Trump’s not lying, and other recent comments

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We’ve gotten numerous comments lately to The Ann magazine and to our new curated ANNthology newsletter. Without further ado:

Trump’s not lying, he’s sounding an alarm

Is he lying? Which of the following statements is a lie? A) I received a ton of emails yesterday. B) Last night was so clear I could see a million stars. C) There were 5 million votes cast illegally in the last general election.

A lie requires that the speaker knows the statement is untrue and intends to deceive the listener. The first two above are untrue but everyone knows there was no intent to deceive the listener. The speaker is trying to impress the listener that it was a really big number. I would argue the same is true in the third statement. Everyone knows there is no way to measure this. If the third statement had used the figure 1 million or 500,000 or 250,000, would it have been any more true?

With the third statement, most press reports include the statement the “there is absolutely no evidence to support this.” I would argue that is untrue. Project Veritas videos show Democratic operatives describing in great detail how they have orchestrated the casting of fraudulent votes. An FBI agent interviewed on Fox News and who specialized in fraudulent documentation described how easy it was for illegal immigrants to obtain voter IDs in California; he also had asked many of those apprehended if they had used the fraudulent documents to vote and a large number said they had. His was a very small sample size. No one can know the real magnitude.

We know that many dead are left on the rolls and millions of people are registered to vote in more than one state. Many government officials in liberal states have said that they think all people living in their state should be able to vote. These same officials fully expect that those not legally able to vote would vote for Democrats. Many government officials in these areas flaunt federal law (sanctuary cities, marijuana sales), so now you expect me to believe they ardently limit voters to legal voters?

Illegal voting is not a crime where the victim reports the crime, e.g. robbery, or there is clear evidence of a crime, e.g. property damage or a dead body. The opportunity is there. The means are easy. The incentive for an individual and for party organizations is great. The odds of getting caught are small. Privacy rules make it very hard to catch after the fact. There has never been a serious study of this issue.

While Trump does not know the real number, no one else does either. So any reasonable person would recognize that Trump is asserting the number is big, bigger than most people would expect. A specific number catches more attention than a general statement. For anyone paying attention, it is not a lie but an alarm. It looks like it woke up a lot of people!

The companion statement on illegal voting is that it altered the popular vote. This is a non-issue. No one can claim that the popular vote in the 2016 election reflected in any sense national sentiment. The two candidates only campaigned in 13 states and Trump won those states. What incentive would a Trump supporter have to vote in California, New York or Hawaii? None.

Which of the following statements are lies? 1) I never had sex with that woman? 2) The State Department approved my setting up a private server for my emails. 3) The riot was a spontaneous result of a video. 4) If you like your health plan you can keep it. 5) 100 percent of climate scientists agree that climate change is the result of human activity.

The first four have been proven to be lies. As for the fifth one, the general press has treated it as absolutely true. (It later morphed into “97 percent” and then most recently into “97 percent of peer-reviewed published articles,” all of which tells us that the first two versions were definitely lies.) The problem is that the press carping on Trump’s “lies” never held anyone to account for the five lies above. No, not ever. And no, I did not say they never reported it. I am saying they never hounded the liars daily for months on end demanding retribution.

Ed Clarke

There is no voting fraud

I have been a precinct chairman for elections in Scio Township for the past few years and worked in the capacity of an election inspector for many years before that​, covering a number of ​presidential elections. The election inspectors are the people you see working for you behind the tables in schools, churches, fire stations and town halls when you come to vote. We are your neighbors and fellow citizens. We are a mixture of both ​Republican​s​ and ​Democrats invested in the integrity of our democratic process.

We match identification to voter registration lists. By law, we allow you to vote if you have no approved picture ID if you swear on an affidavit that you are who you say you are and provide information we match to the voter registration list. We assist you with voting procedures​, carefully explaining the voting format in general​, nonpartisan terms. Inspectors from both parties are present when initiating tabulators, emptying ballots, securing ballots and other sensitive issues that arise during the day. We are well trained by our county clerk and committed to holding transparent, fair and free elections. 

In my capacity as an election inspector, in my precinct, I have never seen any indication of fraudulent voting practices. I suspect the accusation of widespread voter fraud comes from “alternate facts” created by an ill​- informed individual with another agenda.

Marla Smith

Love the newsletter

I love the new digital newsletter and collection of regional contributions! It’s a great idea and a wonderful (and refreshing) way to stay informed about meaningful regional news and events. Wonderful job on the e-mail newsletter!

Lauren London

More newsletter love

Love it!  Keep ’em coming. 🙂

Ann Raechelle Agler

Liberal cheap shots

I just started getting these, but so far your newsletter has contained a lot of swipes at conservatives and feels like just another lefty “​Isn’t our town so special?” publication. However, I will keep reading, and continue hoping that someday – perhaps in our lifetimes – you might understand that not everyone who lives here is an abortion-loving,​ Trump-hating​, pussy-hat-wearing liberal. But I’m not optimistic.

Ruth Gretzinger

Wonderful surprise

I’m not quite sure how I started receiving ANNthology, however, what a wonderful surprise and treat. The layout and articles are intelligent, refreshing and informative. Please keep them coming.

Richard Zecchini

Jim McBee

Founding partner, creative director and ink-stained wretch with The Ann magazine.


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    Anne Reinstein

    February 1, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    For anyone paying attention, we’ll never know if voter fraud was a lie since a recount effort was blocked. So I guess we’ll never know if the election was rigged. What we do know is that if Trump had won the popular vote, there wouldn’t be so many protests. The Women’s March crowd totally outnumbered Trump’s inauguration attendees. While there were 200 buses on Friday 1/20/17 full of folks who attended the inauguration, there were 1,200 buses on 1/21/17 full of women (and men) who attended the Women’s March. Mexico is not paying for a wall and never will. These are facts, not lies. We are all paying attention and we, the people, have been sounding the alarm since Donald Trump became president.

  2. Avatar

    Randal Step

    February 2, 2017 at 10:54 am

    So far, so good!