There is no denying the fact that president-elect Donald Trump needs to be watched like a hawk when it comes to his language and his actions, especially given the recent concerns over his financial conflicts of interest. At least half of the American people already distrust Trump, and that number is more than half if you prescribe to the idea that Hillary actually won the popular vote, which seems to be the case. It has already been widely known for some time that Trump isn’t exactly a stickler for the truth, but with so many ridiculous statements made on a regular basis, it can be hard to keep track of the falsities.
One of Trump’s most vocal sources of opposition is none other than former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. Reich has been a political commentator for quite some time, and he has criticized Trump on numerous occasions for his vitriolic language and highly incendiary comments. Reich recently published a post to Facebook in which he outlines three of the major lies that Trump has attempted to spread over the recent weeks.
The first thing that Reich criticized in his post was a statement that Trump made to an audience at one of his victory rallies recently. During the rally, Trump told the crowd that the United States national murder rate is currently higher than it has been at any point in the previous 45 years, yet that is blatantly untrue. In fact, according to the most recent stats by the FBI, the murder rate for the country is actually approaching one of the lowest rates in the last 50 years. The question one might then ask is why would Trump want to spread such an arbitrary piece of misinformation? Does he simply not know the facts himself, or is he setting up for something larger?
The next part of Reich’s Facebook post discussed how Trump claims he defeated Hillary Clinton in a landslide. Anyone who followed the election coverage knows that isn’t the case. Clinton had an incredible lead in the popular vote, gaining nearly 3 million more votes than Trump. Those who were active in the 2000 presidential election will remember that Al Gore also won the popular vote despite losing the election, yet even his popular vote margin was lower than Hillary’s. When Trump saw that Clinton won the popular vote, his reaction was to use Twitter to declare that he also would have won the popular vote had illegal immigrants not be allowed to vote. This claim was based on absolutely nothing, and no fact-checking organizations have even come close to verifying such a claim.
Trump has continued his rhetoric regarding the voter fraud that he assumes took place in the 2016 election, and Reich was happy to refute that assertion as well. Even though no evidence of voter fraud has been found, Trump has repeatedly criticized the actual election process that made him president, which is ludicrous. According to Reich and many others who have worked closely with the election, the only evidence of voter fraud was Russia’s hacking of the Democrats.
Reich finished up his post by affirming that democracies require truth in order to function in a fair and just way. Perhaps Trump has decided to start a false rhetoric regarding the murder rate in the United States so he would have an easier time enacting more stringent policing measures and swifter, more dire sentencing, despite the fact that the true murder rate doesn’t reflect a need for such increased policing. Perhaps repeating the idea that he won by a landslide would influence those beneath him to give him more praise than he is truly worth. Perhaps claiming voter fraud affected the election is a step towards enacting stricter voter ID laws.