Trump: The Liar-in-Chief
As of April 2020, it was estimated that Trump was telling 23.3 lies every day.1 This is unimaginable coming from a U.S. President! On the contrary, I learned the Ten Commandments as a child in Sunday school. By the same token, most of us absorbed notions of our rights and responsibilities as U.S. citizens somewhere during our primary or secondary education. In this essay, I discuss the importance of democracy, civics, and the upholding of the Christian commandment that prohibits lying. I should not have to write about such well-accepted American values, but unfortunately because of the 45th President of the United States, it is necessary!
Our nation was founded on the idea of democracy. The modern understanding of this idea is that everyone participates in government through the election of public officials.2 In a democracy one would expect that everyone be a free agent and equal under the law. Our democracy initially welcomed immigrants from all over the world to come and mix together. This is what was meant by describing the United States as a “melting pot” of people and culture. People came to the United States to live out “The American Dream.” This was a dream of opportunity for all people who were willing to work for it.
Civics and the Cost of Freedom
This dream however did not come easy. Our Founding Fathers fought a bloody war to win our independence from Great Britain. Then there were the Civil War, World War I, and World War II among others where Americans fought for the freedom of African slaves and against autocratic movements in Europe and the Far East. Most of us learned about these wars and their tremendous cost in American lives and treasure in history class. Hopefully we learned civics along the way as well – especially our responsibility to vote as the premier exercise of the rights and freedoms for which our veterans gave their lives!
Trump lies every day!
These ideas should be as near and dear to Christians as the prohibition against lying is in the Bible. However, it is the Christian Right who has been among Trump’s most loyal supporters. Needless to say, this doesn’t bode well for their form of fundamentalist-evangelical Christianity. In John 8:31, Jesus said, “If you abide in my word you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”3 Jesus of course was talking about the truth of salvation and who he was – the Christ, the Savior of the world.
Nonetheless Christianity prohibits lying. This comes directly from the Ten Commandments. But why is it that we should not lie? Well life would become infinitely more complex and difficult if everyone lied routinely. You would have no reason to trust anyone. Lies erode our opinion of the liar. Indeed why would we believe anything a liar says? Lying would lead to a breakdown of the social order. In John 8:44, Jesus said, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”4
Vote the Liar Out!
As a psychiatric professional, an American, and a Christian, let me be frank, the upcoming elections of 2020 will either move us back toward the traditional values I’ve been discussing or it will cement the further destruction of our government, our institutions, our rights, our freedom and promote lying as our new norm. We do not tolerate lying and deception from our families, employers, and local governments, why would we tolerate it from a person occupying the highest office in the land? In November, we must vote Donald Trump out along with every Republican or Democrat who shielded him at his impeachment trial! Our future is at stake.
- Markowitz, D. (May 5, 2020). Trump is lying more than ever: Just look at the data. Forbes. Retrieved June 17, 2020 from https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidmarkowitz/2020/05/05/trump-is-lying-more-than-ever-just-look-at-the-data/#36c1553b1e17
- McMaken, R. (Nov. 3, 2017). Stop saying, “We’re a republic, not a democracy.” Mises Wire. Retrieved June 17, 2020 from https://mises.org/wire/stop-saying-were-republic-not-democracy
- Scripture quotation from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Retrieved on June 17, 2020 from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+8%3A31-32&version=ESV
- Scripture quotation from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Retrieved on June 17, 2020 from https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+8%3A44&version=NIV
- Illustration courtesy of The Graphics Fairy at https://thegraphicsfairy.com/