6 Falsehoods Trump Tells His Supporters and His Supporters Believe Him

John Coble
Sep 4 · 8 min read

After having been caught in so many lies, why does anyone believe anything Trump says?

A picture of Trump wearing a Make America Great Again hat.
A picture of Trump wearing a Make America Great Again hat.
Image by Richard Reid from Pixabay

Of the many Trump supporters I know, I have yet to meet one that admits to believing the more outrageous conspiracy theories like Q-Anon and Pizza Gate. Yet, I do see people on television at Trump rallies wearing Q-Anon shirts. I suspect these are the same people that attend WWE wrestling events and believe it is all real. I do know many people that believe the rest of Trump’s silliness.

Trump praises the National Enquirer. See Trump Once Wanted the National Enquirer to Win a Pulitzer. Now It May Prove His Downfall from the Washington Post. These Trump supporters that I know do not read the National Enquirer, or at least they do not admit to reading it. So where are they getting information that is often exactly the opposite of the facts? First, consider the unusual beliefs, then, I will conclude with a discussion of where the disinformation is coming from and how to stop this misinformation.

Beliefs That Are Resulting in Destructive Policies for Our Country

The Economy Was Terrible Under President Obama. When Trump Took Office, the Economy Suddenly Improved Greatly

See the two graphs below that show GDP and unemployment respectively under both President Obama and Trump.

A graph from the Federal Reserve Economic Database showing GDP growth.
A graph from the Federal Reserve Economic Database showing GDP growth.
For an interactive version of this graph, see this link from the Federal Reserve Economic Database (FRED).
A graph from the Federal Reserve Economic Database showing the unemployment rate.
A graph from the Federal Reserve Economic Database showing the unemployment rate.
For an interactive version of this graph, see this link from FRED.

Obviously, President Obama had a long term trend before Trump ever took office. Trump’s claims of success would be like a running back that came into the game when his team is on the 10 yard line of the opponent and then scores a touchdown and claims all credit for the score, while another player (President Obama here) returned a kickoff from his own endzone 90 yards to the opponent’s 10 yard line. In this analogy, President Obama did the heavy lifting of turning the economy around. Continuing the football metaphor, Trump has now fumbled with his trade wars and the other team (this team is known as ‘recession’) may score soon.

This erroneous belief has given Trump the confidence to believe that ‘trade wars are easy’ for a ‘stable genius’ like himself. As a consequence, the American consumer is now suffering from higher taxes in the form of tariffs.

Large Caravans of Dangerous Immigrants Are Invading Our Country

This story was repeatedly aired on right-wing channels in the weeks leading up to the 2018 elections. The fact is, with all the horrors that Trump has imposed on immigrants, President Obama was much more effective at curtailing illegal immigration. I am not endorsing President Obama’s immigration tactics but do note that his more humane tactics were much more effective. See the graph below which shows how illegal immigration has risen since Trump took office.

A graph showing the great increase in known illegal border crossings since Trump took office.
A graph showing the great increase in known illegal border crossings since Trump took office.
For an interactive version of this graph, click this link.

Clearly, Trump’s cruel anti-immigrant policies are not working. For a more in-depth discussion of Trump and immigration see, my story, Trump Is Primarily Responsible for the Sharp Increase in Immigrants Seeking Asylum at the Southern Border.

Trump’s Trade War May Hurt Now, but It Is Good for America

Trump has picked a trade war with the entire world, friends and enemies alike. Trump has no plan. Trump has no defined objectives with his trade war. He just wants to ‘get a better deal.’ It does not matter if this better deal is no better than the old deal; the real point is just to make it look like Trump is ‘fighting for his people.’ See Meet the New NAFTA — Same As the Old NAFTA from The Hill for Trump’s ‘success’ on NAFTA. Was the alienation of long-time allies worth this new deal?

President Eisenhower was fond of the saying, ‘Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.’ Trump leads America into destructive trade wars on a whim, and these trade wars have little benefit for the country but do have a destructive effect on global economic and political stability. When considering the severe negative effect that Trump’s policies are having on farmers, I think it is clear that his trade policies are as unsound as his own mind is unsound.

American goals regarding trade will not be met with the foolish methods Trump has used. See the graph below to see how the trade deficit has grown with Trump in office.

A graph from the Federal Reserve Economic Database showing the worsening of the trade deficit under Trump.
A graph from the Federal Reserve Economic Database showing the worsening of the trade deficit under Trump.
For an interactive version of this graph, see this link from FRED.

The data shows that Trump’s ‘tough’ policy on trade has been just as ‘boneheaded’ as his immigration policy. Farmers that support Trump are being led down a road to ruin. All Americans that support this ‘protectionism’ are losing. We had a much better way of handling bad business practices by countries such as China, but Trump abandoned these superior methods. The graphic above shows the uselessness of following Trump’s foolish policies.

