It’s time to stop this.
Donald Trump being a serious contender for the President of the United States was an amusing idea when he announced his candidacy. It was hilarious when he was one of the last candidates remaining six months later. It was even still funny when he won the Republican nomination. But it’s not funny anymore.
It’s not that Trump has gotten any worse. On the contrary, I don’t think that’s possible outside of him committing felonies on camera. (Although, that probably wouldn’t even slow him down at this point.) No, the issue is that people still think that this is a “choice between two evils.”
In the first presidential debate, Trump lied 34 times, according to several fact-checking sites. These aren’t 34 half-truths, or 34 carefully phrased words. He lied to the moderator, to the audience and to the entirety of America. He lied, unapologetically, on national television. He told bald-faced lies in front of the world about facts that can literally be checked from your pocket, and there are people who think he would represent us well on the global stage?
I don’t have the space or the inclination to list all of these lies, but I can provide a small sampling of what the man who seeks to be the leader of one of the most powerful nations on Earth thought he should say on stage.
Lie #1: When moderator Lester Holt told Donald Trump that a judge had ruled New York City’s stop-and-frisk policy unconstitutional, Trump responded “you’re wrong”. That policy has, in fact, been ruled unconstitutional, as of three years ago. Despite his many shortcomings, at least Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson can admit when he doesn’t know something.
Lie #2: Hillary Clinton accused Trump of claiming that climate change was a “hoax perpetrated by the Chinese.” Trump vehemently denied this statement, despite hundreds of people providing screenshots of the exact tweet where he had uttered those words four years ago within moments. Is it possible that even he can’t keep track of the bile that spills from his mouth?
Lie #3: Trump claimed that Clinton has “been fighting ISIS her entire adult life.” Clinton is not a spring chicken. In fact, she was 52 when ISIS was founded.
Lie #4: Trump said that murder has increased in New York City since stop-and-frisk was discontinued: “Murders are up. All right. You check it.” In 2014, the first year after the policy was banned, murders hit an all-time low of 328 in the city.
Lie #5: He claimed that “nobody was pressing” the birther conspiracy after 2011, despite he himself repeatedly tweeting about it in the following years. In fact, Trump had a tendency to resurrect the issue every time it died down.
Lie #6: He accused Hillary Clinton of lying when she quoted him as saying nuclear war in East Asia would be “fine.” In fact, in April of this year, Trump publicly noted that he was okay with Japan obtaining nuclear weapons for a potential war with North Korea, and was quoted as saying, “It would be a terrible thing but if they do, they do…. Good luck. Enjoy yourselves, folks.”
The same outlets that report these 34 lies by Donald Trump note that Clinton had approximately six in the same debate. Trump told many, many more lies than Clinton in one evening. Throughout the entire race, that disparity can only increase. So, no, this election is not “the lesser of two evils.” It’s between an arguably unlikeable candidate versus one who has no grasp of what it means to lead, no tact, no poise and no plan. It’s choosing between an uncertain future or a bad one.
Danny Miles is a third-year student who got everything he wanted with this debate, and more.