For a bunch of self-professed Christians, the GOP presidential candidates are a bunch of liars.
As Patheos contributor and former pastor Benjamin Dixon recently pointed out in an article entitled “For These Politicians To Be Christian They Sure Do A Lot Of Lying,”We all accept the idea that politicians lie to get in office. This crosses ideology and political affiliation. However, it seems to be the case that the politicians that often tout their religious credentials have been found not to be as honest as one would expect a Christian to be.”
Citing studies of all the candidates by Politifact, Dixon points out that “even the most honest Republican candidate has just barely told the truth more than 50% of the time in statements evaluated by Politifact. The two front-runners in the GOP race have unbelievably high untruthfulness ratings.”
John Kasich is the only Republican candidate who has crossed the halfway mark for truthfulness with his statements rated as true/mostly true 52% of the time.
At the opposite end of the spectrum in last place is the Republican presidential front runner Ben Carson scoring a 0% truthful rating and the close-second polling GOP candidate, Donald Trump, telling the truth only 8% of the time.
Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders has the best record with a truthful rating of 56% and Hillary Clinton comes in next to Kasich with a truthful rating of 51%.
However, as Dixon points out – the numbers don’t tell the full story, as there are both qualitative and quantitative considerations.
For instance, Dixon writes the following regarding Carson:
Of his most dishonest statements, his bold claim that he had no involvement with the nutritional supplement company Mannatech reveals both his willingness to lie outright but also his willingness to be involved with shady, pseudo-science, multi-level marketing organizations.
This particular lie shows more about his character than even Bernie Sanders’ “False” rating regarding Americans working the longest hours in the world. So not only is there a quantitative difference but there is a qualitative difference.
Others such as Republican Marco Rubio have also told lies of a more serious magnitude than their Democratic counterparts. “Marco Rubio made false statements to deflect from his financial woes and deflected from his poor attendance in the Senate, writes Dixon. “But in fact, Rubio has had significant financial troubles and had the worst attendance record in the Senate.”
Turning to Ted Cruz, Dixon writes:
Ted Cruz has made his entire career on criticizing Obamacare, the Iranian Nuke Deal, and President Obama in general. Conservatives love him because of this. But according to the most egregious statements evaluated by Politifact, Cruz has either flat out lied or told half-truths 85% of the time. The very thing conservatives love about Cruz has been untrue 85% of the time.
And turning to Chris Christie, Dixon notes:
Chris Christie’s loudest applause line came when accused Bernie Sanders’ of wanting to raise the top marginal [tax] rate to 90%. This, of course, was completely untrue. Even the thunderous applause lines are blatantly false. What, if anything, do conservatives have?
Continuing, Dixon writes: “what I’ve found more than anything else since I’ve shared this information is a complete refusal of conservatives to look even at the information. They’ve rejected it as propaganda and dismissed the source simply because the source brings information that is disturbing to their political beliefs. You can show them the extent to which their beloved candidate has lied to them, and instead of confronting reality, they reject the evidence.”
As Dixon concludes: “Nearly every statement that has been identified as untruthful by Politifact has been accepted as a statement of faith and ‘the gospel truth’ by the conservative base,” adding, “Because of this, GOP presidential candidates can get on stage in front of millions of viewers and get away with an unprecedented number of lies and half-truths.”
But what about those conservatives that are at least reasonable enough to be offended when being lied to. They do exist. Will the truth matter to them? And at what point will they accept the reality that voting for any Republican candidate other than John Kasich is necessarily voting for a candidate that is more of a liar than they believe Hillary Clinton to be. Furthermore, voting for any Republican candidate is voting for one that [is] far more untruthful than Bernie Sanders.
Does it even matter? For the sake of our country, we must hope that it does.
FEATURED IMAGE COLLAGE:
- Donald Trump speaking at CPAC 2013 in Washington, DC, by Gage Skidmore, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
- Ben Carson speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), by Gage Skidmore, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
- Ted Cruz speaking at CPAC 2013 in Washington, DC, by Gage Skidmore, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.