The Editorial Board
In President Donald Trump’s 1987 book, “The Art of the Deal,” he offers a window into his philosophy — a philosophy that has remained intact throughout his successful 2016 presidential campaign and into his candidacy.
“I play to people’s fantasies,” he writes.
People, he writes, are excited by individuals who “think big.”
This is why, according to Trump, hyperbole—or “truthful hyperbole,” as he calls it — is such an effective persuasive technique.
And it is a technique that he continues to employ.
However, Trump and his administration began his presidency not with truthful hyperbole, but with an outright lie: He claimed to have an historic inauguration day audience, a falsehood easily debunked within minutes by the media.
Other examples of our president’s dishonesty abound.
He has falsely claimed that three to five million “illegal” residents cost him the popular vote.
He has also claimed, falsely, that obstruction by democrats is resulting the longest delay of staff appointments for a president ever.
President Trump has repeatedly referred to climate change as a hoax, even once tweeting that the “concept of global warming” was created by the Chinese to make U.S. manufacturing “non-competitive.” (He later referred to this as a joke.) He continues to deny the evidence supporting climate change.
He has repeatedly claimed that former president Barack Obama is the “founder of ISIS,” despite the destructive Iraq War — a product of the Bush administration—being widely acknowledged as laying the groundwork for ISIS.
President Trump accused Hillary Clinton of being willing to admit “hundreds of thousands of refugees” from “the most dangerous countries on earth,” without screening them — another falsehood. The former secretary of state supported a rigorous screening process.
He has said publicly that the United States is the “highest taxed nation in the world” — once again false. Neither individual Americans, nor American businesses, pay the highest taxes globally.
President Trump in 2015 said that he watched a “heavy Arab population” in New Jersey cheer as the World Trade Centers fell on Sept. 11, 2001. This claim has been repeatedly debunked, and may be seen as a deliberate attempt to stir up animosity and provoke distrust toward muslims living in America.
His administration’s blatant and easily refutable defenses for his continued promulgation of falsehoods, whether intended to mislead the public or not, indicate an alarming disregard for the truth.
It is clear that our president displays an ambivalence, if not an outright antipathy to the objective reality of the world. He claims as true anything that supports his agenda — his agenda being the accumulation of power.
Some may not find President Trump’s lies and hyperbole to be all that dangerous. They might find his propensity for reactionary tweets to be amusing and even relatable.
But these ostensibly small lies and temperamental outbursts demonstrate a pettiness, immaturity, and lack of integrity unbecoming for any elected official — least of all the nation’s most powerful.
President Trump is no longer a private businessman. He is a public servant at the highest level, and it is our opinion that his behavior should reflect the seriousness of his office.
Furthermore, we strongly condemn his treatment of the media, the most egregious example of which being his aggressive silencing of a CNN reporter at a January press conference. This behavior, more befitting of a strongman than an elected official, should not be applauded or encouraged.
We regard it as unethical, as well as detrimental to the health of the nation, to deny the truth or double down on falsehoods in order to score political points.
The truth is essential to our ability to thrive as individuals and as a nation: Our ignorance of how the world works keeps us in the thrall of conmen, conspiracy theories, and our own prejudices.
We therefore condemn President Trump’s repeated, childish attempts to deny reality, to mislead the public, and to bully anyone who challenges him.
To read the complete articles from Cuesta in the time of Trump package check out the Cuestonian newspaper March 7.