There is a wonderful Cockney slang for falsehoods: “telling porkie pies.” There are porkies aplenty in Washington, D.C., at the moment.

I am sure the president has some really good plans for needed actions, but telling porkies to keep everyone scared to death is not necessary and is, to be generous, the real disaster he keeps talking about.

I went to various publications both liberal and conservative, both university and governmental to look up some numbers. The president keeps describing a hell-hole of a nation where no one should be able to rise in the morning with any certainty or wealth because for the last 10 years or so it has all been a disaster. Every law is broken, every treaty is bad, and no one is winning except him.

Here are some real numbers, just so that you are not going to bed thinking you live in a failed state.

Here are the electoral vote number leaders (I did not adjust for when states entered the Union, proportionally others would top the list as well): Reagan 525, FDR 523, George H.W. Bush 426, Hoover 444, Clinton 379, Obama 365, Trump 306. I will note that the powers of the president are articulated in the Constitution and are independent of the electoral numbers, other than reaching to maximum total needed to win.

With regard to the “mess, the terrible, terrible mess” he inherited: It is true that any change in governing party and ideology will see issues and problems differently and make changes. That is what democratic voting and peaceful change of governance allows. I want to put out some actual numbers that would tell us, as a nation, where we are.

I decided to only look at Jan. 10 of each year to review our growth in the financial sector. Here, then, are the closing Dow by year. For 2009: 7,949.09. For 2010: 10, 609.65. For 2011: 11,787.38. For 2012: 12,422.06. For 2013: 13,388.43. For 2014: 16,437. For 2015: 19, 856. For 2016: 19, 856. And for 2017: 19,888.20.

Not everyone felt the lift of the rising tide, unless you are in an IRA, mutual fund or pension fund or do your own trading. Those who make so little that they cannot invest, or who do not have a vehicle of investment with an employer, did not necessarily participate in this rise. But one could argue that Greece, Italy and even Spain were really a mess.

I support vetting anyone entering our country. We have had vetting for years, and it is not an easy thing to gain entry; it takes years and many inquiries up to and including DNA.

Mr. Trump keeps talking about “bad, bad people, bad hombres” and saying that once he can describe what they look like, life will be so much easier for the CIA, FBI, Moore County sheriff and our police. But it has been my experience than any such description has escaped humanity for a very long time.

So, let’s look at some real statistics of bad hombres. Are we still having sad events daily? Yes. But is violent crime declining from earlier years? Yes. Does a trend mean this is forever? No.

I then looked at all the reported terrorist attack in the United State from multiple sources and learned that from 2006 through 2016, not including attacks overseas involving Americans or military, there have been 18 attacks. Of those, 14 were carried out by Americans. Not all were done in the name of ISIS. Several were white supremacist-oriented or attacks on Planned Parenthood. The contested ban does not address the reality.

I do not wish to demean the office of the president, but Mr. Trump would do well to know statistics and reality. Saying a porkie does not make it so. Calling the press “fake news” and demeaning whoever does not agree is not his right. Ben Franklin wisely said, “It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”

It is certainly the job of a free press to ask and have real answers given. When asked if there is a rise in anti-Semitism, the answer is sadly yes. Still, he says nothing. “Sit down and shut up” is the voice of an absolute ruler, not the tone of a President.

Porkies do not help us. Facts and clarity do.

 

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