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Dan Williams: In the world of Trump, truth doesn’t matter



For the Monitor
Monday, October 08, 2018

One of the most frustrating things for the majority of Americans to deal with (and let’s face it – based on individual votes, Trump voters are in the minority) is the fact that truth doesn’t matter to supporters of Donald Trump. Nowhere is this more prevalent than regarding the #MeToo movement and our nation’s problem with sexual assault.

While it can be expected for those in the Trump cabal to defend their SCOTUS nominee while downplaying allegations against him, it’s quite another matter to have the president making misogynistic statements out of one side of his mouth while foisting a bizarre alternative reality regarding who really needs to be worried in the year 2018 from the other side. Consider these actual statements made by Donald Trump recently:

“It’s okay, I know you’re not thinking. You never do.” (Directed at a female reporter he was calling on at a presser.)

“How did you get home? I don’t remember. How did you get there? I don’t remember. Where is the place? I don’t remember.
. . . But I had one beer – that’s the only thing I remember.” (Said while imitating one of Brett Kavanaugh’s accusers at a campaign rally.)

“It’s a very scary time for young men in America.” (When asked what the takeaway was for him regarding the Kavanaugh hearings.)

The facts don’t back up Trump’s claim, however:

A multi-site study of eight U.S. communities found the rate of false reports to be 7.1 percent (Lonsway, Archambault & Lisak, 2009)

A Boston study of 136 sexual assault cases from 1998-2007 yielded a false reporting rate of 5.9 percent (Lisak et al, 2010)

A 2000-2003 study using qualitative and quantitative analysis on 812 reports of sexual assault found a false reporting rate of 2.1 percent (Heenan & Murray, 2006)

The notion that young men need to be more fearful than their female peers in today’s society is ludicrous. But you’ll never hear any Trump supporter call him out for his many and well-documented misogynistic statements.

You will however hear them vehemently defend Kavanaugh, and swallow the myth of the oppressed and targeted white male hook, line and sinker.

Either that or they’ll blame the media for focusing on Kavanaugh to the exclusion of all the “good news.”

“It’s all a distraction!” they’ll say. “The media doesn’t want to talk about the booming Trump economy!”

Well since the focus of this piece is truth, here are some facts to refute that myth:

The economy added more jobs in every year of Obama’s second term than it did in Trump’s first year. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

The unemployment rate has been stable (between 4.6 and 5 percent) and drastically lower than its 2010 high, since August of 2015 – long before Trump was in office. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

The nation’s Deficit-to-GDP ratio had gone down to a low of 3.1 percent by the end of Obama’s last term. In Trump’s first year, it went up to 3.4 percent, largely because Trump has increased the federal deficit. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Real median wages for workers have been steadily increasing since the second quarter of 2014. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

The poverty rate has fallen steadily since its peak in 2011, two years into Obama’s first term. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

So much for the “booming Trump economy.” Not that any one president can ever be lauded for a good economy or vilified for a bad one. The economy doesn’t work that way. Misogyny, racism, hatred and bigotry, on the other hand, can make quite a turnaround over the course of one presidential term, as we’ve seen since Jan. 20, 2017.

(Dan Williams lives in Concord.)