Trump Supporters’ Beliefs That Are Not Only Risking Our National Security but Are Tearing Our Country Apart

The Mueller Report Cleared Trump of All Wrongdoing

William Barr’s summary of Mueller’s several hundred-page report helped create this myth. Barr’s summary was all we had for a month before the Mueller Report was released to the public. By then, people on the right-wing were no longer interested. To this day, none of my right-wing friends has read the Mueller Report. The fact is that Mueller found that he did not have sufficient evidence to say that the Trump campaign had conspired with the Russians to affect the 2016 election. However, Mueller outlined several instances of obstruction of justice by Trump and his allies. Mueller did not believe he had the authority to indict Trump for obstruction. Mueller did secure guilty pleas or guilty verdicts from Trump’s first National Security Advisor and his campaign manager. The first question one should ask is, ‘if Trump was obstructing justice, what was the purpose if not to cover up wrongdoing?’ The second question one should ask is, what evidence would have been discovered regarding conspiracy with the Russians, had Trump not obstructed justice. In no way, is this case closed.

Spygate Is How the Russian Investigation Started

Spygate is an attempt to confuse the issue. This is what a defendant does when they have no case. Of course, a part of any criminal defense is to attack the investigation. In this case, everything they accuse the investigators of amounts to nothing. Nothing I have heard on right-wing radio regarding ‘Strzok and Page’ make any sense at all. The origins of the investigation were completely normal. Investigators often develop biases during an investigation as evidence of wrongdoing becomes stronger. Does anyone think the FBI was completely unbiased with John Gotti? Judges are supposed to be unbiased. Prosecutors are supposed to be unbiased. Investigators will often form biases and that is not a problem as long as they do not do anything illegal to further their case against the target.

Carter Page (not to be confused with Lisa Page) was under FBI surveillance for years before the campaign. Yet, Trump’s supporters are concerned about the procedure followed to renew the FISA warrant against Carter Page after he joined the Trump campaign. None of this talk makes any sense. These people are just screaming something, anything, in an effort to try to convince enough people that the Russia investigation is a hoax.

This week, the Inspector General gave former FBI Director James Comey a reprimand for some of his behavior in the Russia investigation. James Comey’s reprimand from the Inspector General was like a fire truck getting a speeding ticket on the way to put out a fire. See Inspector General Says Comey Violated Policy by Leaking Memos, but DOJ Declines to Prosecute from NBC News.

These investigations into the origins of the Russia investigation are as silly as the Benghazi investigation, the ‘Voter Fraud Task Force,’ or buying Greenland. These people would better utilize their time by looking for something just a little less silly — like Bigfoot.

The elections are rigged against Trump

During the 2016 campaign, Trump repeatedly claimed that the election was rigged against him and that he would have the election stolen from him. After the election, Trump claimed he did not win the popular vote because of widespread voter fraud. He even wasted federal resources by creating a ‘Voter Fraud Task Force.’ See Democracy, Interrupted from The Atlantic.

During the campaign, the allegations of Russian connections were already known. I remember thinking that Trump’s claims that the election was rigged as well as his refusal to say that he would accept the results of the election if he lost made it look like he was trying to warn the government that there would be chaos if they revealed anything about the fact that he was being investigated by the FBI. Trump was issuing a veiled threat to the government that he and his supporters would go crazy if they exposed anything about him that might reduce his chances of getting elected.

Since the election, I have maintained this as a possibility, but have also considered another scenario to explain Trump’s behavior. Trump wanted to create the appearance that the election was stolen from him if he lost and the support from his supporters would be transformed into support for a Trump television network from which Trump would greatly profit. Either scenario is a possible explanation for why Trump would engage in such insane behavior.

Conclusion

Why do Trump supporters believe so many statements that are clearly lies? Why do Trump supporters believe so many policies are working when they clearly are not working. First, the media (known to Trump supporters as the ‘mainstream media’) is not doing enough to explain the truth. They are just showing the Trump voters and saying, ‘we do not know why they believe this stuff.’ The media needs to go further and report on where the misinformation is coming from. Sure the media reports the Russian influence operations. Unfortunately, the media does not do enough to report on the insanity and inaccuracy of the extremist media.

The media fears any limitations on the first amendment, just as the National Rifle Association (NRA) fears any limitation on the second amendment. It is a ‘slippery slope’ to having any limitations on these amendments within the Bill of Rights. As for me, I say it is the ‘slippery slope’ of fearing ‘slippery slopes’ that leads to nothing getting done and consequently, to tragedies such as Russian/Right-Wing influence operations and school shootings.

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr saying regarding ‘yelling fire in a crowded theater’ should be considered more. Though I disagree with Holmes’ holding in Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919), I do believe that speech that creates a ‘clear and present danger’ to the security of the United States should be regulated. One factor that could be used in determining what constitutes such restricted speech would be speech that is knowingly false and spread over broadcast networks and social media. One method of preventing the dissemination of such propaganda would be to reinstate the ‘Fairness Doctrine.’

Data Driven Investor

from confusion to clarity, not insanity

John Coble

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I am just your average everyday lawyer/coder/accountant/data scientist/blogger with a left-wing tilt. https://ko-fi.com/johncoble

Data Driven Investor

from confusion to clarity, not insanity