabama was one of the states at greater risk from Hurricane Dorian than had been initially forecast. The federal weather office in Birmingham then tweeted that, actually, Alabama would be unaffected by the storm.
The most ridiculous subject of a lie: The Boy Scouts
Yep, the President of the United States was lying about the Boy Scouts.
The ugliest smear lie: Rep. Ilhan Omar supports al Qaeda
The most boring serial lie: The trade deficit with China used to be $500 billion
The most entertaining lie shtick: The burly crying men who had never cried before
They were almost always male. They were almost always large. They were almost always blue-collar. And, according to the President, they kept walking up to him crying tears of gratitude — even though they had almost always not previously cried for years.
The stories were oddly grandiose, like something you’d hear from a two-bit foreign strongman. They were also pure shtick. Trump was like a touring stand-up comic, refining and re-using his favored dishonesty bits until they stopped working for him.
The most traditional big lie: Trump didn’t know about the payment to Stormy Daniels
We’ve established that Trump was not your traditional political liar. One of his distinguishing features is that he lied pointlessly, dissembling about trivial subjects for trivial reasons.
The biggest lie by omission: Trump ended family separation
All of Trump’s words in those two sentences to Todd were accurate in themselves. But he was lying because of what he left out.
The most shameless campaign lie: Biden will destroy protections for pre-existing conditions
The lie he fled: He got Veterans Choice
Trump could have told a perfectly good factual story about the Veterans Choice health care program Obama signed into law in 2014: it wasn’t good enough, so he replaced it with a more expansive program he signed into law in 2018.
And why not stretch? He knew he probably wouldn’t be challenged by a press corps drowning in other Trump drama. It wasn’t until August 2020 that he was asked about the lie to his face.
The Crazy Uncle lie award: Windmill noise causes cancer
The most hucksterish lie: That plan was coming in two weeks
Trump is, at his core, a huckster. Every moment of his presidency was a chance for him to sell someone on something, whether or not that something actually existed. And if they asked when they could actually see the magic elixir he said was being brewed just over there behind the curtain, he would just have to delay them until they forgot about it.
My personal favorite lie: Trump was once named Michigan’s Man of the Year
Trump has never lived in Michigan. Why would he have been named Michigan’s Man of the Year years before his presidency?
It’s so illustrative because it makes so little sense.
The most depressing lie: Trump won the election
The nation’s truth problem, clearly, isn’t just a Trump problem. With this last blizzard of deception and the Capitol insurrection it fomented, Trump has shown us, once more, just how detached from reality much of his political base has become — or always was.